Valentino Rossi continued his winning ways with another dominant performance at the Dutch GP on Saturday, taking his tally of wins this season to six out of seven so far.
But it was the old school two-stroke veteran Alex Barros on the West Honda NSR that made the early running. The Brazilian sprinted through the leading pack of Rossi, Tohru Ukawa, Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa, the higher corner speed of the NSR carrying him past the heavier four-strokes.
Only Rossi had the pace to stay with him and the power to pass him on the relatively short start/finish straight. In the end Rossi won comfortably, with Barros easing off at the death, seemingly happy to take the podium and the twenty points for second. Rossi’s Repsol Honda teammate Ukawa wass locked in a battle for third with the Malboro Yamaha M1 of Carlos Checa. But a last lap clash saw the pair off the track – Checa recovering first to take third.
The other red and white M1 of Biaggi took fourth, while Ukawa had enough time to get his battered bike of the Dutch turf for fifth.
Jeremy McWilliams was forced to retire with a gearbox failure only miuntes after his Proton teammate Nobuatsu Aoki also DNF’d with a mechanical problem. Regis Laconi also retired – the first time this season his Aprilia RS3 has failed to score a point.
1)V Rossi 2)A Barros 3)C Checa 4)M Biaggi 5)T Ukawa 6)K Roberts 7)J Hopkins 8)S Nakano 9)N Abe 10)J ven de Goorbergh 11)A Hoffman 12)D Kato 13)T Harada 14)O Jacque 15)A Ryo
1)M Melandri 2)T Elias 3)R Rolfo 4)S Porto 5)F Nieto 6) H Aoki 7)R Locatelli 8)C Stoner 9)F Battaini 10)S Yuzy 11)R Waldmann 12)A Debon 13)R Jara 14)N Matsudo 15)V Philippe 16)D Checa 17)T Sekiguichi 18)J Janssen 19)J Vincent 20)D Heidolf 21)P Poitiek 22)J Boesveld 23)G Pieper
1)D Pedrosa 2)M Poggiali 3)J Olive 4)A Vincent 5)L Cecchinello 6)S Jenkner 7)P Nieto 8)Y Ui 9)A de Angelis 10)A Rodriguez 11)A Dovizioso 12)S Sanna 13)G Borsoi 14)M Azuma 15)G Talmasci…..24)C.Davies…28)L Camier