Rossi dedicates victory to dead rider following Barcelona win

© Ivan Garcia/Shutterstock

CHAMP: Rossi's win was the 88th of his MotoGP career.

VALENTINO ROSSI held off Spanish rival Marc Marquez to win a thrilling Catalan Grand Prix and surge back into the MotoGP championship battle on Sunday June 5.

The Italian legend is now third on 103 points after seven rounds, while Marquez moved into the lead on 125 points, after the pair put on a rip-roaring show over the final six laps.

Rossi started fifth and dropped to seventh on his Yamaha, but quickly made his way to the head of the field, taking first place on lap seven, before coming under pressure from Honda’s Marquez in the closing stages.

The duo exchanged the lead with three laps to go, with Marquez desperate to claim victory in his home GP, but Rossi made his move with two circuits left.

Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo was left furious as he dropped to second in the overall classification, after a clash with Andrea Iannone took him out of the race with eight laps remaining.

On the podium Rossi, Marquez, and third-placed Dani Pedrosa donned t-shirts that read “always in our hearts,” in memory of Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who died during practice on Friday.

Rossi later dedicated his victory to the rider, saying: “It was one of the best victories of my career and I dedicate it to Luis Salom and to all of his family.”

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