'There is life in the old dog yet' and 'Every dog has his day' were the expressions being bounded around the paddock after the three Dutch TT races at Assen - particularly as the 250 race had been won by Belfast's Jeremy McWilliams.

Having been involved in the championship since 1993, the Aprilia rider has finally laid all of the ghosts to rest from all of the bad luck days he has had in the past. He ranked it as the best day in his career, alongside getting pole in the 500 class in Australia last year on the Aprilia twin. The faith that Aprilia have put in him has been repaid both ways. He has given them a win and they have given him a win too. Marrrvelous!

The race started under damp conditions, but not so fully wet that they would have needed full wet tyres. Jeremy opted to not go to the dummy grid in preference to hold on to the last moment in order to make the right tyre choice. The clouds were high but drifting away, so the question was whether or not any rain would return to the track during the 45-minute race. Many started on wets - although some opted for slicks at both ends - but a finely cut slick on Jeremy's Aprilia was just the answer. Full wets on Harada's Aprilia proved that they were not the answer, and the pole winner had to come in and change tyres. He rejoined at fastest lap pace on slicks, but he was way, way down and not going to trouble the scorers.

Jeremy had pulled out a comfortable advantage of over ten seconds as soon as the works Honda of Alzamora, on slicks homed in on a podium place. The Spaniard really had nothing to lose as he was starting from 17th spot - indeed, 's**t or bust' was more the train of thought...

Spain's David de Gea on the TZ Yamaha also went for the same choice as Alzamora, and secured his first ever podium to complement Jeremy's first ever win. As I said on the TV, and as I will continue to say in many races, everyone was a winner on the podium. It was a joy to have Adrian Coates in the commentary box with me and the goose pimples were like mountains on his arms as the race came to a close.

It is a worry though to see that an unsponsored bike can go on to win a grand prix in front of all of those people and in front of all of that live TV audience. It is sad to think that there is not a sponsor from the UK prepared to be associated with Jeremy for the future - and possibly even more wins! For example, after the 500 race, there was the latest round of the European 250s where Coates won convincingly in a field full of Spaniards and other riders with better sponsored bikes than some 250 World Championship runners! What is going on? Surely someone out there has some money they don't want the tax man to see!!

The 500s saw a build-up to what could have been the best last four laps of classic Assen racing between Rossi and Biaggi, but the rain fell onto the dry track, curtailing the race there and then considering that the 66.6 per cent race distance had been passed a few laps earlier.

We will never know who would have won the battle to the flag as a resumption of the Catalan 'punches', but, at the moment, Rossi still has the upper hand in that he leads the championship by 21 points going into Donington.

To be fair to Rossi, he never had chance to implement a race winning manoeuvre, but Max had the knowledge of leading across the line every lap just in case the rain came - which of course it did - so that if and when a race was stopped for rain, the results would be taken back a click and he would be the winner. Clever thinking that....

There was no Chris Walker at Assen, after he suffered a massive practice crash at over 150mph. A big bang on the head knocked him out, and he was held in hospital overnight for checks every hour. He returned to the track on Saturday - but slept for the entire day! The latest report I heard was that it was a 50-50 chance of him getting an all-clear from the 'quack' for Donington. Fingers are crossed though.

Better news is that Jay Vincent will ride the spare Red Bull Yamaha YZR500 this coming weekend at Donington Park, as regular pilot Garry McCoy is still recovering from a broken bone in his wrist which he suffered at the French Grand Prix six weeks ago. Vincent has run with the Pulse GP squad in 500 this year, on what are essentially the MuZ Weber bikes from 1999 bought when a big money investor helped the purchase of the entire ex-Rolf Biland run team.

Results this year have been poor, and reports from around the paddock say there are not paying invoices nor mechanics nor PR staff. Mmmm, not a good scenario, that one... Jay's race at the weekend in Holland lasted just one lap in a season so far that has not seen his bike get to the end of a race once inside the top 15 finishers. Believe me, it ain't gonna to happen either.....

Abe was a mess after Checa tipped him off in the midst of a half-hearted passing manoeuvre. He wasn't even showing Norick a wheel at the time, but Checa grabbed a handful of brake and went flying into the Japanese. Abe's knee protector - in the leathers - then dug into his knee and made a mess. His shoulder was dodgy too, with his arm in a sling. Shame for him as he was the innocent party.

For Toni Elias, it was a good win and a fair win that has tipped the 125 championship around in some style, but Assen - for thousands of travelling fans - was all about Jezza and his 250 success.

That was a good day for everyone and a perfect intro to the British GP at Donington Park this coming weekend - see you there! Try www.donington-park.co.uk as the place to book tickets for race day!




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