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Valentino Rossi holds off Marc Marquez in tight duel to win in Assen, extend MotoGP lead

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ASSEN, Netherlands — Valentino Rossi won a tight duel with reigning world champion Marco Marquez to win Saturday's Motul TT Assen and stretch his lead atop the MotoGP standings.

It was the Italian nine-time world champion's seventh MotoGP victory on the Assen track in the northern Netherlands.

PHOTO: Valentino Rossi of Italy powers his Yamaha during the free practice of the Dutch MotoGP Grand Prix, in Assen, northern Netherlands, Friday June 26, 2015. Rossi qualified pole-position. (AP Photo/Vincent Jannink)
Valentino Rossi of Italy powers his Yamaha during the free practice of the Dutch MotoGP Grand Prix, in Assen, northern Netherlands, Friday June 26, 2015. Rossi qualified pole-position. (AP Photo/Vincent Jannink)

Marquez tried to overtake the Italian nine-time champion on the final chicane of the race and the pair appeared to touch, forcing Marquez to slow down and sending Rossi through the gravel before he crossed the line in 40 minutes, 54.037 seconds, 1.242 seconds ahead of Marquez.

Rossi's Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who had won four straight MotoGP races coming into Assen, settled for third place after starting from eighth on the grid.

It was Rossi's third victory of the season.

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