Jonathan Rea takes Assen WorldSBK Race One
Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea won race one at the TT Circuit Assen and cemented his place as second most successful rider at the Dutch track. Chaz Davies took a well-fought P2, and Honda rider and MotoGP Legend Nicky Hayden got to the WorldSBK podium for the first time.
After a great start for the front row, Tom Sykes lead from pole and was followed off the line by KRT teammate Jonathan Rea as both Kawasakis took off in the lead of the race.
After a mistake by Sykes, Rea then passed the pole-sitter as the Ducati of Chaz Davies fought to catch the two, eventually getting past both as the lead group started to concertina.
Sykes was the first of the frontrunners to falter as the Kawasaki rider lost the front into T16, crashing out of the race but escaping unharmed. The group of Rea, Davies, van der Mark and Hayden was left out front in the race, with the Welshman heading the group.
Van der Mark, Davies and Rea fought for the lead in a spectacular showcase of WorldSBK, before the Dutchman sadly pushed too hard and lost his Honda, sliding out and leaving his rivals to a duel won by Rea.
Honda teammate Nicky Hayden, after playing a patient game in P4, earned his way to his first podium in World Superbike with a ride that shows he know has the measure of the Honda, and the Pirelli tyre.
MV Agusta recovered from disappointment in Aragón as Leon Camier fought his way back from being denied entry to Superpole 2 by finishing in an incredible P4, a great haul of points and show of pace from the Italian factory and a well deserved reward for the hard work put in by team and rider.
Pata Yamaha pairing Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes suffered mixed fortunes in Tissot-Superpole and in Race 1, with the number 50 Yamaha of Guintoli starting from the front row and unfortunately ending his first Race in the Netherlands too early with a trip to the gravel. Teammate Lowes fought back from a crash in Superpole 2 to run in the top 6 before ending his race in P8.
BMW riders Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres, after graduating from Tissot-Superpole 1, both ran close together in the top ten until Reiterberger ran off track, leaving teammate Torres to take another top 5 finish as the flag fell, with the German recovering to an impressive 7th, just behind lead Aprilia Lorenzo Savadori.
Savadori recorded his best career result to date by coming home P6 as the Noale factory continue to improve and the reigning STK1000 Cup winner continues to impress, and the Kawasakis of Roman Ramos and Lucas Mahias, replacing Sylvain Barrier, closed out a top ten in Race 1 in which every manufacturer was represented.
Josh Brookes finished in 11th place but was 54-seconds behind the race winner, showing a deficit of more than two-seconds a lap over race distance will be something that the Milwaukee BMW squad will be very keen to try and improve on come Sunday.
Josh Hook finished his first race of WorldSBK season 2016 but narrowly missed out on claiming a championship point, the Taree youngster finishing a lap down in 16th place on the Grillini Kawasaki.
Jonathan Rea – 1st
“The front group was good, because it was four guys and some typical Assen racing. I put my head down with a few laps to go. I mean Chaz (Davies) did a great job at the start because it is really hard to lead here with the wind. When I hit the front it was hard. I’m so, so happy because I feel like we’ve been on the back foot now since Aragon and even the start of the season. So to score 25 points here is great. I want to thank all the Dutch fans because they give me a great reception when I come here every year. Thanks also to my team for the hard work and for keeping my spirits up, because honestly after Aragon we felt a bit deep in the sea and now we feel like our heads are above water.”
Chaz Davies – 2nd
“I finished the front tyre with about five laps to go. I was pushing and trying to manage it the best I could whilst I was leading and obviously Michael (van der Mark) hit the front, then Jonny (Rea) repassed him and I was prepared to get stuck in, but on the first corner of the last lap I tucked the front big time. I am so lucky to be standing here really, it just went and went and went, for what felt like a second and the bike gripped and then came back. At that point I just didn’t have a front tyre to attack in the last laps. But it’s 20 points and not so bad.”
