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Biaggi takes win in Assen after race stopped due to rain

Biaggi takes win in Assen after race stopped due to rain

The hype had been building up ever since the events between them last week, everyone was expecting it to be a battle of wits out on the track, and so it proved to be, with Max Biaggi taking Round 7 of the 500cc World Championships from his compatriot Valentino Rossi after a rain burst stopped proceedings after 15 laps had been completed. Pole position holder Loris Capirossi took third in this Gauloises Dutch TT, in what is the second consecutive all Italian podium of the year.

Biaggi held off a charging Rossi, who yet again had to claw his way through a tight pack of riders, to take Yamaha´s first victory at Assen since Wayne Rainey won here in 1989, and broke a Honda winning streak of 7 consecutive races at the Dutch circuit. The stoppage came on the 16th lap when rain began to spit down, after having let up for both the 125 and the 250 races. It was exciting stuff on the previous lap: Biaggi had let Rossi through to lead, but recovered it almost immediately, and then they crossed the line almost together weaving all over the track, in what ultimately turned out to be the finish line. It couldn´t have been any closer really and was the track scrap that the public had been waiting for.

Behind the two dog fighting Italians, came Capirossi, whose magnificent practice times deserted him at the crucial moment and left him to hold off his West Honda Pons team-mate Barros for third. After Barros had led until the 6th lap, both had been taken by Rossi on the 11th lap, but had remained in close contact with the front two, Capirossi finishing just 0.732 seconds behind Biaggi at the end of 15 laps timing, and Barros just behind.

Norick Abe is currently in the medical centre with what looks like a nasty open wound on his left knee, after having been taken out from behind by Carlos Checa on the 3rd lap who also remained in the gravel. Criville was the other faller in what turned out to be a dry race.

500cc, 2001

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