Rossi says win among his very best

Valentino Rossi said his battle for victory with Jorge Lorenzo in the Catalunya Grand Prix was among the hardest fights of his career

Rossi says win among his very best

The two Yamaha riders swapped the lead repeatedly on the final lap, before Rossi secured victory with a bold dive at the very last corner of the race.

The reigning champion reckoned the dice out-ranked even his now-legendary dice with Casey Stoner at Laguna Seca last summer.

"What a great fight, it was awesome," Rossi told Italia1. "Laguna Seca with Stoner was good, but it ended eight laps earlier.

"Lorenzo was extremely strong, this has been one of the hardest fights ever. It will be difficult to beat him in the future, we'll need to always be 100 per cent, but we've beaten him today."

He said he was particularly delighted to have clinched the win with a last-corner move, as the fast final right-hander at Barcelona is not usually regarded as an overtaking spot.

"I've been dreaming of this overtaking manoeuvre in that spot for years, because that's one of the hardest spots to overtake," said Rossi.

"It worked once for me with Stoner in 2007, but it wasn't the last lap, and then he overtook me back and went on to win.

"Doing it on the last lap was incredible. Certainly now the riders ahead must know that when I'm behind them I can overtake them from all sides!

"It's been a perfect weekend for us, because we worked extremely well on the bike, and to beat Lorenzo I had to be 100 per cent.

"So it will be difficult in the future, but at moment I'm happy, it's 99 wins for me, and anyone who wanted a last-lap battle in MotoGP got what he asked for today, I think.

"I don't know if it's just a coincidence, but when there are last-lap battles I'm always in them! Today I confirmed I'm tough in close battles, and this is important under many points of view."

The win increased Rossi's tally to 99 grand prix wins, but he admitted few had been this hard-fought.

"With 99 victories and a career as long as mine it's always difficult to say which is the best one, but I think this is among the top three," he said. "It certainly was very exciting."

With Stoner third behind the two Yamahas, all three Catalunya podium finishers are now tied atop the championship table on 106 points - a situation Rossi finds just as exciting as today's lead battle.

"It's incredible: the talk of this race will be about the last laps, but to have a championship with three riders on joint points after six races... no one knows when it last happened," he said. "It will be good to the end."

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