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McWilliams takes stunning first GP victory

McWilliams takes stunning first GP victory

Jeremy McWilliams took his first Grand Prix win today in drying conditions in Holland, and with it he became the first Briton to win a Grand Prix since Ian McConnachie won in the 80cc at Donington in 1986. He won by a stunning 16.371 second gap to second placed rider, Spaniard Emilio Alzamora who was in front of compatriot David de Gea. For all three it was the first podium of the year, and it makes a real change to not see one of the two main protagonists of the championship, Katoh and Harada in the main positions.

McWilliams led throughout the whole race, lapping at a much quicker speed than any other rider, mainly because of his tyre choice, which was a tyre in between a slick and a intermediate, perfect for a drying track. Many riders had made bad choices, and as McWilliams set lap after lap of fast times, he had opened up a 14 second lead by the sixth lap. By this time, it was Alzamora tracking him, who had made excellent progress through the pack on the second of the Telefonica Movistar Honda bikes. He himself was now pulling away from De Gea, and the gap ended up at 22 seconds as he lapped as quickly as McWilliams. De Gea himself had a great ride, just holding off Guintoli´s last lap charge.

As for the championship leaders, Katoh will see the other half of his team celebrating for once, as he finished eleventh and out of the top ten for the first time in 26 consecutive races. Harada went out on wet tyres, and came in to the pits to change for slicks, setting the race fastest lap by 1.2 seconds, but finishing in 24th place overall. The championship standings do not change much tonight as McWilliams will celebrate with his team and his family long into the night.

250cc, 2001, Gauloises Dutch TT, RAC

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