Rea and Checa share the wins at Assen
Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa scored a win apiece at Assen today, in races held in dry and occasionally sunny conditions at this classic Dutch track. Rea was particularly happy to see his first victory arrive at his team’s home circuit, after some tough times early in the season.
It is Checa, however, who can leave with the greatest satisfaction as he now has a clear points lead over Max Biaggi, 132 – 89. Max, the reigning champion, recovered from all his dramas at Donington last month with two assured second place finishes today and he got the reward of second in the championship overall, with his home race of Monza next up. Donington race winner Marco Melandri just missed out on a podium finish in race one at Assen but fell in race two and is now in third place overall, four points behind Biaggi. Rea is now fourth, on 79 points, as he and Checa swapped wins and third places, with Checa taking the final spot in race one and Rea third in race two.
Leon Haslam had two hard fights on his hands today, but he scored good points in race two for fifth place, the same position he holds in the championship fight with his new total of 68 points. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) set the fastest lap in race two to help him go fourth and he is now sixth in the championship.
Rea overcame the early battles at Assen to record his and Honda’s first win of the 2011 season, beating Biaggi by 0.7 seconds and championship leader Checa by 3.5 seconds in race one. Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) overcame a slow start to claw his way back to fourth, just ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare). With Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) behind Fabrizio there were six different machines inside the top six places. Top Kawasaki runner was Mark Aitchison (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) in tenth. Leon Haslam, Corser’s team-mate, survived a fast early crash to recover to a top-12 finish. Race one saw many falls and retirements, and only 14 riders finished the race, but in race two only two riders failed to finish.
Jonathan Rea: “First and foremost I’m proud to give Castrol Honda their first podium in the world championship this year. My crew worked really hard all weekend and we really made the right decision to develop a specific bike for the race because it paid off. I lead from the start, was wondering whether to let Max pass, but made the right decision and won the race.”
Max Biaggi: “I have to be happy with this result because of the way I finished free practice on Saturday afternoon. I had to use bike number 2 so it’s a good result. We changed something in the warm-up but for the race we came back to a set-up we thought was correct for me and I could do nice lap times and be consistent.”
Carlos Checa: “It was quite tough for me to keep the position at the beginning but finally I was able to pass the people from the second group and then I was trying to follow Laverty, overtook. Max and Johnny were too strong and it was difficult for me to catch them at the end. For us it’s a very positive result.”
A delayed start to the second Assen race made no difference to the outcome as Checa and Biaggi played a high-speed game of cat-and-mouse. Biaggi looking to have it wrapped up as he passed long time leader Checa, only for the Spanish rider to reassert himself on the final lap and win his fourth race of the year. A battle between Rea and Melandri ended when the Italian star fell, leaving Rea on the podium in third. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) was fourth, while a multiple rider fight for fifth went to Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport), from Laverty, Fabrizio, Haga, Smrz and Guintoli.
In the points standings Checa now leads by 132 to Biaggi’s 89. Melandri is third on 85, Rea jumping to fourth with his new total of 79 points.
Carlos Checa: “It’s a fantastic result, the win was amazing. I put a soft tyre in for the second to get that that extra grip and at the end the tyre was good and responsive, this was the question mark. I was trying to put some gap between me and Max, but he was strong. I made a mistake and he passed me but then I overtook him again for the win.”
Max Biaggi: “Good performance for us, we made a very good set-up for the race after my crash yesterday. We tried to adapt, it wasn’t perfect, couldn’t find the tyre to match. I was fast enough to make a good race but not enough to win the race. Too much movement, it’s the maximum we could do.”
