Press releases from the organizer and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the semi-dry and soaking wet races at Assen:
Masterful display by Guintoli as he wins opening race
Assen (the Netherlands), Sunday 27 April 2014 - Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) has taken victory in the first race of the day at a drying Assen circuit in the Netherlands. The 2013 WSBK runner up has climbed on the top step of the podium for the fifth time in his career, the second one this year after the win he scored at Phillip Island in Race 2.
The race was classified dry and as the lights went out it was Guintoli who took the hole-shot with Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) and the Kawasaki Racing Team duo of Loris Baz and Tom Sykes giving chase.
A red flag in the closing laps as Sykes was closing in on the leading Aprilia riders meant the result would stand with Rea finishing 3rd.
Baz took 4th with Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) eventually classified 5th and 6th respectively a great race long battle.
Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) finished a superb 10th position to end the race as the highest EVO category rider.
Christian Iddon (Team Bimota Alstare), Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team) and Fabien Foret (Mahi Team India Kawasaki) all fell but should be able to take part in race two.
Results: 1. Guintoli (Aprilia) 16 Laps/72.672 km in 25'56.636 average 168.067 kph; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1.259; 3. Rea (Honda) 4.116; 4. Baz (Kawasaki) 4.459; 5. Elias (Aprilia) 23.728; 6. Melandri (Aprilia) 25.478; 7. Davies (Ducati) 26.533; 8. Haslam (Honda) 26.696; 9. Lowes (Suzuki) 27.971; 10. Canepa (Ducati) 33.479; 11. Scassa (Kawasaki) 40.689; 12. Salom (Kawasaki) 40.803; 13. Camier (BMW) 41.086; 14. Corti (MV Agusta) 41.410; 15. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 41.977; 16. Morais (Kawasaki) 1'08.454; 17. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 1'19.067; 18. Bos (Honda) 1'19.076; 19. May (EBR) 1'29.475; 20. Toth (BMW) 1 Lap; RT. Fabrizio (Kawasaki); RT. Laverty (Suzuki); RT. Yates (EBR); RT. Sebestyen (BMW); RT. Giugliano (Ducati); NS. Foret(Kawasaki); SH. Badovini (Bimota) 35.101; SH. Iddon (Bimota).
Jonathan Rea takes race 2 win in tricky conditions
Assen (the Netherlands), Sunday 27 April 2014 - After a lengthy delay because of heavy rain and with conditions visibly better, compared to the situation that forced the Race Direction to red flag the initial race, the riders started a new Race 2 over a race distance of 10 laps. Eventually it was race one podium finisher Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) that emerged victorious ahead of Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and Davide Giugliano (Ducati Racing Team) who completed the podium in tricky conditions.
Rea achieved the 12th WSBK race win of his career, the fifth one at the Assen TT Circuit, whilst Lowes scored his maiden podium finish in the series and Giugliano the first top 3 placement of his new adventure as factory Ducati rider.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) and Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) rounded out the top 6.
Sylvain Guintoli crashed at the chicane on lap 2 but was fortunate enough to be able to remount to salvage 9th at the flag, behind pole sitter Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), seventh, and Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team), eighth.
In the EVO class, Niccolo Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) came home in 10th having the honour of being the first EVO classified rider in the race.
Results: 1. Rea (Honda) 10 Laps/45.420 km in 19'09.464 average 142.251 kph; 2. Lowes (Suzuki) 2.222; 3. Giugliano (Ducati) 4.955; 4. Sykes (Kawasaki) 13.089; 5. Haslam (Honda) 13.639; 6. Melandri (Aprilia) 18.041; 7. Baz (Kawasaki) 21.837; 8. Davies (Ducati) 26.919; 9. Guintoli (Aprilia) 32.766; 10. Canepa (Ducati) 37.965; 11. Bos (Honda) 44.141; 12. Scassa (Kawasaki) 1'23.769; 13. Morais (Kawasaki) 1'45.062; 14. Fabrizio (Kawasaki) 1 Lap; 15. Salom (Kawasaki) 1 Lap; 16. Toth (BMW) 1 Lap; RT. Laverty (Suzuki); RT. Corti (MV Agusta); RT. Camier (BMW); RT. Andreozzi (Kawasaki); RT. Elias (Aprilia); RT. Foret (Kawasaki); RT. Guarnoni (Kawasaki); SH. Iddon (Bimota) 1'12.574; SH. Badovini (Bimota).
