After the carnage that resembled a race in Catalunya, the MotoGP field crosses the continent to the Netherlands with Rossi rapidly reeling in his opponents lead in the championship. The A-Style TT Assen (It’s held on SATURDAY people so you have been warned!) is in the middle of a 5 races in 6 weeks, mid season grind that Rossi is a master of dominating. He has regularly destroyed any opponents championship hopes in this part of the season and he is in the process of repeating this again in 2006. He was unstoppable on worn tires at Catalunya and made Colin Edwards look, well, slow. Assen is a truly holy place of MotoGP racing. It used to be a track that some very talented riders truly feared due to its high speeds, variable weather conditions and weird track cambers. The old 500 cc animals used to maim many a rider around here and I remember Rossi spraying bits of yellow Honda NSR500 100 metres down the track after a particularly nasty high side. Recently some slight track alterations have resulted in a slower, slightly shorter version of the classic TT circuit that many riders claim has emasculated a once classic circuit. This has allowed Phillip Island to lift the mantle above all others at the fastest MotoGP circuit on the planet. Hooray!! Ducati are left reeling after the first corner drama at Catalunya. It is doubtful Sete, Marco and Loris will all make the grid at Assen at the time of writing and I will make no jokes here but to wish all hurt riders good luck in there mending. Doctor Costa can work some miracles with bent and broken riders so hopefully we see some of them back soon. This will definitely require a call up of some Ducati test riders or maybe Troy Bayliss from World SBK? (I will throw that one out there to spark outrage and nationalistic arguing!!) Hopefully Kenny Roberts Jr will have recovered from the week long bender celebrating his 1 st podium finish in 73 years. Kenny Roberts, John Hopkins and Junior were last seen in a Barcelona strip club arm in arm with some saucy flamenco dancers. Suzuki look to have finally made a little progress with there piece of junk could put in a good showing at Assen. It was an awful weekend for the Honda riders at Catalunya. Melandri was hurt. Pedrosa, Stoner and Elias all crashed out. Tamada, a spent force, was now where to be seen all race. That left Hayden to try and fight Rossi. He put up a valiant fight and accepted second place with good grace, but privately I bet he is wondering what he has to do to beat the mighty Vale. His ride to second was good for his championship, but he is going to have to beat Rossi in Assen, Donnigton or the Sachsenring because he can’t afford to wait until Laguna Seca for his next win. Honda should throw all there cards behind this young guy as he just needs a little bit more bike at the end of races to be able to fight for the win. Kawasaki were a non-factor again last race and I don’t really expect them do put in a showing at Assen. This has disappointed me somewhat as I expected better from the god-awful green coloured machines. If you watch only a few races a year, then this is one not to miss. So I’m going to slip into some comfy clogs, and crack a case of Heineken on SATURDAY night and watch a bunch sore and sorry mad men race around one of the best tracks in the world.