Valentino Rossi admitted he was lucky to survive his dramatic last corner collision with Marc Marquez to win the Dutch TT at Assen. The Movistar Yamaha rider made contact with the reigning champion after 26 gripping laps of head-to-head racing and Rossi agreed with race direction’s assessment of it as a racing incident, claiming he had no option but to cut the chicane.
“I pushed, and I don‘t want to say I did a perfect race, but close. I saw I was not able to get distance from Marc. It‘s always difficult with him and you know the battle will be very hard, but I was confident that I was competitive and I wanted to try for victory. In the last laps I pushed a lot and I arrived at the last chicane when Marc tried to overtake but he arrived a little bit too late, I was already into the chicane and we touched a little bit and I had to cut the corner. Essentially I had no choice and I was lucky, because I got on the gravel, but I stayed on the throttle even though I didn‘t know how deep it was and I thought there was a chance I could lose control. When I returned to the track I checked the position of Marc, but he had slowed down more than I did.”
After seeing teammate Jorge Lorenzo obliterate his championship lead with four consecutive victories, Rossi was well aware of the important of a win on Saturday and believes today’s result could prove pivotal.
“It has been a great weekend and it‘s very important because I increased my point advantage over Jorge. I think that in a championship as close as this, it is very important you take the maximum profit when you are competitive and when you like the track, because for sure we will have some more difficult moments. It was fantastic to come back here with a victory. I think we deleted the results of Jerez, where Jorge gained nine points over me and now we have to try to delete also Mugello‘s results where he did the same thing. Apart from the joke, it is very important because Jorge did fantastic to cut down a 28 points gap to just one. So to take nine points now is crucial, also because I think this championship will arrive to the last race and the last lap.”