Jonathan Rea holds off Tom Sykes to celebrate double victory at Assen

In pleasant sunny conditions at the TT Assen Circuit on Sunday Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) gave a superb demonstration of his talent with a tight victory over second placed teammate Tom Sykes, as Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) completed the podium in third.

Kawasaki dominated the podium with Rea in the top spot and Sykes #2, Ducati's Davies took the final position.
Kawasaki dominated the podium with Rea in the top spot and Sykes #2, Ducati’s Davies took the final position.

In his 200th WorldSBK race Rea held his nerve to cross the line 0.025s ahead of Sykes as the Yorkshireman applied the pressure in the final stages. It was Rea’s second win of the weekend, his seventh victory from eight races so far in 2017 and his 11th career win at Assen – with maximum points from Round 4 in the Netherlands putting the KRT man 64 points clear at the head of the standings.

The WorldSBK field start at Assen
The WorldSBK field start at Assen

It was a valiant effort for Sykes after his recent health issues and he will aim for his first win of 2017 next time out, in two weeks time at Imola.

After his cruel luck on Saturday, which saw Davies pull up with a technical problem with a lap to go when fighting for victory in Race 1, the Welshman bounced back with a fifth podium result of 2017 so far, in third place.

It was a tough weekend for Ducati, with Davies forced to retire in Race 1, but taking a podium position in Race 2, while Melandri crashed out of Race 2.
It was a tough weekend for Ducati, with Davies forced to retire in Race 1, but taking a podium position in Race 2, while Melandri crashed out of Race 2.

A good ride by Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) at his home round saw the Dutchman recover from a crash on Saturday to register a solid fourth place finish from 11th on the grid. It might have been even better for Van der Mark but for a big wobble for the Yamaha rider at turn 12 mid-race -when he was chasing Davies for third.

Van der Mark’s Yamaha colleague Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also made up for his Race 1 disappointment to finish in the top five again, after crashing out on Saturday.

Another Englishman Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) rode well for sixth, finishing just over a second ahead of Spaniard Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team).

The top ten was completed by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team).

There were crashes for Italian trio Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) meaning no points for any of them. They will each have a chance to make amends at their home round in Italy at Imola in two weeks’ time.

1st – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)

“It has been an incredible weekend of racing. I have been especially happy with Superpole yesterday because the lap I made then was maybe the best lap I have ever made on a bike. I am really proud of that. Of course the race wins were really nice to take away. Today was a race of two halves. In the first half I raced hard until I got a warning so in the second half I just managed things to try and be safe and bring her home. I had a little bit left at the end but the biggest problem was the wind today. I was pulling a gap but then I had a huge front slide in T11, and my foot came off the peg, at mid-race distance. I decided just to ride and save something for the last laps after that. I had a big wobble coming out of 11 again near the end and I then just tried to be clever in the last lap and cover the last corner. My line was probably not the fastest way around there but it covered any move up the inside and I made it to the line first.”

Jonathan Rea took victory from Sykes by a tiny margin, making it seven wins from eight races.
Jonathan Rea took victory from Sykes by a tiny margin, making it seven wins from eight races.

2nd – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)

“It was a very close finish and I have to say thanks to the public, my fans and all the team for being very understanding about my physical condition. Yesterday we had an acceptable race but today we never stopped pushing to find an ideal set-up, right up until 30 minutes before the race started. Marcel and I were still talking about how to get the bike easier for me to ride. Physically, I was obviously not fully comfortable with the bike set-up from yesterday but today I felt we had a package capable of winning. I just did not have the bike in the right place at the right time and did not get the win for that reason. I always kept trying and I am obviously disappointed not to take the win. But considering where I was even at the start of the race week, if anybody had have offered me two second places from Assen I would have thought it was never going to happen.”

Sykes saw massive improvement at Assen to narrowly miss victory in Race 2.
Sykes saw massive improvement at Assen to narrowly miss victory in Race 2.