Jonathan Rea: “We had to dig deep in that last race but it’s been a good weekend for me and my team. I’m not sure but one of the Yamaha riders slowed me up at the start and the front guys got away. Then I was matching them for lap times but I ran into some tyre problems during the latter stages of the race. But the team worked well, I’m really satisfied and that’s exactly the confidence and momentum we need to take to the next races.”
|SBK Race 1||SBK Race 2||SBK Series Points|
|1 Jonathan Rea|
2 Max Biaggi 0’39.000
3 Carlos Checa 0’03.572
4 Marco Melandri 0’09.508
5 Michel Fabrizio 0’09.892
6 Troy Corser 0’11.120
7 Eugene Laverty 0’15.235
8 Ruben Xaus 0’30.081
9 Ayrton Badovini 0’32.072
10 Mark Aitchison 0’35.000
11 Joan Lascorz 0’43.287
12 Leon Haslam 0’45.289
13 Barry Veneman 0’45.298
14 Tom Sykes 0’50.764
|1 Carlos Checa|
2 Max Biaggi 0’00.524
3 Jonathan Rea 0’03.584
4 Leon Camier 0’05.913
5 Leon Haslam 0’16.916
6 Eugene Laverty 0’17.375
7 Michel Fabrizio 0’17.740
8 Noriyuki Haga 0’18.329
9 Jakub Smrz 0’18.378
10 Sylvain Guintoli 0’18.404
11 Tom Sykes 0’26.284
12 Joan Lascorz 0’27.053
13 Maxime Berger 0’38.614
14 Ruben Xaus 0’40.824
15 Ayrton Badovini 0’40.953
|1. Checa 132;|
2. Biaggi 89;
3. Melandri 85;
4. Rea 79;
5. Haslam 68;
6. Camier 50;
7. Smrz 49;
8. Fabrizio 47;
9. Laverty 35;
10. Haga 34;
Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) took his first win in the WSS category after heading up a 16-lap race that was restarted twice after red flag incidents. Second was Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) some seven seconds back, with third closely place contested but eventually taken by Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com). Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Honda) went fourth, David Salom, Parkes’ team-mate, was fifth, and Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki rider Massimo Roccoli ended up a fine sixth. James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) pushed himself to seventh. Only 19 riders crossed the line from a field of 30, with three riders injured in two separate accidents that brought out the red flags. Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) suffered concussion and an injured shoulder, while Alex Lundh (Cresto Guide Honda) broke his wrist in a fall involving Marko Jerman (MD Team Jerman), who suffered many contusions and abrasions. In the championship standings, crashes from some of the leading contenders also closed up the points totals, with Davies’ team-mate Luca Scassa still leading on 50, Parkes on 47, and Davies on 45.
|SS Race||SS Series Points|
|1 Chaz Davies Yamaha GBR 26’37.029|
2 Fabien Foret Honda FRA 0’07.236
3 Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 0’08.084
4 Robbin Harms Honda DNK 0’08.191
5 David Salom Kawasaki ESP 0’09.122
6 Massimo Roccoli Kawasaki ITA 0’09.222
7 James Ellison Honda GBR 0’14.616
8 Miguel Praia Honda POR 0’32.623
9 Vladimir Ivanov Honda RUS 0’40.668
10 Balazs Nemeth Honda HUN 0’40.727
11 Imre Toth Honda HUN 0’41.439
12 Pawel Szkopek Honda POL 0’54.039
13 Bastien Chesaux Honda CHE 0’56.749
14 Danilo Dell’omo Triumph ITA 0’57.345
15 Robert Muresan Triumph ROM 1’03.893
|1. Luca Scassa Yamaha ITA 50|
2. Broc Parkes Kawasaki AUS 31
3. Robbin Harms Honda DNK 24
4. David Salom Kawasaki ESP 23
5. Chaz Davies Yamaha GBR 20
6. Florian Marino Honda FRA 17
7. Gino Rea Honda GBR 16
8. Sam Lowes Honda GBR 16
9. Vittorio Iannuzzo Kawasaki ITA 15
10. Alexander Lundh Honda SWE 13
11. James Ellison Honda GBR 10
12. Massimo Roccoli Kawasaki ITA 9
13. Ondrej Jezek Honda CZE 7
14. Danilo Dell’omo Triumph ITA 6
15. Ronan Quarmby Triumph RSA 5
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup
In the opening race of the Superstock season Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) held off a strong challenge from Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati) to secure the win at Assen. Pole man Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) slid back from his early challenge to go third. Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing Ducati) had an eventual clear fourth but Bryan Staring (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) had an impressive ride through from 12th on lap one to give the new Kawasaki Ninja a fifth in its race debut. Andrea Antonelli (Team Lorini Honda) was the top Honda rider, sixth, having been passed by Staring late on.
Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 26’37.029 (163,816 kph); 2. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 7.236; 3. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.084; 4. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 8.191; 5. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.122; 6. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.222; 7. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 14.616; 8. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 14.658; etc.
Points (after 1 round of 10): Giugliano 25; Petrucci 20; Barrier 16; Baroni 13; Staring 11; Antonelli 10; La Marra 9; 10 Ten Napel 8; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 25 ; 2. BMW 16; 3. Kawasaki 11; 4. Honda 10; 5. Yamaha 4.
The Assen weekend also saw the debut of the European Junior Cup which saw 12 riders line up at the start on identical Kawasaki Ninja 250 machines. The first race win went to German Tom Busch ahead of New Zealand’s Daniel Mettam and American Brandon Kyee.
– Yamaha Report
The Dutch track proved challenging for Yamaha World Superbike riders; Melandri and Laverty this afternoon in Assen. Marco Melandri got off to a less than perfect start off the grid in race one falling from eighth back to eleventh in the first lap. He put his head down, working his way through the pack and pushed up to fifth place by lap ten. Aiming for a podium he closed in on the leading gang before crossing the chequered flag in fourth position.
Team-mate Laverty initially fell back a few places before regaining third position on lap seven and creating a significant gap ahead of Checa in fourth. Unfortunately mid race he began to struggle with the rear of the bike and found himself fighting hard to maintain the pace before crossing the finish line in seventh. The determined Irishman put on a strong and steady performance in race two. Experiencing trouble with the front of the bike he initially fell back to ninth but put in a series of consistent laps to push back up to sixth. Race two proved unfortunate for Melandri who shot off from eighth position on the grid and worked his way up to fourth before losing the front of the bike and crashing out on turn seven of the 16th lap. The Italian put in the top speed in race one and two with his YZF-R1 reaching a high of 298.7 km/h.
Melandri heads to round four of the 2011 championship in Monza third in the championship with 85 points, 47 behind the current championship leader. Team-mate Laverty sits in ninth place in the standings with 35 points.
Marco Melandri / Yamaha World Superbike Team – 4th, DNF
“I got a bad start in race one and seemed to be losing feeling in the rear of the bike. By the time I had regained feeling and a good race pace it was too late to push for the podium. In Race two the bike seemed to have a better set up and I managed to get a good start off the grid. I closed in on the leading pack but after the first ten laps I started losing grip in the rear tyre. I was keeping an eye on Rea and was planning to close in on him in the last laps but unfortunately without even realizing it, I lost the front and crashed out. I’m very disappointed with this and hope it doesn’t happen again.”
Eugene Laverty / Yamaha World Superbike Team – 7th, 6th
“I was doing really well until mid way through race one when I started suffering from chatter and losing balance due to displacement in the rear tyre. I struggled for the second half of the race and managed to finish in seventh position. Race two was more consistent even if a little slower. We made the wrong choice of tyres on the front but I’m still getting used to Superbike tyres and knowing what I need to use as the temperatures change. This weekend has been productive, I’ve learned more in this round than I have so far this season.”
Andrea Dosoli – Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager
It’s a pity how race two concluded for Marco. He got off to a good start and held faster race pace than in race one. Putting in a series of fast laps on a hard race tyre was stressing the front tyre on entering turns and consequently he lost the front of the bike. The lack of results on this track will make him more motivated before his home round in Monza. Eugene made great progress this weekend and is definitely more prepared for the upcoming races. He didn’t just gain points but also valuable experience. The technical input from the problems encountered here will help improve on the set up in preparation for the next round. We need to increase the bike stability exiting turns and find a better setting to be used with soft tyres.We aren’t using the bike to its full potential.”
