Valentino Rossi held off Danilo Petrucci to win the TT Assen MotoGP in a thrilling race Sunday as championship leader Maverick Vinales crashed out and slipped to second in the standings.
It was Yamaha rider Rossi’s 10th grand prix victory on the track in the northern Netherlands and his first win of the MotoGP season. Marc Marquez of Spain finished third.
“This place is always special,” Rossi said. “I am so happy for me, for my team, because I’m back on the first place after one year, more or less.”
Vinales’ fall meant that Andrea Dovizioso went top in the championship thanks to a fifth-place finish. Rossi, who started the race from fourth on the grid, rose to third overall. Rossi has now won eight MotoGP titles in Assen and two titles in lighter classes.
The top riders dueling for victory stayed on slick tires despite light rain that began falling midway through the race that prompted some racers to go into the pits to change onto bikes fitted with wet weather tires.
In the Moto2 class, championship front runner Franco Morbidelli snatched the lead in the final lap to win and increase his lead in the season standings over Thomas Luthi, who finished second, just ahead of Mattia Pasini.
However, the Italian was later demoted one spot to fourth for riding off the circuit in the last lap. Takaaki Nakagami was promoted to third. Aron Canet of Spain won the Moto3 race to narrow the gap on championship leader Joan Mir, who finished ninth. Romano Fenati finished second, ahead of John McPhee.