ASSEN, Netherlands (AP) — Six-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi won his first race since 2010 at the Assen TT on Saturday.
Rossi's Yamaha teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, the defending world champion, finished fifth despite racing with a broken left collarbone sustained just two days ago in a high-speed crash during practice. Lorenzo underwent surgery on Friday in which the bone was fixed in place with a titanium plate and eight screws.
He complained of pain during warm-ups Saturday, but finally decided to push ahead saying that in the end "we are here to race."
"I'm proud of myself for the effort in these two difficult days after the crash and also of my team for their support," he said.
Marc Marquez was second, Cal Crutchlow third, and Dani Pedrosa fourth to remain atop the standings with 136 points. But Pedrosa gained just two points on Lorenzo to lead him by nine.
"I'm happy, but I cannot believe it," Rossi said. "It was a long, long time since 2010 and I questioned myself, whether I could come back to first place or not, so it was a tough period."
Rossi, a favorite with the Dutch crowd, had the fastest time during warmups on Saturday. He started fourth on the grid and took the lead by the sixth lap and held it. He was dominant as in days of old, eventually opening up a lead of more than two seconds.
During the race "I fought with everybody, I fought with Mark, I fought with Pedrosa, I fought with Cal, but always I was a little bit faster in some places" on the track, Rossi said.
The closing phase was a contest between Marquez and Crutchlow, the first Briton to start on the pole since 2002.
Attempting to pass on the final lap, Crutchlow bumped Marquez's tire and backed off, and the final order was settled.
In Moto2, Spain's Pol Espargaro won a back-and-forth duel with his main rival for the title, Britain's Scott Redding, pulling ahead on the second-to-last lap. Redding retained the overall lead by 30 points.
In Moto3, Luis Salom of Spain won a tight race in the final lap, passing countryman Maverick Vinales on the second-to-last corner and holding position in the rush to the finish line. Alex Rins finished third. That left them in the same order overall.