3rd – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)

“I enjoyed coming back through the field, but honestly it wasn’t easy and we rode a tough race today. We simply didn’t have the ideal feeling, which we had both in Race 1 and this morning in WUP. We lacked grip on the front and it felt a bit like riding on eggshells in the last 10 laps. We need to address why, either if it’s because of a setup issue or the strong winds, but it was important not to crash and bring home points, as I realized quite early that third-place was the best we could do today. Still, our goal is to win whenever it’s possible, and hopefully we’ll have another chance at Imola, which is a special place both for me and Ducati.”

Chaz Davies settled for a safe third after a Race 1 DNF result.
Chaz Davies settled for a safe third after a Race 1 DNF result.

Michael van der Mark – P4

“I am pretty happy with that! I did what I could and I was happy with my race pace, every time I overtook a rider I made it stick. I was closing on Chaz Davies, then I had a couple of scary moments at one of the fastest points of the track. It is one of my strongest points at this circuit, so I knew I could make up a lot of time there, but by then the wind had changed and the bike was maybe balanced a little too much towards the rear so the front was in the air. I had a big wobble, after that I decided to do my own race as I had a big gap to the rider behind and to be honest, after yesterday’s crash, the last four or five laps I had so much pain in my arm. The Doctors did a great job to give me some painkillers which allowed me to race, and if you had said I would get fourth position before the race, I would have taken this very happily!”

After a big wobble in Race 2, Michael van der Mark also settled for maintaining his position to ensure points.
After a big wobble in Race 2, Michael van der Mark also settled for maintaining his position to ensure points.

Alex Lowes – P5

“Honestly, after Friday and yesterday we needed a good result today. In previous years I have not been as consistent as I wanted to be and this year, it’s something I’ve tried to improve. I have always been fast, just lacking a bit of consistency. Yesterday’s race was hard for me to take as I don’t really know what I did wrong. I felt confident for a top six finish, so today, starting from 15th, I just wanted to do a solid job. We made some changes with the bike; I’m still not fully happy with the setup, and without my mistakes on Friday we could have made the bike a bit better for today. But, to get fifth from 15th on the grid is fantastic and all the hard work the team have put in this weekend is just incredible, that was for them! I am looking forward to starting Imola with hopefully a lot calmer Friday, which should set us up for an even better result.”

Alex Lowes admitted that set-up on the Yamaha continued, and he was seeking consistency to match his speed.
Alex Lowes admitted that set-up on the Yamaha continued, and he was seeking consistency to match his speed.

Paul Denning – Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team Principal

“Everybody in the Pata Yamaha Team should be proud of their efforts today – it’s been a really tough weekend! It was always going to be a challenging race from 11th and 15th on the grid, especially with limited track time for Alex after an incredibly difficult Friday and a double DNF yesterday. For Michael’s crew to improve his bike to the point where he could challenge for a podium until very near the end of the race, and for Alex to move forward from a difficult start and achieve a top five result on merit, was a great reward for everybody’s dedication. This result demonstrates how far forward not just the R1 has evolved, but the project itself. Small steps in the development of the bike and the development of the team’s experience, plus the confidence of the riders, will now make the difference in terms of closing the gap to the podium guys. After today’s result and the promise shown at the other races so far this season, we can be confident that the target is achievable”

Michael van der Mark
Michael van der Mark

Eugene Laverty – P8

“The new reverse grid rules helped us today, because it gave us chance to show how quick we are in the early laps of a race. I felt comfortable on the bike and I really went for it, and I had a good scrap with Fores and the Kawasakis at the top. The problem came after about 10 laps, because the front tyre again was losing grip and performance and I started dropping back. My pace was consistent but for sure we could have finished higher. This weekend confirmed the areas we need to improve in. We were really strong in some parts but the tyre wear hurt us in others. It’s good for Aprilia to see that we are strong in the first laps, and we will see what Imola brings for us in two weeks.”

Tyre wear proved a problem for Eugene Laverty who had a strong start to Race 2
Tyre wear proved a problem for Eugene Laverty who had a strong start to Race 2

Nicky Hayden – P9

“Today was a much better race. I made a pretty good start, got in a battle with some other riders and was feeling like I was having one of my better races of the year. We were fighting with the wind, which was quite strong today and surely didn’t help. We need to do some work on the front-end in order to improve the tyre life for the second part of the race. The thing that hurt the most, though, was all the track-time we lost especially on Friday. I want to thank the guys because they worked hard and never lost focus, despite a challenging weekend.”

