We took the train from Amsterdam, changing at Amersfoort with hundreds of fellow enthusiasts, and arrived at Assen two and half hours latter. Five Euros for a bus ride that got us within walking distance of the track, and funnelled us toothpaste through the narrow gates into the famous Assen track.
The leather clad cosmopolitan crowd from around the world but for many they became Italian for the MotoGP, cheering wildly for their hero Valentino Rossi, The Doctor and seven time World Champion. Luminescent yellow shirts emblazoned with his face and number filled the stands. Rossi has become the face of MotoGP but is it healthy for the sport to be nominated by one talented individual? Casey Stoner, current leader in the Championship, only existed to be beaten for many fans even his Italian mount winning him few converts.
Unlike Australian GP events, every vantage point is ticketed and you view all the races from your preassigned section. I chose poorly, sitting too low and blocking my camera angles with high fences with much of the track out of sight. Thankfully, a big video screen kept us involved with the action.
The crowd ploughed through piles of fries and gallons of beer and other drinks but when you need to go fulfil nature’s plan, the facilities were lacking. Men spread across the treeline returning to nature the moisture they absorbed. The lesson, do not ly on the grass under the trees in Holland, some may have been there before you.
Racing complete, the crowd (except Aussies) happy that Rossi beat the upstart Australian crushed towards the exits, the steady stream of fans whisked away for another year. Assen is a great event but limited to one day, I missed the comraderie of camping at the track like I do at Phillip Island. Next time I’ll bring a tent, my lady and a bike.