Assen and Donington are both considered classic motorcycle racing circuits. They are also considered as easy places to make mistakes at. Experienced riders know that championships hopes can be raised or dashed at one of these two races. For the ...
Assen and Donington are both considered classic motorcycle racing circuits. They are also considered as easy places to make mistakes at. Experienced riders know that championships hopes can be raised or dashed at one of these two races. For the Repsol YPF Honda team, Assen went pretty well. Alex Crivillé starred in the two-part race and gave Honda¹s Alex Barros a tough time to finish second behind the Brazilian. That has given Crivillé twenty valuable points and a good morale boost. But there was more to come during the week that followed the Dutch Grand Prix.
Crivillé flew to Japan where he was the only rider to test a new chassis on his world championship winning Honda. "I went to Japan to test the chassis but things didn¹t quite go according to plan," Crivillé explained. "The chassis is designed to cope with the extra power our engine makes and therefore help make the bike more controllable. But the weather wasn¹t with us on this test. Despite the rain, we were able to test on the first day but it rained really hard on the next day and there was no point in risking anything with those conditions."
Tadayuki Okada was also present at the tests, but he wasn¹t riding his regular Grand Prix Repsol YPF Honda. Instead, Okada went to Japan to practice for the upcoming Suzuka 8 Hour Endurance race, one of the most important events of the year in Japan. Despite a somewhat disappointing final race result in Assen, Okada is optimistic about Donington. When the Assen race was stopped after three laps because of the rain, Okada was in second place and looking good. A poor tyre choice for the second race, held on a drying track which made choosing the right tyre for the event very difficult. "I was upset that we got the tyre choice wrong," Okada admits. "I had no traction at all in the second part of the race, but I felt very comfortable in the first part. That¹s good news for Donington, a circuit which I like."
Sete Gibernau had the same experience as Okada, but in reverse. Not too fast in the first part of the race, he fea strongly in the second, leading on the track for quite a while. "I was right up there in Assen and I even led the race before my tyres started going off too much," recalls Gibernau. "But when the track dried out completely my tyres weren¹t suited to the conditions and I had to slow down. Despite that, I¹m happy that our hard work is finally beginning to pay off. I¹m looking for more at Donington." <pre> Length: 4.023 metres Race distance: 120.69 kilometers
Starting grid 1999 1 T. Okada 1¹32.597 2 A. Crivillé 1¹32.660 3 M. Biaggi 1¹32.772 4 N. Abe 1¹33.016 5 K. Roberts 1¹33.028 6 J. Borja 1¹33.053 7 T. Harada 1¹33.075 8 R. Laconi 1¹33.336 9 S. Gibernau 1¹33.355 10 J. Kocinski 1¹33.493 11 A. Barros 1¹33.523 12 N. Aoki 1¹33.530 13 C. Checa 1¹33.575 14 H. Aoki 1¹34.071 15 J. Whitham 1¹34.133 16 G. McCoy 1¹34.163 17 J. Vd. Goorbergh 1¹34.348 18 JL. Cardoso 1¹34.409 19 S. Crafar 1¹34.678 20 S. Gimbert 1¹35.169 21 M. Rutter 1¹35.361 22 J. McGuinness 1¹35.401 23 M. Ober 1¹36.169
Pole position in 1999: Tadayuki OKADA 1¹32.597 Fastest lap in 1999: Alex CRIVILLÉ (Lap 6) 1¹33.348
Race results in 1999: 1 A. Crivillé 47¹06.290 2 T. Okada 47¹06.826 3 T. Harada 47¹07.271 4 M. Biaggi 47¹16.310 5 A. Barros 47¹27.606 6 N. Abe 47¹27.781 7 J. Borja 47¹28.249 8 K. Roberts 47¹28.520 9 J. Kocinski 48¹07.363 10 S. Crafar 48¹13.259 11 M. Rutter 47¹18.553
Not Classified R. Laconi 39¹18.998 J. McGuinness 37¹23.031 H. Aoki 27¹42.238
Not racing S. Gibernau
World Championship 2000 1 K. Roberts 125 2 C. Checa 111 3 N. Abe 91 4 L. Capirossi 89 5 A. Crivillé 79 6 A. Barros 77 7 N. Aoki 75 8 V. Rossi 67 9 G. McCoy 62 10 R. Laconi 51 11 T. Okada 48 12 J. vd. Goorbergh 45 13 M. Biaggi 44 14 J. McWilliams 38 15 T. Harada 26 16 S. Gibernau 25