The sun is out at Assen this Thursday morning, and the prospects are for good weather. A large crowd of fans have already thronged the pit lane walk, gawking at the bikes put out on display. Identifying the Fiat Yamaha garages or the Repsol Honda garages was simple: They were the ones which you had to squeeze through the crowds. For those with a fetish for two strokes, the pickings were much richer: bikes were out on display and in the pits being fettled.
On the subject of two strokes, the Team Toth pit was open, and Pasini's Aprilia RSA was being assembled. Word in the paddock is that Toth has given Aprilia assurances that the outstanding funds will be paid, and Aprilia will allow the bike to be scrutineered. Whether Pasini will be allowed to race or not depends on the promised bank transfers actually taking place.
The stands are slowly filling up, and hordes of pasty-faced Northern Europeans are working on acquiring that lobster tint which Assen so often seems to produce. The heat and sun is great for the riders, though, as they face the prospect of getting another three full hours of practice in, uninterrupted by rain. The only factor they will have to deal with is the win, as a stiff breeze is coming in from the north east, hitting the bikes fully in the flank as they line up for the GT chicane.
Race day is likely to be different. They say it's going to rain at some point, but the quesion is when. If the riders are lucky, then it will hold off until the race is over, and only rain on the fans as they head for home.