Motorcycling: Doohan tightens title grip

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL Doohan strengthend his position at the head of the world championship standings by winning the Dutch Grand Prix at Assen on Saturday, but he had to beat off a fierce challenge from the Brazilian, Alexandre Barros, to achieve it.

It was Doohan's fourth successive victory and his fifth in the last seven. The Australian now has 161 championship points with seven races to go.

The defending world champion, Kevin Schwantz, last year's Assen winner, finished fifth on a Suzuki despite the discomfort of riding with a cast to protect a broken hand, and remains in second place in the standings.

Doohan, who is still chasing his first world title after finishing runner-up in 1991 and 1992, was locked in a duel with Barros and the pair repeatedly swapped positions until the Australian made the decisive move going into the penultimate lap. 'I put my head down and did what I could. If he'd come by after that there was not a great deal I could have done,' Doohan said. Schwantz, a three-time winner at Assen, briefly took the lead at the end of the second lap but then faded.

Details, Sporting Digest, page 31