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Mick Doohan dissects the day´s action in Assen

Mick Doohan dissects the day´s action in Assen

It definitely looked like a tough 500 race out there today, with the weather conditions in the morning making circumstances difficult for all the riders. Initially it looked like Barros was the man who was going to take control, and after he got off to such a good start I half expected him to run away with the race. Unfortunately for him his team-mate Loris Capirossi was not prepared to let him get away with it so easily and both him and Max Biaggi made good runs to cut down the difference early on.

Biaggi is riding very well at the moment and it seemed to me that he had found a good setting for his bike and was getting excellent traction at the beginning of the race when other riders were spinning a bit. Rossi was spinning a lot but conserved his tyres well and it was such a shame the race was cut short because those last five laps would have been extremely interesting. It´s impossible to say what would have happened because on current form there´s no doubt Max would have made it very difficult for Valentino to get past. The question is whether he could have outsmarted Max, because Assen is very much a thinker´s track. Valentino is that sort of rider, so there´s no doubt it would have been an exciting finale to what I though all in all was a good race.

It was fantastic to see Jeremy McWilliams win his first Grand Prix in the 250 class. He made the right tyre choice and took a gamble on his race strategy which paid off big time, but nobody won the race for him and he deserves all the credit. It´s great to see a British guy win at last, and I´m delighted it was Jeremy because he is a top bloke and I wish him all the best for his home GP next week.

Just a quick word for Toni Elias and Alberto Puig. Toni has made fantastic progress this year and his performance in Assen was a credit to himself, Alberto and the whole team. For them to take their first victory in such tough circumstances is superb and they clearly have a big future in the sport.

As far as the 500 Championship is concerned it is always difficult to predict what will happen, but despite Max´s recent form I still see Valentino as the most consistent rider and the favourite to lift the title. Either way, Max´s victory in Assen is good for the spectators as it brings the two of them closer together and we can look forward to another showdown at Donington. I won´t be at the race as I´m heading for America now but I´ll be telling you my thoughts as always before the race and will be writing for motograndprix.com as soon as the race is over.

Speak to you soon,

Mick

Tags:
500cc, 2001

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