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Barros win tops a wild day at Assen

Rossi clung on for sixth overall after a great scrap with local hero Jurgen Van De Goorbergh. Van De Goorbergh led the re-started race on the road in the early laps, making up several places overall in the opening laps of the second segment, but had to settle for ninth overall behind part two pacesetters Gibernau and Laconi.

Norick Abe faded in the closing stages with atrocious handling on his Antena 3 Yamaha and struggled home in tenth place overall, just ahead of Tadayuki Okada who made the wrong choice of tyres.

Sadly there was no joy for the two British representatives in the field. Jeremy McWilliams struck mechanical problems on the grid and completed a single lap before pulling off the course while Phil Giles on the Sabre Sport Honda V-Twin ran well at the back of the field until he ran out of fuel on the penultimate lap.

Tohru Ukawa emerged triumphant from a gloomy Assen to take 250cc glory but only after a titanic struggle with his Honda team-mate Anthony West.

The rain had abated between the 125 and 250cc races which forced the assembling 250 riders into a difficult decision. Do I go out on wets or intermediates? The race was declared wet and therefore if the track dried out the race wouldn't be stopped.

Perhaps with that piece of information in mind, Ralf Waldmann and Marco Melandri who sat 1st and 2nd on the grid, chose to put intermediates on their Aprilia's. Further down the field Jay Vincent, Klaus Nohles, Franco Battaini, Johan Stigefelt and Luca Boscoscuro all gambled on taking a wet front and an intermediate rear. It was the wrong decision.

By the end of the first lap Shinya Nakano and Olivier Jacque had burst through from 3rd and 4th on the grid to take the top two positions while Tohru Ukawa and Anthony West, who qualified 22nd, had emerged in third and fourth places. Waldmann meanwhile was 18th and Melandri 27th.

West then made light work of the leading trio and moved through to take top spot where he was followed by his team-mate Ukawa. For lap after lap these two thrilled the damp Assen crowd but eventually Ukawa was able to pull away.

West then came under pressure from the two Tech 3 Yamaha's and on lap 14 Jacque was through. West held on for al he was worth but with a dry line emerging around half of the track Nakano was able to use his experience in mixed conditions to good effect and snatched the final podium place on the penultimate tour.

The top four were in a race of their own although there was an equally exciting battle going on behind them for fifth place which was eventually won by Naoki Matsudo who fended off Jamie Robinson and Sebastian Porto.



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