Nicky Hayden described a challenging weekend with a good result in Race 2
Nicky Hayden described a challenging weekend with a good result in Race 2

Stefan Bradl – P10

“Today’s race was a bit of a reality check for us. I’m quite disappointed because in the first few laps the race ran out of my hands. I was struggling in the first corner and couldn’t build a good rhythm, because it took me a bit to find the feeling with the front-end of the bike after the changes we made. At the end of the race, though, my pace was consistent, although not as quick as I would have liked it to be, but still we were able to make up some places. There’s a lot of work to do still because Imola is not too far away and we need to be ready for it.”

Stefan Bradl struggled to find a rhythm early in the race and looks towards Imola for further improvement
Stefan Bradl struggled to find a rhythm early in the race and looks towards Imola for further improvement

Pieter Breddels – Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team

“This morning we tried a different front tyre solution – a harder option – and Nicky was quite pleased with it. We decided to use it in the race and combine it with a harder option at the rear. He was very competitive in the first 6-7 laps after a good start, then had to drop the pace a little as he lost a bit of grip at the front; he couldn’t push as hard, especially in the last part of the lap. Stefan struggled a bit at the beginning, but then he settled into a steady rhythm which ultimately resulted in a top-10 finish. Obviously we cannot be happy with the outcome of the weekend, but we now have a better and clearer picture of what we need to do. There are many areas where we need to improve, but we will take every indication from here in order to be well prepared for Imola.”

Hayden and Van Der Mark battling it out
Hayden and Van Der Mark battling it out

Marco Melandri – DNF

“Today’s conditions were tough, as the wind was really strong. Because of this, I made a mistake in turn 11 during the sixth lap and lost four positions. But, I was coming back strong. It’s a pity we crashed out, because I think I could have fought with Vd Mark as our bike was more competitive than in Race 1, even though it still wobbled a lot. Unfortunately I always had this issue in this track, perhaps because I’m lighter than most riders and can’t properly load the rear on this type of tarmac. Now we go to Imola, a track that I really enjoy riding at, where I’m confident we’ll leave behind these problems to have two strong races.”

Marco Melandri found the weekend and strong wind conditions challenging
Marco Melandri found the weekend and strong wind conditions challenging

DutchWorldSBK at TT Circuit Assen: Race 2

  1. Jonathan Rea 
  2. Tom Sykes +0.025
  3. Chaz Davies +5.077
  4. Michael Van Der Mark +8.739
  5. Alex Lowes +16.244
  6. Leon Camier +17.899
  7. Jordi Torres +19.02
  8. Eugene Laverty +19.184
  9. Nicky Hayden +21.47
  10. Stefan Bradl +24.69
  11. Roman Ramos +26.75
  12. Leon Mercado +26.92
  13. Xavi Fores +36.61
  14. Randy Krummenacher +40.59
  15. Alex De Angelis +49.14
  16. Ayrton Badovini +51.24
  17. Raffaele De Rosa +61.14
  18. Ondrej Jezek +61.17

Championship Standings after Race 2, Round 4

  1. Jonathan Rea 195
  2. Tom Sykes 131
  3. Chaz Davies 111
  4. Marco Melandri 97
  5. Alex Lowes 76
  6. Michael Van Der Mark 62
  7. Xavi Fores 60
  8. Jordi Torres 57
  9. Leon Camier 54
  10. Eugene Laverty 46
  11. Nicky Hayden 36
  12. Stefan Bradl 35

WorldSSP: Runaway win for Sofuoglu in Dutch sunshine

The WorldSSP race at the Acerbis Dutch Round saw the reigning World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) produce a masterclass to dominate from pole, with the Turk joined on the podium by Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).

In clear weather conditions at the TT Assen Circuit Sofuoglu bounced back from his early season problems to take the holeshot and get the hammer down, leading from start to finish and crossing the line +2.611s in front of closest challenger Mahias.

Kenan Sofuoglu took not only his first win of the season but his first points as well.
Kenan Sofuoglu took not only his first win of the season but his first points as well.