Standings (Round 3 of 13): 1. Sykes 108; 2. Guintoli 96; 3. Baz 93; 4. Rea 89; 5. Melandri 69; 6. Giugliano 59; 7. Davies 47; 8. Laverty 46; 9. Haslam44; 10. Lowes 36; 11. Elias 34; 12. Canepa 28; 13. Salom 27; 14. Scassa 11; 15. Camier 11; 16. Morais 10; 17. Foret 9; 18. Allerton 6; 19. Bos 5;20. Corti 5; 21. Guarnoni 5; 22. Fabrizio 2. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 114; 2. Aprilia 106; 3. Honda 89; 4. Suzuki 76; 5. Ducati 73; 6. BMW 17; 7. MV Agusta 5.
APRILIA WINS AT ASSEN
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI COMES CLOSE TO A SENSATIONAL DOUBLE WIN: AFTER VICTORY IN RACE 1 AND RACE 2 SUSPENDED WHILE HE WAS DOMINATING A FALL DEPRIVES HIM OF ANOTHER WIN AFTER THE RESTART OF THE SECOND RACE.
AFTER CRASHING OUT THE FRENCH RIDER GOT BACK IN THE SADDLE AND ASTONISHED FANS WITH A SPECTACULAR COMEBACK.
TWO SIXTH PLACE FINISHES FOR MARCO MELANDRI.
Assen, 27 April 2013 – Just one error in the first part of Race 2 deprived Aprilia rider Sylvain Guintoli of a sensational double win that seemed already to be within reach after winning the first race.
But the Dutch round brought the Aprilia team back into the limelight of the championship with the RSV4 proving to be worthy of its title as reigning Manufacturer World Champion.
In Race 1 the French rider started well to move out in front of the rest when the red lights went off and set an impossible pace for the rest of his rivals. Then in the second half of the race he defended his position in the lead with flying laps as Tom Sykes made a comeback.
Sylvain carried out his duties as forerunner magnificently on a partially damp track with slick tyres, a terrible situation which did not compromise the race. As demonstrated by the record breaking lap set by his Aprilia (1’36.440) in the third lap. The race was called 4 laps from the end when the red flag came out due to a blown engine.
Race 2 started off looking promising with Sylvain out front and clearly faster than all his rivals. The heavy rain forced the race marshals to suspend the race, restarting it later with distance shortened to 10 laps. On a treacherous track, and despite a less than perfect start, Sylvain managed to get front runner Rea in his sights within a few turns. On the last chicane the poor grip cause him to crash. In any case, able to get going again in 18th place, Guintoli resumed his pace and finished the race in ninth place after a spectacular comeback.
Sylvain Guintoli: "It's a real shame about Race 2. Despite a less than perfect start I was making up ground without any difficulty. The slide in the second lap had nothing to do with any specific mistake. On a track that wet it simply doesn't take much at all. In spite of the blow to my back and damage to the footpeg and handlebar, I lapped fast and that really makes me angry because it's clear that I could have won Race 2 as well. In Race 1, on the other hand, I took some risks in the first few laps to try and increase the gap - a dangerous strategy but one that worked in the end. Before the race was called I was keeping an eye on Tom Sykes' comeback, trying to manage my advantage. I have to thank the entire team and the guys here at Aprilia Racing because they did a great job today. Even with the low temperatures my RSV4 was really working well. It just goes to show that everyone's efforts paid off."
