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Randy Mamola divulges his thoughts on the Gauloises Dutch TT

Randy Mamola divulges his thoughts on the Gauloises Dutch TT

We will never know the true answer on who would have won that race in Assenif it had not started raining. It was just heating up with Valentino Rossifinally getting past Max Biaggi but then Max past him before the raincame. I cannot say it was luck that Max crossed the line at the end of theprevious lap, because it was not, but just bad luck on us all that itrained.

For me it was Max who looked the most under control from the start untilthe red flag. He made a couple of bobbles but nothing compared to the otherriders around him. Loris Capirossi overtook both Max and Alex Barros goinginto turn one and ran wide. Max, once in the lead seemed in control,keeping the pace in the low 2m03s. The word was that the riders, but notMichelin, were worried about tyre wear from the middle to the end of therace. Assen is such a physically demanding racetrack, and you must use theguys in front of you as a guide to follow and you can actually save energyby following them. Loris told me he´d saved his energy and was certain hecould make a run for the win. It´s not sad or disappointing but the unknownis something we are going to have to live with but at the same time what agreat race.

Valentino made a bad start, Max leading from turn one and then Alex takingthe lead from him. Four guys so close at the finish and you just can´t askfor better racing. Valentino is on the edge more than I´ve seen him before. In Mugello he looked upsetting with the bike moving round a lot. I don´t think that this is his style because at the beginning of the year I don´t remember him riding like this. It seems like the more pressure hegets from Max and the championship makes him ride more aggressively.

On the other hand Max seems to be gaining momentum as we reach the half waystage of the season on Sunday. I think that Valentino may be able tocontrol this momentum but Max is riding really well and so full ofconfidence. It should be some race at Donington.

I was disappointed that Kenny Roberts could not hang in there with thoseguys. He did to a certain degree but then he did a 2m05s seconds lap andthen back to a 2m04 and 2m03s. I heard he´d pushed the front end hard butI´d like to see the blue machine stuck in with the red, yellow and blackbikes at the front because that would just be the icing on the cake. As Isaid I was disappointed that it did not happen but that does not stopSuzuki from trying and his team-mate Sete Gibernau did a good jobcompleting another race in seventh place.

Both Norick Abe and Carlos Checa crashed out which was such a shame. Norickdid not look special in testing but you never know with him when it comesto the race. Carlos admitted it was his mistake when he touched Norick´srear wheel, and let´s hope that Norick will be fit for Donington. He toldme if he is 80 per cent fit he will ride.

A lot of riders were upset about the race being cut short. They were notupset by the decision because it was correct but they were upset that therain came when they were ready to make their moves and strike. One ofthose was Jurgen vd Goorbergh who was fighting with Ukawa. The other guywas Leon Haslam who rode a fantastic race. He crashed in the morning andbroke the little finger on his right hand and he´s still recovering from abroken left wrist which is very tender and which he treats verycarefully. He beat Haruchika Aoki on a similar Honda twin and don´t forgetAoki won that second leg at Mugello and has also won two 125 cc WorldChampionships. Also he only finished two tenths of one second behind thefour-cylinder Yamaha of Cardoso. He was waiting until the last lap to passhim; because he knew the guys with the fastest bikes would being able topass him back.

Unfortunately Chris Walker was involved in a bad crash on Friday and Hagawas lucky to walk away from a similar accident. Hopefully Chris will be fitto ride at his home Grand Prix in Donington this weekend. He needs thoseBritish fans to come out and support him. Mentally he needs all the supporthe can get and needs people to help him. Not to put pressure on himwanting him to win but being there to support him when he´s up or he´sdown.

I don´t usually talk about the 250s but I´ve got to mention JeremyMcWilliams. Thirty-seven years old and first time he´s been on the top ofthe podium. So many people from the paddock said they could not have askedfor a better person to have won that race. I was rushing around and saw hewas leading the race with Melandri right behind him. When I looked again Isaw he was five seconds in the lead and the next time I saw the screen hewas 13 seconds in front of Alzamora. I thought there has got to besomething wrong here and he told me after the race he could not believehis pit board was telling him 13s lead. Surely there could not be a betterreason for people to come to Donington.

Finally don´t forget the Riders For Health Day of Champions at Donington onThursday and thanks to Max for holding up the sign from the start line inAssen. One of the biggest prizes of the weekend is to win a ride on thetwo-seat Yamaha YZR grand prix bike with yours truly at the front. Asalways there will be loads of memorabilia in the auction and there will bea special slalom scooter race for the MotoGP riders.

Last Thursday I went to a dinner in London to celebrate the fact thatRiders for Health was voted Charity of the Year in Great Britain in frontof Comic Relief and the Princess Diana Trust. So a big pat on the back toall the riders, teams and of most importantly the fans who have supportedus over the last 12 years. Our patron HRH Princess Anne was at the dinneralong with the World Health Organisation.

Thank you so much for all your support and please keep it coming.

500cc, 2001

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