Ecstatic Rossi loving 'unbelievable' title tussle


Valentino Rossi is loving every minute of an "unbelievable" MotoGP title race after a hard-earned win in Assen bunched up the pack.

Movistar Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales crashed out of the Dutch MotoGP and Rossi took full advantage by holding off Danilo Petrucci to claim maximum points.

Vinales' crash means there is a new championship leader in the form of Andrea Dovizioso, who leads Vinales by four points and Rossi by seven.

And for veteran superstar Rossi, the thrilling title tussle is as good as it gets.

"I'm very happy and it's for sure an important victory, like every victory. After one year it's a great feeling, also because I race a motorcycle because of what you feel for five or six hours after the victory - it's a fantastic feeling," he said.

"I am happy because we work a lot and we change the chassis and I am able to ride the bike in a better way.

"It's important also for the championship because it's incredibly open after eight races between a lot of different riders and different bikes, so it's very interesting.

"We discovered this season that from one week to the other, everything can change, so it will be very important next week to try to be strong also in Sachsenring.

"Before we think to next week we try to feel this 10th victory in Assen for me in my career and I'm very proud.

"After the 10th [victory] in Barcelona [in 2016] I was able to win 10 times in my career also at Assen and they are two of my favourite tracks, so it is a great feeling.

"The championship is unbelievable and I'm so happy that it is like this because it's also great fun to follow.

"Nothing is closed and everything is open between different riders and also different bikes."

Next up is a trip to the Saschenring, a venue where Honda riders have dominated in recent seasons, and Rossi accepts he is up against it.

He added: "Sachsenring is a very different track compared to Assen and in the last years Honda, and especially Marquez, are always very strong, so we need to be competitive also there."