It was the perfect response from the five-time World Champion as he registered his first points of 2017, having missed the first two rounds of the season due to injury and then crashing at Aragon earlier in April on his return to action. It is Sofuoglu’s first victory since his 2016 championship-clinching win at Jerez.

With Sofuoglu racing clear at the front an intriguing battle for second place raged on throughout the 18 lap contest, with Mahias, Cluzel, PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) and Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) all in the hunt.

Mahias ultimately triumphed in that fight for second but finished with a spectacular wheelie coming out of the final chicane and was almost caught by Cluzel on the line, the two Frenchman separated by just 0.005s.

The WorldSSP podium at Assen saw Sofuoglu in the top spot, with 0.005s separating Mahias and Cluzel.
The WorldSSP podium at Assen saw Sofuoglu in the top spot, with 0.005s separating Mahias in second and Cluzel.

A 1.5s margin behind them was American Jacobsen in fourth, with South African Morais finishing fifth and Italy’s Caricasulo sixth.

The top ten was completed by Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI), Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing), Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer).

Dutchman Hartog was the top finisher of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup in tenth place, followed by Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) in 13th and Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in 18th.

Anthony West fought his way forward from a bad qualifying position to bring his privateer machine home in 14th place. Countryman Lachlan Epis suffered a DNF.

The race results mean Mahias now leads the championship standings by 20 points from Morais, with Sofuoglu down in ninth place, trailing Mahias by 40 points after four races.

The WorldSSP riders will be back in action over the 12th-14th May weekend at the Motul Italian Round, hosted at Imola.

Race winner – Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)

“The season started really badly for me and there was a lot of stress in the race from inside me, not from somebody pushing me from outside. But finally this year I took a win in a race. So from now I can be more relaxed. I have zero idea about the championship and am going out to win as much as possible. This is the goal so another win in my career is very good. A big, big thanks to Kawasaki and my Puccetti team, because they have worked a lot to bring me back to P1 and now we are back there.”

Kenan Sofuoglu has turned around his season with a win at Assen, after missing two rounds and a crash.
Kenan Sofuoglu has turned around his season with a win at Assen, after missing two rounds and a crash.

Lucas Mahias – P2

“It was a very good race and it was great to get my third podium in four races. It was a good result for the championship and I am happy. The race was very difficult because Kenan was very fast in Free Practice and in Qualifying. I tried at the start of the race to follow him, but this was very difficult. I lost three places at turn five when I ran wide and that made it difficult. I am not happy with my consistency during the race, normally it is one of my strong points. This is a good result for Yamaha and the championship because I go home with a 20-point lead in the standings. I am looking forward to Imola, where hopefully I can rediscover my consistency and fight for the win.”

Lucas Mahias has made if three podiums in four races.
Lucas Mahias has made if three podiums in four races.

WorldSSP Race

  1. Kenan Sofuoglu 
  2. Lucas Mahias 2.611
  3. Jules Cluzel 2.616
  4. Patrick Jacobsen 4.127
  5. Sheridan Morais 4.706
  6. Caricasulo 4.94
  7. Canducci 7.66
  8. Stapleford 11.99
  9. Gamarino 13.09
  10. Hartog 13.22
  11. Smith 13.76
  12. Ryde 14.33
  13. Soomer 19.37
  14. West 20.20
  15. Rolfo 21.35
  16. Tuuli 21.43
  17. Rea 21.87
  18. Zaccone 22.72
  19. Calero 36.67
  20. Mulhauser 36.89
  21. Okubo 37.00
  22. Van Der Valk 43.73
  23. Van Sikkelerus 53.51
  24. Sebestyen 54.10
  25. London 2 laps

WorldSSP Championship Standings Acerbis Dutch Round

  1. Lucas Mahias (FRA) Yamaha 65 points
  2. Sheridan Morias (RSA) Yamaha 45 points
  3. Roberto Rolfo (ITA) MV Agusta 41 points

 


Razgatlioglu victorious in STK1000 race | Mike Jones in multi-bike crash but okay

After a crash at turn 17 early in the initial race involving Marvin Fritz (Bayer -Bikerbox Yamaichi), Roberto Tamburini (PATA Yamaha Official STK 1000 Team), Federico Sandi (Berclaz Racing Team) and Mike Jones (Aruba.it Racing – Junior Team) the red flag came out due to safety conditions. Marco Faccani (Althea BMW Racing Team) had already crashed out early in the first race in spectacular fashion.