Third Consecutive Win for Yamaha ParkinGO Team
Yamaha ParkinGO Team rider Chaz Davies took his maiden victory in the World Supersport Championship today on the historic Dutch track in Assen. The Brit didn’t hesitate to take the lead right off the grid and ride his YZF-R6 to cross the chequered flag with over seven seconds ahead of his competitors. Davies put in a spectacular performance, keeping the leading throughout the entire race and providing the Yamaha ParkinGO WSS Team with their third consecutive race win of the 2011 season.
Team-mate Luca Scassa had a less fortunate race day, crashing out mid race. The Italian rider got off to a less than perfect start from his pole position on the grid, falling back to fourth. He immediately regained a steady race pace and on attempting to jump up to third he collided with Marino, sitting just ahead of him. As a minor compensation for the disappointing race today in Assen, Scassa claimed the fastest race lap with a lap time of 1’39.019, showing his true potential and that of his YZF- R6 machine.
Plenty of drama was on display as the race was red flagged twice. On both occasions Scassa and Davies, had gotten perfect starts off the grid from pole and eighth position and were sitting comfortably in first and second places respectively before a series of riders crashed out, causing the race to be red flagged.
Scassa heads to his home round in Monza still leading the championship on 50 points. Davies is now just 5 points behind, sitting in third position with a total of 45 points, while Yamaha is comfortably leading the Manufacturers Championship by 14 points.
Chaz Davies / Yamaha ParkinGO Team – 1st, 1’39.007
“Finally! I think that sums up how long I have waited for today to come. It’s often a case of luck and I feel it has rarely been on my side in the last few years and so far this season. The bike is doing really well. After yesterday’s accident in qualifying, the team had to work really hard all night to rebuild the bike and I think I managed to repay them for it. I’m looking forward to Monza now that I am officially back in the hunt!”
Luca Scassa / Yamaha ParkinGO Team – DNF
“Today was very stressful due to the three race starts. Everything was under control in first two races, I was sitting nicely in the lead before we were red flagged. Unfortunately the third time around I didn’t get off to a very good start. I had difficulty overtaking and when Marino seemed to slow down, I just lost control of the bike. I’ve learnt a lesson and hopefully it won’t happen again. I have to be tougher from the start and get my head down and just go. I’ll make up for it in Monza!”
– Althea Ducati Report
having enjoyed a third place finish in race 1, Carlos Checa and the Althea Racing team were really ready to celebrate when the Spanish rider was able to take a spectacular win in the second race on the TT Circuit in Assen today.
Race 1 – Carlos, starting from pole, was able to maintain leadership for a couple of laps before being passed by several riders over the subsequent laps. Having opted for the harder tyre solution, Carlos needed a few laps before he was able to find the necessary pace. From mid-race onwards he really began to push and, from fourth position, began to close in on Laverty in third. Once past the Irish rider, Checa aimed for the two leaders Rea and Biaggi. At this point all three riders were lapping with similar times and for Carlos to close the two second gap that separated him from the frontrunners was a big challenge. He got close but had to settle with the third step of the podium in this first race.
Race 2 – after two laps Carlos took the lead ahead of Biaggi and Rea and so the three podium finishers from Race 1 were the very same men fighting for the positions that counted in Race 2. In the second half of the race, still lapping with a very quick pace, Carlos was caught by Biaggi who got by him but didn’t stay ahead for long. Checa, making the most of his soft tyre choice (which turned out to be the correct choice) was able to get back in front two laps from the end – the public enjoying one of the best passes seen so far – and hold the lead to the finish line.
With today’s win, Carlos consolidated his lead in the championship standings with 132 points and a 43 point advantage over Biaggi in second place. Ducati remains ahead in the manufacturer’s standings with 136 points to Aprilia’s 106.