Nicky Hayden – 3rd
“The start of the race was really intense, because we had such little dry track-time – basically two laps on race tyres in Superpole 2 – and so we didn’t know what to expect. I got a great start and was able to stay with the leading group of riders, although they were quite fast and every time I tried to relax, I could see a little gap opening in front of me. Towards the end, I started to feel more comfortable with the bike and conditions, so I thought I could find something extra in the final two laps. Just after Michael’s crash I had a moment at turn five, so I thought it was better to ride home in third. It’s my maiden WorldSBK podium and the first one in a long time, so I want to thank the team for the great work. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully we can put up a better fight.”
Jordi Torres – 5th
“Today we did FP3 in the wet and then the race in the dry, so it was a little complicated. Superpole 1 went well, in that we closed 1-2 but unfortunately, I’m not the best when it comes to the flying lap and I finished SP2 in ninth place. After Superpole, we continued to work to identify a set-up that would better conserve the tyres in the race. I had a lot of fun racing with Markus and Camier today. I think we managed our race well, using our heads and not pushing too hard early on which would have ruined the tyres. I’m only disappointed that I couldn’t stick with Camier at the end but there’s always tomorrow!”
Markus Reiterberger – 7th
“My start was not so bad, but I had a few problems through the first corner, getting blocked in and losing a lot of positions. From then on though my pace was OK, and I was able to fight for fifth with Jordi and Camier. I had a lot of fun. Then I made a small mistake, and was a little late on the brakes, almost colliding with Savadori ahead of me and losing a lot of time as a result, so in the end I finished seventh. I know we can do better though, and tomorrow I hope we can improve further.”
Michael van der Mark – DNF
“In Superpole it was all a bit of a gamble, really, but I felt fine on the bike even though the wind was really strong and made our job a bit more difficult. The laps I did with the race tyres were OK and with the qualifying rubber I made a mistake and lost a bit of time, but fifth was still a decent result. My race start was not the best and I stayed calm in the first couple of laps, then I built up some good speed and had a nice battle at the front with Chaz Davies and especially with Jonathan Rea. I felt I was much quicker in some areas but I was also losing a bit of ground at the exit of turn 5. I knew I had the pace to at least be on the podium but I wanted to win, so I was planning to attack at some point in the last two laps. Unfortunately I lost the front at turn 3 and that was a real shame, because the podium was there. We know what to change for tomorrow and hopefully we can make up what we lost today.”
Tom Sykes – DNF
“It was windy out there but I was able to enjoy some great speed in some areas of the track. On one corner I was missing some confidence and unfortunately that was on the run back to the pits. That was slowing me up into where I was good in the next part of the track. It was a difficult race like that but I was just getting settled down and really understanding where everyone was good. I was not necessarily thinking about the pass into the final chicane but unfortunately when I braked and went to backshift, I missed the initial backshift, which meant the engine was quite free. I just tried to get it stopped and get the gear selected. Any other day I would have been OK but unfortunately because we have had some bad track conditions it was really, really dirty and I lost the front. That was a small mistake on my behalf but it was unfortunate that we had such a dirty track off line. That is the way racing goes and there are positives to take from it as we were strong in some areas.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #34) – DNF
“It’s hard to describe today’s race. This morning in FP3 we were fastest in the wet, but even in dry conditions during Superpole we were quite competitive and took a first row that could have been decisive for the race. Unfortunately, I struggled since the early laps and opted to pit-in, but even after changing tyres things didn’t get better. I’m disappointed, but I’ll analyze the data together with my crew to fully understand our issues and take advantage of our true potential tomorrow.”
