Indianapolis MotoGP Reaction: Valentino Rossi creates history with 69th win
Victory in a storm lashed Indianapolis clash saw him break Italian legend Giacomo Agostini’s long-standing record of 68 wins as he held off a gutsy challenge from Nicky Hayden.
Rossi was only fourth at the end of the first lap and he was relegated to fifth on lap two when Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo swept by with an aggressive move.
But the 29-year-old quickly got into his stride in appalling conditions to take fourth back from Ducati rival Stoner on lap three.
He took third from Lorenzo on the fourth lap and then hounded Repsol Honda rider Hayden for the next eight laps before making his decisive move on lap 14.
Rossi was able to comfortably pull away from the American to register his fourth win in a row and the 69th of a glorious career.
“This is fantastic because it’s been a long time since I won in the rain and even longer since I won four in a row! To win the first race here at Indianapolis is a great emotion and to beat Agostini’s record is also incredible, now I hope my record will stand for 30 years like his!
"It was an amazing race and, once I was able to pass Stoner, I knew I had the chance to win so I pushed very hard. I had a great race with Nicky; he was really hard to pass so congratulations to him. When the wind and rain came it became very hard, I think I could have kept going for another eight laps okay but there were things flying through the air – beer cans, plastic glasses – so really I think it was the right decision to stop the race!
"Sincerely I don’t think I’ve ever ridden in conditions like these and I was lucky because I was far in front and therefore didn’t have to take any big risks. It’s been a perfect weekend for us despite the weather because we made the pole position, the fastest lap and we won, so I want to congratulate my team once again for a fantastic job, today and all year.
"Also thanks to Bridgestone because my tyres were very good today. I’ve really enjoyed racing here in Indy and I am looking forward to coming back next year. Now we have a big advantage and it would be great to win the championship in Motegi, but it’s not over yet so we will keep our concentration and keep working!
"Finally I want to dedicate this victory to my Grandfather Dario, who sadly died today aged 82.”