Carlos Checa – “The beginning of race 1 was difficult; I didn’t have enough grip and so some of my rivals were able to get past me. Then I really had to push to make up lost ground. I tried to stay clam and maintain my rhythm and was able to get in front of the second group, but to reach Max and Johnny wsa just too difficult. They already had an advantage because I had lost time getting past Laverty. I happily accept the result however, a positive end that gives us important championship points.
Then for Race 2 we decided to change tyre and so, with the softer solution, I had more grip and could maintain a strong pace right from the start. I wanted to push at the beginning and try to build a gap between me and Max but he stayed with me, putting me under pressure. When I made a small mistake and he passed me in the final stages, I was able to see that he was having some tyre trouble. I got back past him and took the win, a result that is surprising but fantastic. At Monza we will try to defend our position as best we can, knowing that it will be a very tough track for us.”
– BMW Report
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport concluded the third round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship in Assen (NED). In the riders’ championship British works rider, Leon Haslam, is now fifth (68 points). Troy Corser (AUS) moved up to 12th (26 points). In the manufacturers’ standings BMW is fifth with 74 points.
Troy had a very good start in race 1 and was lying third on the first lap. For most of the race he was pushing hard in a close fight with the leading group and finished sixth. Leon also made up positions at the start, but crashed on the third lap. He was able to continue and crossed the finish line in 12th. At the start of race 2 Leon made up a lot of places. He rode a consistent race finishing fifth. Troy’s second race was ended by a crash on lap eight. The races were won by Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa respectively.
The team congratulates the successful riders of BMW S 1000 RRs at the legendary 24 hour race “Bol d’Or” at Magny-Cours, who celebrate two podium finishes. Team BMW Motorrad France 99 with Sébastien Gimbert (FRA), Damian Cudlin (AUS) and Erwan Nigon (FRA) finished 3rd in the EWC Superbike class. In the Superstock class, BMW Team Van Boenig Motorsportschool with riders Michael Filla (CZE), Werner Daemen (BEL) and Matti Seidel (GER) also finished 3rd.
Result Race 1: 12th, Gap to 1st: 00:45.289 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:37.588 min
Result Race 2: 5th, Gap to 1st: 00:16.916 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.816 min
“It’s been a tough weekend. We have been encountering a few minor issues this weekend which have made lap by lap consistency difficult. The situation obviously wasn’t helped by my crash in race 1. The back of the bike came round on me unexpectedly and I was unable to stop myself from crashing. I also got clipped by one of the other riders when I was on the floor, which meant I was a little sore for race 2. Still I got a good start in the second race and managed to get up with the leaders, but sadly I was unable progress through the pack. But we still managed to secure another top five finish, and I know we will go away from here, work hard back at the workshop and prepare well for Monza.”
Result Race 1: 6th, Gap to 1st: 00:11.120 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:37.135 min
Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:37.229 min
“The first race was not so bad, and I was pretty happy with that. For the second race we just made a few adjustments to the rear shock and I think we improved the bike. Then I unfortunately lost the front tyre going into a corner. I am okay with no injuries, but it is a bit disappointing. In the free practice all went okay, but in the race we had some issues with the tyre. But we are now going to analyse that and to improve it for the next race.”
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
“Overall, we learnt a lot this weekend. In the first race Leon tried to win the race in the first couple of laps – he simply pushed a little too hard and lost the bike. He fought back bravely, but the race was over for him. Troy started the first race with 1:37 min laps, but unfortunately was not able to go at this pace all race long. His times dropped after five laps. After adjusting the traction control his lap times were good again, and he finally finished sixth. In the second race Troy struggled with grip, while Leon started well and was able to defend the fifth position up to the chequered flag. We now look forward to going to Monza.”
– HRC Report
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) took a race victory and then a third place finish at the 2011 FIM Superbike Championship round at Assen, Netherlands, hoisting himself up the championship standings as a result. Carlos Checa (Ducati) won race two, and he remains the championship leader.
The dry conditions experienced in practice continued on race day as Rea hit the lead on lap four of race one and was never headed from then on. In race two Rea did not get the same chance to fight for the win due to changes in track temperature, but still scored his second podium of the day, finishing only 3.584 seconds from the winner.
