Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) stormed to his third win of the season with a quintessential Assen performance, nailing his eighth consecutive Dutch win and twelfth in total, equalling Carl Fogarty’s historic dozen Assen triumphs along the way. It didn’t come easy for the Northern Irishman, however, forced to fend off strong attacks from Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), second and third respectively.
The grid hinted towards a fascinating start, with five teams holding the first five positions. Rea made the move over poleman Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) at the first corner, although it was Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team) who took the early lead with a flying start at the lights. However, by the end of Sector 1 it was Rea back on top. Behind him, van der Mark began his climb right of the bat, jumping from seventh to fourth.
The crowd were ecstatic by the end of lap 8, as local boy van der Mark, astonishingly quick throughout the race, picked off Rea at the chicane and made his way into first. However, the championship leader took over two laps later, same spot, same move.
By then Chaz Davies had quietly made his way to the top, once again making up for a poor Superpole with a scintillating race. A three-way battle ensued, with Davies merely centimetres off of Rea but unable to just quite make it past. With van der Mark and Davies then battling for second behind, Rea put some space between him and his pursuers for the final laps, although never more than a second.
Behind the front three, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) showed the Kawasaki’s pace here after a poor weekend at MotorLand Aragon, coming in fourth and a mere two tenths off a first podium finish since Phillip Park Race 1.
Xavi Fores, again the first independent rider, made it through the checkered flag in fifth, drifting off the front pace through the final laps. Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) made it to the line in sixth, untroubled but also unable to stay close to the lead.
Loriz Baz (GULF Althea BMW Racing Team) followed in seventh place, with Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) in eighth, season-best finishes for both riders. Top ten was closed by Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in ninth and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in tenth.
Lowes, scoring his maiden WorldSBK pole just two hours earlier, had a nightmare race, falling quickly down the field after the early laps and just scraping in in twelfth, 33 seconds off the lead. Ditto for Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), heading row 2 at the start but just making it to the line in fifteenth.
P1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki)
“It was a really fun race, when Mikey came through I could see he had the pace where I didn’t and I tried to keep smooth out on track. There was a point in the race when I wasn’t sure how to manage the pace. But then with a couple of laps to go squeezed back into low 36.s and I took the win. But it was difficult, this morning we looked good on paper but the rest stepped up, so we need to work tomorrow, but thanks to the team for giving me a great bike.”
“It was an amazing race, I had a good start and managed to stay calm in the beginning and made my way to the front. When I saw Jonny, he was not pushing as hard as I thought he would, and then I got to the fight for the front. I tried to stay as close as I could, in the end I was able to catch Chaz, but wasn’t able to get Jonny, but I’m really happy with second place.”
P3 – Chaz Davies (Ducati)
“It was a good battle all race long, Mikey was breathing down my neck all race long and he eventually got past me. I thought about having a go straight back at him but then I thought he might have a better pace than me, so I’ll let him chase Jonny but in the end. I’m really happy, yesterday was really tough, in qualifying we were better and in the race I think we did a really good job so pretty happy. We’ll take that and make some improvements for tomorrow.”
#DutchWorldSBK at TT Circuit Assen: Race 1
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) +0.981
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.282
Championship Standings after Race 1, Round 4
Jonthan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (139 points)
Chaz Davies (GBR) Ducati (118 points)
Marco Melandri (ITA) Ducati (106 points)
Sandoro Cortese maintains form with Assen Superpole
Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) continues his Superpole form
A second consecutive Superpole for Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) set the stage for a thrilling Sunday race at Assen, as the top two riders in the FIM Supersport World Championship will meet at the front of row 1. Cortese controlled the second Superpole session, taking the early lead and continuing to improve on his lap times through the final minutes.
Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), first in the championship standings, was denied his third Superpole in four races this year, and will have to fight hard to stop Cortese, only four points behind in the rankings, from taking off and becoming the new championship leader.
Completing the front row, Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) put his MV Agusta in third and in a good position to challenge for a first non-Yamaha podium finish of the season. He qualified just ahead of Jules Cluzel (NRT), in search of his second consecutive podium finish this year.
Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) proved again that he can get the best out of his Triumph Daytona with the fifth best time of the session, ahead of Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team). The Swiss challenger dominated yesterday’s Free Practice sessions but will have to be content with a sixth-place start on Sunday.
Closing the ‘fantastic four’ group of riders who have dominated the early races this year, Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) will have to battle back to record a third consecutive podium finish, after his second-place finish at MotorLand Aragon. He leads the third row, with Niki Tuuli (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) close behind in eighth and ninth. Closing the top ten is the only Assen race-winner currently on the grid, Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini), who just made it through the Superpole 1.
Pole position – Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing)
“I am very happy, I am starting to feel very happy and very comfortable with the bike. I have pace but not only just for the race, and I realised now we have Superpole and give everything for the one lap, and I’m really happy with the pole position this weekend”
#DutchWorldSBK WorldSSP at TT Circuit Assen: Tissot-Superpole
Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing)
Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) +0.286
Rafelle De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) +0.310
Two out of two for Perez after Assen Superpole
Mika Pérez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) took his second FIM Supersport 300 World Championship pole position in two races this season, despite a last lap crash denying him the chance to improve his times. The Spaniard was particularly strong in the latter sectors of his lap and scored an early best time, with only championship leader Koen Meuffels (KTM Fortron Junior Team) coming close.
The home-country rider was just 0.036 seconds off Pérez, but will be in a perfect position to fight for a second win in only his second WorldSSP300 race.
Perez is joined on the front row by Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team), who made it in in third position.
The second row has a strong Dutch flavor, with Glenn van Straalen (KTM Fortron Racing Team) using the slipstream from Meuffels to come in fourth and lead the line. Behind him, Robert Schotman (Motosport Kawasaki) leads a string of Kawasakis from fifth position, with Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) completing the second row in sixth.
Scott Deroue (Motosport Kawasaki), winner of the first WorldSSP300 race at Assen last year, scored the fastest times in yesterday’s Free Practice sessions but will only start from seventh this time. He starts ahead of Borja Sánchez (ETG Racing), who took the Superpole here last year, and Luca Grunwald (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team) in eighth and ninth, both riders through from the Superpole 1.
Aussie youngster Tom Edwards will start from 15th position.
Pole Position – Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team)
“Racing is like this, you go fast but if you go too fast maybe you can crash, that’s racing. I’m very happy for the second pole, but tomorrow if the race, and it will be a great fight, just like last year. I want to thank my team, the bike is not perfect but thanks for the best bike.”
#DutchWorldSBK WorldSSP300 at TT Circuit Assen: Tissot-Superpole 2
Mika Perez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team)
Koen Meuffels (KTM Forton Junior Team) +0.036
Ana Carrasco (DS Junior Team) +0.310
WorldSSP300 Championship Standings
Koen Meuffels (NED) KTM (25 points)
2. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawasaki (20 points)
3. Mika Perez (ESP) Kawasaki (16 points)
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