MotoGP »

Rossi wins despite McWilliams grit.

Next time around, the wet-shod riders gobbled up second placed Ukawa and set off in pursuit of the leader. Jacque knew they were coming, but could do little to defend himself and, despite holding a twelve second lead going into the last lap, found Waldmann coming past exiting Goddards.

''I'm really happy with second, to be honest,'' the Frenchman admitted, ''It was so easy to crash today. I couldn't do anything about Ralf - I could see him in the final corner, but my bike was spinning [its wheels] even on the straight, so it was impossible to stop him.''

The grip of the Aprilia was noticeable, as it wheelied past the Yamaha. The silver bike was scrabbling for traction in comparison and, had the finish line been further away, Jacque would have lost second to Matsudo as well. As it was he managed to hold on, while Ukawa and Vincent maintained fourth and fifth through the final stages.

''Everybody saw me going to the pits to swap to my wet bike,'' Waldmann smiled afterwards, ''and even the mechanics told me that it was a mistake to take it. But at Assen, on intermediates, I was being passed many times, so I thought it was worth the risk. In the first few laps, however, I thought perhaps it was a bad mistake, but then it began to rain, and I came back. I've had some bad luck this year, but today I was lucky to win the race.''

Championship leader Shinya Nakano could only manage seventh place, and consequently loses his place at the head of the table to team-mate Jacque after trailing home behind the impressive Alex Debon. Johan Stigefelt took eighth, while fancied front-runner Daijiro Katoh dropped to tenth at the flag. British privateer wild card Gary Haslam took 13th, with Julien Allemand, who left qualifying in an ambulance, took a meritable point in 15th.

Youichi Ui also had to contend with the elements as he won the 125cc race, with a mid-race rain delay halting proceedings after just eight laps.

The little Japanese led from the first green light, initially from the fast-starting Lucio Cecchinello and then, when the Italian began to fade, from reigning champion Emilio Alzamora. The front two had begun to pull away when the first rain of the day began to fall and, on lap nine, the red flags came out to call a temporary halt to proceedings.

Behind Alzamora, championship leader Roberto Locatelli had also passed Cecchinello for third, with the Givi rider's team-mate Noboru Ueda making it into fourth spot for the restart. A bigger loser than Cecchinello, however, was the returning Mirko Giansanti, who wasted his seventh place on the grid by making an awful start and dropping to 17th.

After a delay of roughly 25 minutes, the field was back on track which, by now, was as dry as when it had first appeared. Ui again made a good start, but could not live with that of Ueda, and had to cede the advantage on the road to the LCR man. The two circulated in close company for the opening laps of the second part, with Alzamora, Locatelli and the two Benetton Playlife bikes of Giansanti and Masao Azuma also in the mix. Out of it, however, were Gino Borsoi and Ivan Goi, who came together on the run down Craner, and speared into the infield gravel trap.

With Ui and Alzamora playing a tight game of cat-and-mouse on the road, each knowing that the slightest slip could gift the other the race win, Ueda and Azuma were momentarily allowed to escape at the front. Ueda was playing a similar game with Locatelli, after mere tenths spilt them at the interval, and was grateful for his compatriot's rise through the ranks acting as a distraction for those behind.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Rossi leads McWilliams and Roberts
Sasaki, French moto3 race 2017
Canet, French moto3 race 2017
Kent, French moto3 race 2017
Bastianini, French moto3 race 2017
Pulkkinen, French moto3 race 2017
Sasaki, French moto3 race 2017
Antonelli, French moto3 race 2017
Bendsneyder, French moto3 race 2017
Kent, French moto3 race 2017
Bastianini, French moto3 race 2017
Canet, French moto3 race 2017
Kornfeil, French moto3 race 2017
Dalla Porta, French moto3 race 2017
Pulkkinen, French moto3 race 2017
Kent, French moto3 race 2017
Sasaki, Moto3 race, French MotoGP 2017
Canet, Moto3 race, French MotoGP 2017

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.