At the top of the championship Checa extended his lead and now has a total of 132 points, with double second place rider at Assen Max Biaggi (Aprilia) going second on 89. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) crashed out of race two, and is now on a total of 85 points, only six ahead of Rea’s 79.
Castrol Honda rider Ruben Xaus was an eighth place finisher in race one, using the softest rear tyre choice, but he could not make it work in the slightly warmer conditions of race two and he finished 14th, scoring two more championship points. Ruben is now 14th in the official standings, although 11th to 14th all share a total of 26 points.
FORET BATTLES HARD TO SCORE SECOND IN A SHORTENED WSS RACE
Originally scheduled for 21 laps, the third round of the FIM Supersport Championship eventually had to be restarted twice after red flag incidents and was eventually run as a complete contest at the third attempt, but over only 16 laps. Full points were awarded as Chaz Davies (Yamaha) took a clear win after Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) was knocked off by a following rider, under braking, on lap eight. Florian had been vying for a podium, but an impressive charge to second from the much injured Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) still gave the Dutch team reasons to cheer at their home race. He had been fourth on the grid.
Fourth, and within touching distance of Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) and the final podium spot was Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda). He remains the top placed Honda rider in fourth, but is now much closer to the championship lead. Luca Scassa (Yamaha), who tangled with Marino today, has 50 points, Parkes has 47, Davies 45 and Harms 34. Foret moved up to sixth thanks to his 20 points from today’s race.
James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) was seventh, but Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda) moved up to eighth in the final revised race classification when Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha) was disqualified.
Vladimir Ivanov (Step Racing Team Honda) was therefore ninth, not his original tenth, while Balazs Nemeth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) moved up to tenth, Imre Toth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) to 11th. Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka PTR Honda), Bastien Chesaux (MACH – Moto Academy Swiss Honda) and Robert Muresan (PTR Romania Honda) all scored points today. Gino Rea (Step Racing Team Honda) fell while in a potential podium place, but recovered to finish 16th.
Front row qualifier Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) crashed on lap six of the first attempt at running the full race, having just moved into second place. His highsided at the Ossebroeken right-hander led to a short concussion and a broken left collarbone for the young English rider and he was taken to hospital for scans to be carried out. Alexander Lundh (Cresto Guide Racing Team Honda) was involved in a two rider fall on the exit of the final chicane that caused the second red flag and his subsequent broken left wrist meant he could not make the restart.
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda)
Race result: 1st / 3rd Championship position: 4th “We worked hard over the weekend as a whole team, trying to sort the settings of the bike out. In the background we were always thinking about set-up for the race so that paid off in the cold temperatures of race one, but we have not had the warmer conditions of race two all weekend so we were slightly underprepared. We could have made a gamble with the softer A tyre, but to be honest I do not think it would have worked for us, so we stayed on the harder C. The question mark was the front tyre in race two as it was way too soft and moving around too much. But a first and a third, I feel like we are back where we belong. It’s nice to see the guys in the team smiling. Two podiums and good points in the bag and now we are going into some circuits where we should be able to claw back some more points.”
Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda)
Race result: 8th / 14th Championship position: 14thth “I had no choice with the rear tyre as I had to use the softer one. I had too many problems with the harder ones. In race two the sun was shining, but right at the start the temperatures came down and the tyre started spinning and just wore out.
I was just happy to be able to do the lap times I did at the end of the race and get a couple of points. We made two good finishes and race one was definitely better. We are on 26 points, close to the top ten, so one good result and we can climb up.”
Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
Race result: 2nd – Championship position: 6th “I am very pleased to take second place and get
20 points after the problems we had in the first two meetings. A few laps from the end I had some issues with the rear tyre so I had to slow down and protect my position. It was a good weekend for us, particularly as I am still not 100% back to full fitness, so to great to be on the podium and take home good points.”
Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda) Race result: 4th. Championship position: 4th “Near to the podium again, but it was much better than Donington. I had more power inside and I was much closer to third. We missed some engine power because the rider who got third pulled away from me exiting the corners and I had so many metres to make up for under braking, one or two more than I needed to get past him. I am satisfied with the overall performance. I did not make any mistakes and had good rhythm. We are still top Honda team in the points and closer to the leader now.”
James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
Race result: 7th. Championship position: 8th “Every time the race got red flagged it went in our favour because we could make some small changes to the bike, get further up the grid and then gain a few positions at the start. The race was going really well until half distance. I had a bit of a problem with the front all weekend and in the end the front tyre was gone. Other than that, the bike had a podium potential. I’m a bit disappointed but we’ll get the bike up there where it needs to be at Monza.”
Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda)
Race result: 8th. Championship position: 13th “That was a hard race and I am pleased to have finished where I did. It is never easy to keep concentration when there are three starts. This is my best result of the season and for me it has been a positive weekend as we have made set-up improvements on my Parkalgar Honda. I am looking forward to Monza and starting that race with what we have found here, I want to keep this positive momentum and keep improving.”
Vladimir Ivanov (Step Racing Team Honda) Race result: 9th. Championship position: 17th “I got a top ten and my first points and I am happy for this because the last two races I have not finished. So this is a positive result. I wanted to be faster in my pace and in that race I should have been a better position. I think maybe not a top five yet, but I should be in a higher position.”
Gino Rea (Step Racing Team Honda)
Race result: DNF. Championship position: 10th “I lost the front into the left hander before the double right. I was struggling a little into the corners because we have a clutch in the bike that we do not usually use and I was trying to control it on the lever. It was a bit inconsistent and when I fell I had no chance of saving it. I am taking only positives away from here because we obviously have the speed to run up front, the chassis is getting there and now we just have to complete the package.”
Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) Race result: DNF. Championship position: 9th “Nothing I could do about the crash today, I just hot hit from behind. I am disappointed, but I have seen that we have the potential to fight for the podium and I think this is good for our minds. Now we take all the positive things to Monza and try to do my best and fight like we did this week as well.”
– Team Suzuki Alstare Report
Team Suzuki Alstare rider Michel Fabrizio fought his way up from the fourth row of the grid to take fifth place in the opening World Superbike race at Assen today.
Despite a poor start, the Italian battled his way through the field and was up to fourth place with just four laps remaining: But by then, his front tyre was almost completely gone and when Marco Melandri (Yamaha) overtook him in the final chicane, Fabrizio could not push hard enough to re-pass his fellow countryman.
Jonathan Rea (Honda) had taken the lead after three laps and was never headed on the way to victory. Second was Max Biaggi (Aprilia) with Carlos Checa (Ducati) third.
In race two, Fabrizio charged up to seventh place and was in battle for fifth with Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) and Leon Haslam (BMW), but after six laps, his front tyre started moving about. He pushed as hard as he could to pass the duo, but had to settle for seventh position.
Michel Fabrizio – Race 1: 5th, Race 2: 7th: “Generally I am quite pleased with our performance today – especially considering that I had to start from the fourth row of the grid. I didn’t make a good start in the first race, but managed to get into fourth by lap 12. It had taken some time to get past some of the riders, but I was fairly comfortable in fourth until a few laps from the end. My front tyre was already moving about a lot by the time Melandri came past and although I tried to catch him again, the tyre wasn’t up to it; so I had to be satisfied with fifth instead.
“I used the same tyres (soft front and rear) for race two, but this time, they began to go off after only six laps. From then it was a real struggle to push hard enough to catch and pass Haslam and Laverty, but I kept trying right to end of the race. At the finish, I was just one tenth-of-a-second behind Laverty, so it was pretty close.
“Although today was quite a good day for us, it would’ve been so much better if I had not have had the problem in Superpole yesterday. I am convinced that if I had been on the first or second row of the grid today, I would’ve got on the podium for sure – and maybe have even won a race!”
