Valentino Rossi won his 100th Grand Prix, took his second triumph in succession and became the undisputed leader of the FIM MotoGP World Championship with a stellar performance at the Alice TT Assen ten years ago today.
We look back on that day with the quote from Rossi taken on that day in 2009, and the race report from the 2009 Assen MotoGP race.
While it was ten years ago today that Rossi carded that 100th GP victory, in the ten years since the Italian legend has only added 15 more to his tally, with his last victory also coming at Assen two years ago.
Valentino Rossi – 100 GP victories
“This is a very emotional moment and for sure I will remember this 100th victory for the rest of my life. When I reached 70, 100 seemed a long way away but here I am and it has been great, great fun getting here. It is down to so many people, like Jeremy and my guys who have been with me for ten years and all of the team who always give 100 per cent and always give me the best bike possible. Especially however I have to thank the friends who have been with me my whole life and my father Graziano, who won here in Assen 30 years ago when I was a baby, and my mother Stefania, because they have always supported me. It’s great to reach this moment here at Assen because it’s the ‘Cathedral’ of motorcycle racing and the most historic track we go to. Today was a perfect race – I got a great start and my bike was incredible which meant that my pace was very strong. In fact I think it was better for everyone’s hearts not to have another last-lap battle like in Barcelona! I had a good advantage from Lorenzo in some parts of the track and it was a great ride for me. Now I have 100 wins and I’m only the second rider to arrive at this number, but Agostini still has 22 more and for me he is still the greatest. 100 is a great result but the atmosphere in our team is wonderful and the motivation is still as high as ever – we want to win a few more races together yet!”
2009 Assen MotoGP Race Report
A vintage Rossi performance was celebrated with his unraveling a backdrop and posing for a classic photo with antiquated cameras, the Italian’s latest post-race show with his faithful fan club.
Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was once again forced to settle for second place, his third on the bounce. The Spaniard got off to a bad start from third on the grid and, although he was able to fight back up to the front, could not provide Rossi with the same challenge that he had done at the previous round.
Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner completed the podium with a solitary ride chasing Lorenzo. The trio had all been on equal points before the Assen race.
Colin Edwards took fourth place, at the head of an enthralling battle between the ‘best of the rest’.
Rizla Suzuki’s Chris Vermeulen and Edwards’ Monster Yamaha Tech 3 teammate James Toseland were also in the top six with their best finishes of the season to date.
Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Dovizioso had been in with a shout at the rostrum, but both took tumbles before the race took its full shape. There was also a late fall for Pramac Racing’s Mika Kallio when the Finn was challenging for sixth on the final lap.
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