(2006-06-25) 76th Dutch TT-Assen
Posted by Jorge on 2006-06-25
For those of you who don’t know me, or did not know, another hobby of mine is motorbikes!
And because of that, I attended the 76th TT-Assen (http://www.tt-assen.com/). TT-Assen is racing weekend for different categories (125 cc, 250cc, 1000cc and sidecars). Thursday and friday are the practice and qualification days and saturday is the actual racing day!
To describe TT-Assen… one heck of an event with a crap load of bikes all over the place. This year about 130000+ attendees! The nearer you get to Assen the more bikes you will see on each street or highway. This is also a place for some nuttcases that will do/have wheelies, burnouts, speeding, noisy exhausts, etc. The police is also all over the place to see to it that everyone follows the law and does not do any crazy stuff.
Assen is 250 km (about 3 hour drive) from Eindhoven and because of that I decided to go to the north Thursday evening and stay with my mother in law. On Friday I went towards Assen for the TT to meet with a friend of mine and enjoy the races. We met at the parking lot for bikes. To get an idea, see the picture. There was also a parking for all that came by car, but I doubt if those were on time because Assen was surrounded by traffic jams.
First training day: Colin Edwards (USA) had the fastest time that day (1’38.144).
After parking the bike and buying a ticket (20,00 euros) we went to the stands. It was an exciting day with a lot of fun! The noise those bikes make, and especially the 1000cc bikes, wowwww! The 1000cc bikes almost hit the 300km/h! 😉
Second training day: Valentino Rossi (ITA) had a crash on Thursday and as a result of that he experienced a hairline crack in his wrist. Even with that he still started during the practice race and the qualification race. He qualified for the 18th place for Saturday and you could see his driving skills were not that good as he must have been in a lot of pain because of the injury in his wrist.
John Hopkins (USA) had the fastest time that day (1’36.411) and got pole position for Saturday. Next to him on the same starting row was Colin Edwards (USA) and Shinya Nakano (JPN)
After the races I went with my friend to stay at his place so we could go together again with some other friends on Saturday.
Saturday morning 5 AM.. wake up call! arghgghhhhh! Auch that hurts when you only sleep for about 5 hours. A shower, breakfast, lots of coffee and departure at 6 AM with about 10 other friends. Even at that time, on the highway we were not alone. Bikers all over the place. All the gas stations we passed (we already filled up the day before) were crowded with a lot of bikers. As we arrived in Assen we parked the bikes.
After seeing the 125cc and the 250cc race it was time for the Moto GP (1000cc), finally! That was a beautiful race!
Valentino Rossi (current world champion) started as 18th and finished the race as 8th! It was so much fun to see that guy passed one of his rivals each round of the race. As he said himself, he was in too much pain to race well and decided to keep the 8th place and finish as such.
A few rounds after the start you could see it was going to be fight between Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden. During the race those two were switching between 1st and 2nd over and over again. In the last round it seemed Colin Edwards was going to win the race, but, it was Nicky Hayden who won the race as Colin Edwards was forced into the gravel and fell with the finish line about 100 meters ahead!!! Some race officials helped him get on his bike again and pushed him towards the finished line to cross it on his own.
Nicky Hayden was so happy it looked like he won the world that moment! I don’t blame him, it was his first victory that season.
Colin Edwards on the other side, was so pissed that happened to him. I don’t blame him either. I would be madly pissed if I lost with the finish line 100 meters ahead.
During the sidecar race we packed our stuff and decided to go home. Finally at the place where we parked our bikes I was surprised to see my bike would not start. The battery was completely empty. When I locked the bike I did not see I had put it in parking (and then the rear light burns until the battery is empty) The only way to get a bike running again was using jumper cables or having it pushed by some people. The last I knew it wasn’t going to work. Trust me, pushing a V-twin bike trying to start it is no fun at all. So we needed jumper cables. However have you ever met someone on a bike with jumper cables? I never did, until that day. It was a guy on a Goldwing (enough room there to bring a fridge) that had jumper cables. So, we tried our luck, but… no luck at all because the battery of a bike most of the times is too weak to another bike. Finally we found a car with jumper cables and I knew it was going to work, and it did! 😉
That car owner (never seen the guy in my life) was even that nice to borrow me his jumper cables to get home, because if during my travel I needed to start the bike again for some reason I would have the same problem again (lots of cars, but not that many with jumper cables!)
Well I got home without troubles and next week I’m going to mail someone his jumper cables back him! ;-))
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