– Team Kawasaki Report
Joan Lascorz and Tom Sykes secured valuable championship points in both the Assen Superbike races as recuperating rider Chris Vermeulen started the opening race but had to pull in to retire.
Points For Sykes And Lascorz
Results in qualifying and practice had indicated that the official Kawasaki riders could use the softest rear race tyres available but in race one this did not prove to be the case, meaning that Lascorz went 11th and Sykes 14th, struggling to maintain lap times in the second half of the race. Race two was not any easier for the duo after a tyre choice change, as Sykes finished 11th and Lascorz 12th in race two.
Chris Vermeulen found that his leg muscles had still not recovered enough to compete over full race distance but he was in a good points scoring position until he was forced to withdraw with cramp in his leg on lap nine. He did not start race two.
Pedercini Team Kawasaki rider Mark Aitchison had the honour of taking the best single Kawasaki result of the weekend, tenth in race one, but his team-mate Roberto Rolfo fell in that race and just missed out on a point in race two.
Lacorz and Sykes share 26 points in the championship and are just outside the top ten.
Tom Sykes: “Race one was unfortunate because we went for a soft A rear tyre which we thought was going to work. That did not pay off but in race two we chose the C tyre, a harder one, and probably the one that the majority of the field was on. It is still early days yet for us and we know what we can do when we find the right settings. I feel it is a question of getting better balance on the bike and having a bit more speed, but I think we will get both of them pretty soon.”
Joan Lascorz: “In the first race the bike was good at the start but then very quickly, lap six or seven maybe, I lost the best grip and I could not get it back. In the first part of the second race I felt very low grip on a different tyre choice at the start but then it started to come in. Things improved and there was a better balance of the bike at that time. At least I could ride it better, so I picked up my pace and overtook a few people.”
Chris Vermeulen: “I stopped just because of a lack of strength in my leg but we went out to try and complete the full races. We still got some useful data in any case. My leg just cramped up and I had to stop after a few laps. My pace was not so bad and I was holding down a points scoring position but I just could not get to the end. This is the first time I have been able to feel the bike really working, and I made some set-up changes because I was pushing at a decent level sometimes this weekend. I am happy with what the team has done but we have a lot of work still to do, just because I am a long way behind my team-mates in learning the bike at present. I think I should be ready for a full weekend of racing at Monza.”
Mark Aitchison: “Race one was good for us and I am stoked to be inside the top ten for the first time. I really started to enjoy myself. A few guys crashed in race one but we will take the results while they are there. I feel we are getting there with the bike settings now.”
Broc Parkes and David Salom overcame several obstacles at Assen to record strong finishes on raceday, with Parkes third and Salom fifth in a twice re-started and eventually shortened race.
Parkes On The Podium And Second In the Championship
Broc eventually took his second podium of the year and he is now only three points from the top, in second place overall, as points leader Luca Scassa crashed out of a race won by his team-mate Chaz Davies.
Salom is now fifth overall in the points, only 16 from the leader, as he continues his push to take his first podium score of 2011.
Massimo Roccoli, from the Kawasaki Lorenzini by Leoni Team, was sixth today and moved to seventh in the standings. His team-mate Vittorio Iannuzzo fell but is still inside the top 12 championship positions.
Broc Parkes: “I was a little bit fortunate that some other riders went out but I was unlucky to be bumped wide in the first turn, so it was just luck coming back my way. I am second in the championship and only three points from first, so it is like the season just started again. We have learned some things to take from this weekend to Monza and the team is always working on new things, so we can look forward to that. We improved the bike every day here and I had the pace so we scored a podium and got some good points again.”
David Salom: “A very confusing day but a good race. My start was good the first time but it did not count and in the second and third starts it was no good. I had some work to do to. I think I was in about 14th place in the first lap of the real race but when I got behind Broc he passed rider after rider and I got up to fifth place. My lap times were good and a top five was not so bad. We overcame some problems that we had in practice and I was happy to be able to make a pass on another rider in the last corner to make it into the top five.”