Assen GP Race Results

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
The Dutch GP was another exciting race as we've come to expect this year. There were some surprises, though -- just like always.

The winner of the race was dedicated and actually set a set new lap recorn on the penultimate lap, shagged tires and all...

Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda Team RCV211V) waited until the 16th lap ofthe 19-lap Dutch TT to take the lead and from that point on his supremacywas never in question, setting the fastest lap of the race and the newrecord with a time of 2:00.973. Remarkably Rossi’s best time was set on thepenultimate lap, when tyres on all machines are normally past their optimumgrip level.

Despite the depressingly frequent rain showers in practice the trackremained dry throughout the race and the 101,521 Saturday spectators weretreated to a MotoGP race full of incident.

Starting from pole position Rossi was content to sit in the seven riderwarring group that disputed the lead in the early laps, until Alex Barros(West Honda Pons NSR500) shot through on lap three to make a clean break atthe front.

Rossi upped his pace to follow the Brazilian rider, keeping pace with himfor 12 laps, frequently probing and testing Barros across the start/finishstraight. Rossi eventually made his decisive move over the line andimmediately found another second per lap until the chequered flag appeared.

“As I expected that was very difficult,” said a satisfied World Champion.“My start was not so bad and I had a close first lap contest with CarlosCheca. I was happy in the first group until Alex Barros arrived and therhythm of the race changed completely. Immediately he went a second fasterand I tried to overtake Kenny Roberts as quickly as possible, so I couldstay with Alex, because I was worried he might get away. I have never seena 500cc two-stroke ridden as fast as that since 2000. I was helped when Ipushed hard on the last two laps because my bike was better than his onacceleration. I made two good laps at the end, both inside 2 minutes zero,and that gave me the win.” Rossi’s latest victory extended his championshiplead to 62 points.

Barros was resigned to give best to the faster four-stroke machine on thefinal few laps, despite never abandoning his last-gasp pursuit of thefleeing Rossi. “The beginning was very good and the fantastic two-strokemachine I have helped me. I arrived in the first group very fast and pushedto make a gap. I knew Valentino was behind me but I knew that he could passanytime. I tried to go with him when he came by, but it was just notpossible.”

RACE RESULTS :MotoGP :Race Classification 500cc : (19 laps - 114.513 km)Pos/Rider/ Nation/ Team/Motorcycle/Time/Km/h1/Valentino ROSSI /ITA /Repsol Honda Team/HONDA /38'49.425/176.9732/Alex BARROS /BRA /West Honda Pons/HONDA /38'51.658/176.8043/Carlos CHECA /SPA /Marlboro Yamaha Team/YAMAHA /38'59.107/176.2414/Max BIAGGI /ITA /Marlboro Yamaha Team/YAMAHA /39'02.733/175.9685/Tohru UKAWA /JPN /Repsol Honda Team/HONDA /39'21.811/174.5466/Kenny ROBERTS /USA /Telefonica Movistar Suzuki/SUZUKI /39'22.703/174.4817/John HOPKINS /USA /Red Bull Yamaha WCM/YAMAHA /39'24.888/174.3198/Shinya NAKANO /JPN /Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3/YAMAHA /39'25.044/174.3089/Norick ABE /JPN /Antena 3 Yamaha d'Antín/YAMAHA /39'26.868/174.17310/Jurgen vd GOORBERGH/NED /Kanemoto Racing/HONDA /39'37.525/173.39311/Alex HOFMANN /GER /Red Bull Yamaha WCM/YAMAHA /39'37.750/173.37612/Daijiro KATO /JPN /Fortuna Honda Gresini/HONDA /39'38.796/173.313/Tetsuya HARADA /JPN /Pramac Honda Racing Team/HONDA /39'41.183/173.12614/Olivier JACQUE /FRA /Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3/YAMAHA /40'01.215/171.68215/Akira RYO /JPN /Team Suzuki/SUZUKI /42'03.824/163.342Fastest Lap : Rossi, 2'00.973 - 179.355 Km/hWORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POSITIONS:1 Rossi 170, 2 Ukawa 108, 3 Checa 72, 4 Barros 71, 5 Biagi 69, 6 Capirossi65, 7 Abe 59,8 Kato 51, 9 Roberts 38, 10 Hopkins 33, 11 Jacqeu 31, 12 Aoki 28, 13 Laconi28, 14 Harada 27, 15 Ryo 26.
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