Marvin Fritz was the most seriously injured rider, the 24 year-old was stabilised at the scene and due to the severity of his condition, the decision was taken to transfer Fritz by road to the nearby Hospital, Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen. After further examination, Fritz is now in a stable condition and has regained consciousness.

In the restarted nine lap sprint it was Razgatlioglu who took advantage to get in front of early frontrunner Rinaldi – after the Italian had been leading before the red flag. On his Kawasaki ZX-10RR Turkish rider Razgatlioglu eventually beat Duacti-equipped Rinaldi to the finish line by just over a second.

Pole man Marino was in close proximity, finishing third, as he saw the checkered flag 1.365s after Rinaldi. Dutch wildcard Danny De Boer (Van Zon Remeha) and Frenchman Jeremy Guarnoni (Pedercini Racing) completed the top five.

Meanwhile, Illia Mykhalchyk (TripleM Racing), Maximillian Schieb (Nuova M2 Racing), Sebastien Suchet (Berclaz Racing Team), Tamburini and Luca Vitali (Nuova M2 Racing) were all in the top ten.

STK 1000 Race Results
  1. Razgatlioglu
  2. Rinaldi 1.07
  3. Marino 2.43
  4. De Boer 3.90
  5. Guarnoni 10.31
  6. Mykhalchyk 10.68
  7. Scheib 10.73
  8. Suchet 10.85
  9. Tamburini 11.38
  10. Vitali 11.44
STK 1000 Championship Standings
  1. Rinaldi 45
  2. Razgatlioglu 38
  3. Marino 36
  4. Tamburini 23
  5. Guarnoni 21
  6. Mykhalchyk 18
  7. Vitali 15
  8. De Boer 13
  9. Faccani 11
  10. Suchet 11
  11. Scheib 9
  12. Marconi 8
  13. Jones 7
  14. Fritz 6
  15. Sandi 5

WorldSSP300: Deroue secures home victory in sensational WorldSSP300 Race

Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) secured a stunning victory in a thrilling WorldSSP300 race around the iconic TT Circuit Assen, following a race long battle for the victory under the Dutch sunshine.

Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) got a strong start off the line and took the lead in the opening lap as a battle for the victory developed between the top sixteen riders, with nothing to split the pack. However Sanchez was forced to drop two positions with seven laps to go as he exceeded track limits.

Deroue leads the SSP300 field.
Deroue leads the SSP300 field

Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team) and Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) suffered a crash at turn five with six laps remaining, as they were locked in a battle for a podium finish. Both riders were up and ok. Daniel Valle (Halcourier Racing) suffered a crash with five laps remaining, ending a tough weekend for the Spanish rider.

In a sensational set of closing laps, fans were treated to some stunning racing action which saw the group split by 0.113s over the line. Wildcard entry Glenn van Straalen (Vos – TKR Racing) took a stunning second position following tough final lap which saw a big crash between wildcard Finn de Bruin (Pearle Gebben Racing) and Angelo Liccardi (Team Trasimeno).

Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) was up and fighting for the win in the majority of the race, setting the fastest lap with three remaining and crossed the line in third position ahead of Sanchez. Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) rounded out the top five, as nothing could split the front.

Deroue leads championship heading into the third round of the season, with the intense championship heading to the next round at Imola.

Race Winner – Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki)
“My ankle is still not in a good way, the race was really difficult, there was a really big group of riders and at times it was quite dangerous, but we made it to the final lap, it’s awesome, I’m really happy to win at home.”

WorldSSP300 Race Results
  1. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawasaki
  2. Glenn van Straalen (NED) Honda +0.113
  3. Alfonso Coppola (ITA) Yamaha +0.277
WorldSSP300 Championship Standings Acerbis Dutch Round
  1. Scott Deroue (NED) Kawasaki 50 points
  2. Borja Sanchez (ESP) Kawasaki 26 points
  3. Alfonso Coppola (ITA) Yamaha 21 points