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The Doctor Delivers 80th Premier Class Win at Assen

While his teammate rightly deserved the honours for an amazing victory, Jorge Lorenzo also shone today. The World Champion gave everything he had and more, defying the pain from collarbone surgery just 36 hours ago in a heroic effort to race. Lorenzo had started from 12th on the grid but had risen to eighth by turn three. By the second lap he had climbed to fifth and was chasing down satellite Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow in fourth. With 23 laps to go he had passed Crutchlow and began to close the gap to Marquez in third. As the laps wound down exhaustion set in and with 11 to go Lorenzo was re-passed by Crutchlow. With grim determination he managed to maintain pace for fifth position and rolled into the Yamaha pits to an applauding team. The remarkable feat means Lorenzo holds second in the Championship and is just nine points behind Pedrosa as they head to Sachsenring in two weeks time.

Valentino Rossi 1st / 41'25.202 / 26 Laps

“Today was something special, this is one of the best victories in my career because it is one of the most wanted and expected for such a lot of time. I’m so happy because I won a real race where all my opponents were very strong and very fast, apart from Jorge with his injury. It was great from the beginning, I had a good feeling, I could overtake on braking and I felt good on the bike. It was difficult but the finish line was calling me so I had to arrive as fast as possible. We have made a step with the bike, I can ride in a better way so we have to try and stay with the top guys every weekend. Jorge rode an incredible race, we have to say a special great congratulations because he had great courage to do this and also he made an important step for his Championship.”

Jorge Lorenzo 5th / +15.510 / 26 Laps

“It would have been impossible to believe some minutes after my crash that this could happen. We were brave to make the operation the same day, if I had waited to Friday the doctors would not have let me race. We made the race today and I was very brave in the first laps because passing the riders with a collarbone like this under braking was really hard. I felt quite good physically at the beginning of the race but after lap seven every lap was worse; it was more difficult to change direction, to brake and to accelerate so I couldn't do more than fifth position. We only lost two points to Dani who is leading the Championship. This fifth position is better than any victory I have had in my career. I hope to have a good recovery for Germany, I will not be 100% but I hope to be better than here. The victory for Valentino and the third for Crutchlow are good for the Championship, I would have preferred Cal to finish in front of Marc but you can’t always have perfection! I am happy for Valentino, more than two years without winning has been hard for him so I’m happy for my box partner. After Aragon I think he made some improvements and here he took profit from the opportunity. Lets see what happens in Sachsenring as last year we had some issues and the Hondas were strong but I think if I can improve my physical condition I can be more competitive than this race.”

Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“If you would have asked me a quote before the race I would have said we need to finish and get some points. To fight for the first fifteen laps at least and to be there with the front boys was unbelievable for Jorge. Finishing fifth, having Vale winning the race and having Cal also on the podium is great for Yamaha. The result is great for us as we lose just two points to Dani. I think that is what this race was all about, damage control, we had to try to finish and for sure not to crash.”

Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director

“It has been a double victory today, so great for both results. Vale is back with a victory after two years and eighth months and the last one was also with Yamaha so it has been a great result for all of us. We were also able to gain some points against our competitors so for me it was a very special victory. Jorge did something really incredible. He showed he has the determination that is not normal. That he could race having had surgery just two days ago, has been very impressive, I know what a rider can physically feel when you are on the bike and injured. At the end we also only lost two points to Pedrosa. For me this is going to be an unforgettable weekend. We will leave this place in a really good mood and for sure we are going to start the next weekend totally full gas.”

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