WorldSBK 2016 – Assen – Race One Results
- Jonathan Rea Kawasaki GBR 34’12.542
- Chaz Davies Ducati GBR 00’01.662
- Nicky Hayden Honda USA 00’05.635
- Leon Camier MV Agusta GBR 00’15.542
- Jordi Torres BMW ESP 00’16.922
- Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia ITA 00’22.460
- Markus Reiterberger BMW DEU 00’23.909
- Alex Lowes Yamaha GBR 00’29.893
- Román Ramos Kawasaki ESP 00’41.910
- Lucas Mahias Kawasaki FRA 00’48.323
- Joshua Brookes BMW AUS 00’53.638
- Alex De Angelis Aprilia SM 00’56.322
- Xavi Fores Ducati ESP 01’03.741
- Matteo Baiocco Kawasaki ITA 01’14.792
- Mattieu Lussiana BMW FRA 01’38.485
- Josh Hook Kawasaki AUS 1 lap
- Pawel Szkopek Yamaha POL 1 lap
WorldSBK 2016 – Championship Standings – Race One Championship Standings
- Jonathan Rea Kawasaki GBR 111
- Chaz Davies Ducati GBR 96
- Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 57
- Davide Giugliano Ducati ITA 50
- Jordi Torres BMW ESP 48
- Michael van der Mark Honda NLD 45
- Leon Camier MV Agusta GBR 38
- Sylvain Guintoli Yamaha FRA 34
- Nicky Hayden Honda USA 30
- Xavi Fores Ducati ESP 29
- Alex Lowes Yamaha GBR 25
- Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia ITA 25
- Joshua Brookes BMW AUS 24
- Román Ramos Kawasaki ESP 24
- Alex De Angelis Aprilia SM 20
- Markus Reiterberger BMW DEU 20
- Karel Abraham BMW CZE 11
- Lucas Mahias Kawasaki FRA 6
- Matteo Baiocco Kawasaki ITA 2
- Mike Jones Ducati AUS 2
- Sylvain Barrier Kawasaki FRA 2
- Mattieu Lussiana BMW FRA 1
WorldSSP: Krummenacher on pole, Stapleford triumphs
Championship leader Randy Krummenacher topped WorldSSP Tissot-Superpole at Assen to go fastest, ahead of new team Profile Racing’s Luke Stapleford on his Triumph Daytona 675 and fellow Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Kenan Sofuoglu. Anthony West, one of the fastest on Friday, was sadly declared unfit to race after a late crash in FP2.
After Friday track time was affected by the weather, key Championship players Randy Krummenacher, the current leader, and Jules Cluzel, a consistent title challenger, both found themselves outside Superpole 2 as WorldSSP had its first wet sessions of the year. Both riders also suffered crashes in the difficult conditions. As Saturday dawned with a drying track, Superpole 1 got underway with Krummenacher and Cluzel set to graduate to the second session, until the Frenchman suffered another highside on his MV Agusta and missed out marginally, with a new competitor taking the top spot, ahead even of Krummenacher.
The second session saw the timesheets topped for the majority of the session by the new Triumph, the bike taken by rider Luke Stapleford to the British crown last year, until on his final fast lap, Kawasaki rider Krummenacher pulled out just under two tenths to take pole position and ensure his venture through Superpole 1 did nothing to affect his title challenge. The two fastest riders on the grid both graduated from the Superpole 1 session.
Reigning Champion Sofuoglu gets another front row start to keep clawing back the points gap to his teammate, and Honda’s PJ Jacobsen starts from just behind the incumbent title holder at the front of the second row, a good position from which to put the disappointments of MotorLand behind him.
With Cluzel in P13, the Frenchman will be hoping to get a good start and catch his fellow title contenders as quickly as possible as the lights go out on Sunday.
Aiden Wagner was unable to take part in today’s session, after having suffered a crash in FP1 yesterday. Wagner, who fell as a result of the rain, has contusions to his right shoulder which unfortunately mean he will be unable to race tomorrow.
“Disappointment is an understatement, but I am determined to come back strong and be ready for the next round at Imola. I’m sure the team will have my bike ready and waiting for me. At this stage, my shoulder is not fit for racing after the crash I had in FP1. I wish the GRT Racing Team and my team-mate Gino all the best for the race tomorrow. We will take some points back to our corner in Italy. Thanks to my team and my apologies to my sponsors, I would have loved to have been on the grid this weekend.”
“I’m really happy to take my first pole position and I´m really confident now. After Friday, this is great because I also had an extra 15 minutes of dry practice and I could already work on my setup. My team did a great job. The 15 extra minutes helped me, but I also feel like I’ve got a great rhythm for the race. Tomorrow the goal is to keep this position! I want to fight at the top and take another podium.”