Rossi: 'I was lucky to control the bike on the gravel'

The Italian admits his pace wasn't enough to pull out a lead on Marquez

VALENTINO Rossi secured his third win of the season in a last lap battle with Marquez at the Motul TT Assen, which was concluded at the final chicane.

For the first time since Misano 2009, Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi won from pole position.

Leading for the majority of the race, Rossi had Marquez applying the pressure for the entire race. It wasn’t until the final few laps that the young Spaniard decided to take a chance to gain the win, but the final chicane was the decider.

Marquez went to move up the inside of Rossi at the final chicane, forcing Rossi to cut across the gravel to avoid contact and to avoid crashing out.

Speaking after the race in Assen, Rossi said: 'It’s important to capitalize when you’re strong in a championship as close as this. I think I did a good race from the start, starting from pole is a little easier than the third row!

'I pushed from the beginning and had a solid pace so I think overall my first lap was great. I had good speed and saw I could put some distance between Jorge and I. Unfortunately this pace wasn’t enough to get away from Marc. I tried to push at the limit but he came with me.”

'I tried to push hard again towards the end and couldn’t shake Marc off, then I got a bit worried because I was really at the limit of myself and the bike. Marc overtook me and from behind I saw he was very fast, but I knew I could go a little faster.

'I did a very good penultimate lap with a good time. I saw I had a slight advantage but I couldn’t make the same time again. I hoped Marquez wouldn’t recover, but he did.'

Speaking about the incident at the final chicane, Rossi added: 'I arrived in the last chicane on the limit, I entered and saw Marc’s bike try but it was too late. We touched so I had to cut the corner and I was lucky to control the bike on the gravel, it’s hard to know how deep the gravel is. I think it was a great battle as the last time we fought he won.'

Rossi leaves Assen with a 10-point lead over his team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and a 47-point lead over Marquez.

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