Top three riders arrived at the podium wearing T-shirts honoring Salom, the 24-year-old Moto2 rider who died after colliding with a protective barrier at the Barcelona track on Friday practice.
“I was in front for the entire race and I pushed hard, even though I wasn’t able to build a gap and breakaway,” Rossi told reporters.
“I was worried at the end, but when Marquez passed me I knew then that I could win. After that I got past and created a big enough margin to win. It’s one of the best victories of my career and I dedicate it to Salom and his family.
“It doesn’t mean a lot unfortunately, because nothing can bring him back and that is what we want. That is why it was right to remember him and stay close to his family.”
Rossi now just 22 points behind the title leader Marc Marquez in the standings.
“I didn’t have enough so I decided not to risk it too much,” Marquez said, who finish second from Pole for Barcelona GP.
“It was important that we shook hands, motorcycling deserved it,” Marquez said. “We had a great battle in a weekend in which we were reminded that we are all humans. We have to respect each other, we don’t know what’s going to happen to us.”