Miller claims stunning Assen win
Jack Miller claimed a shock maiden MotoGP victory in a dramatic Dutch TT which saw Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi crash out after the race had to be restarted due to torrential rain in Assen.
Australian Miller has struggled with injury this season, but claimed his first top-10 finish in the premier class in the Catalan Grand Prix last time out and the Marc VDS stunningly prevailed in testing conditions in the Netherlands on Sunday.
The 21-year-old confirmed before the race that he has been retained by his team for 2017 and showed precisely why they put their faith in him, crossing the line almost two seconds ahead of championship leader Marc Marquez.
Miller's victory ended a 10-year wait for an independent team to triumph in a MotoGP event.
Scott Redding finished third in a race which was restarted after the red flags were waved as rain lashed down with Dovizioso leading Danilo Petrucci and Rossi third on lap 15.
There was further drama when the riders got under way for a 12-lap dash, with Dovizioso crashing out when he lead the race and a furious Rossi also seeing his race come to a premature end when he was out in front.
MILLER TIME IN THE WET
Miller had only amassed eight points before his astonishing first victory in round eight, but the youngster kept his head in difficult conditions after leading contenders were left furious having tumbled onto the gravel when leading. Known for his ability to master the wet surfaces, Miller went in front by passing Marquez at the chicane on lap four of the second stint and never looked back, sealing a first win on a non-factory bike since Toni Elias in Portugal a decade ago.
DIFFERENT EMOTIONS FOR MARQUEZ AND ROSSI 12 MONTHS ON
Marquez and Rossi were involved in an epic duel in Assen last year, with the Italian claiming victory after a collision between the two which ended with the Spaniard on the gravel. This time is was Rossi taking a fall when he looked set for victory, with Marquez managing to stay on and earn more precious points to increase his championship lead with Jorge Lorenzo back in 10th.
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN FOR DOVIZIOSO AND HERNANDEZ
Dovizioso started his 150th MotoGP race on pole, but slipped back on the slick track when Redding took the holeshot only for the Movistar Yamaha of Rossi to pass the Englishman. Yonny Hernandez was a surprise leader when he passed Rossi on the third lap, but his hopes of a first win vanished when he fell as the rain started to fall again. Dovizioso was back in front when the red flags came out, but went down just before Rossi hit the deck. Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow also suffered crashes on a difficult day.
IN THE POINTS
1. Jack Miller (Marc VDS) 22:17.447
2. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) +1.991
3. Scott Redding (Octo Pramac) +5.906
4. Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha) +9.812
5. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) +17.835
6. Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) +18.692
7. Eugene Laverty (Aspar) +22.605
8. Stefan Bradl (Aprilia) +23.603
9. Maverick Vinales (Suzuki) +26.148
10. Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) +27.604
Marc Marquez 145
Jorge Lorenzo 121
Valentino Rossi 103
Dani Pedrosa 86
Maverick Vinales 79
Repsol Honda 231
Movistar Yamaha 224
Monster Yamaha 104
Round nine sees the riders head for the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring on July 17.