Marco Melandri had a little more difficulty, finishing sixth in both races. The rider from Ravenna showed grit and determination in Race 2 until a “long” run in a turn knocked him out of the battle for a podium finish.
Giugliano and the Ducati Superbike Team score first podium of the season today at Assen
Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 27 April 2014 – at the end of a day conditioned by bad weather, Ducati Superbike rider Davide Giugliano scored his first podium of the season in race 2 at Assen today, while Chaz Davies concluded the day’s races in seventh and eighth position.
Race 1 – in a first race that took place in dry conditions despite threatening clouds, Chaz got away very well from twelfth on the grid and was up into seventh through the first corners. He lost a couple of positions through the opening stages before pushing to move into sixth position by lap eight. The British rider battled with Melandri, managing to pass him only for the Italian to get back past him once again. Unfortunately the red flag was waved on lap 17, after another rider suffered a technical fail, and the race was brought to a premature end. Chaz therefore closed in final seventh position.
Lining up in sixth position on the grid, Giugliano got away well and held that position through the first corners. Unfortunately a small mistake caused him to go wide, where he slipped on a wet point of the track and crashed. His race unfortunately ended there.
Race 2 – the race, reduced to 15 laps having been declared ‘wet’, got started in heavy rain but was stopped on lap three when Guintoli, leading at the time, raised his hand. After a delay of an hour, the race got underway once more, reduced now to only ten laps. Davide was fifth through the initial laps, behind Lowes and Melandri while Davies was in seventh, behind Baz. Giugliano pushed to catch and pass first Lowes and then Melandri, moving into third position on lap seven. Davide managed the final part of the race perfectly and crossed the line in third position, scoring the first podium of the season for the Ducati Superbike team! Davies, separated by several seconds from both those riders immediately ahead of him and those behind, concluded in final eighth place.
At the conclusion of this third championship round, Giugliano lies sixth in the general standings, with 59 points, while Davies is seventh with 47 points. Ducati places fifth in the manufacturer’s classification with 73 points.
Quotes after the races:
Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team #34) – DNF, 3rd
“A very difficult race day. I could have done really well in the dry, we’d been fast all weekend but unfortunately the crash in race 1 conditioned things somewhat, also physically-speaking. Then the rain conditioned race two. It was difficult to maintain concentration after all that had happened and after the delay but in the end it all worked out well. We needed a podium, it was important for the team, for the sponsors, for the fans – it’s good for morale. Now we head to Imola, one of my favourite tracks, where I think we can do well.”
Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 7th, 8th
“It’s not been an easy weekend, we had a few chattering issues at the front of the bike throughout the entire weekend. In race 1 we used the soft tyre, which behaved well despite the low temperatures but by the final stages I’d lost some traction. Rain then conditioned race 2, though it didn’t feel too bad, it was more a case of confidence. It’s the first race I’ve completed with this bike in the wet and I need more time to understand the limit.”
Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati Superbike Project Director
“This first podium is very important because it is the culmination of the great effort and hard work that the guys in Ducati Corse are putting in around the clock. Davide made a very balanced second race, in difficult conditions, while also pushing hard. It was a pity that the small mistake in race 1 cost him dear. The Team has worked hard and has been able to be competitive also here at Assen, a sign that the direction we are taking is the right one. The first podium of 2014 has finally arrived and we must continue to work even harder to improve further.”
Rea extends Assen podium record with fifth win
Jonathan Rea took a commanding win on his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in the second of today’s two third-round World Superbike races at Assen in the Netherlands. It was his fifth win at the 4.542km circuit, his 12th career SBK victory, and a superb follow-up to his third place finish in race one this morning.
Rea’s podium finishes in today’s races extend his record of scoring at least one rostrum finish each season at Assen since 2010, giving him a total of eight in ten races over five years.
Today’s first outing was dry, despite forecast rain, and British rider Rea, 27, settled into a rhythm, but did not have quite enough pace to match eventual winner, Sylvain Guintoli, with Tom Sykes finishing second. The race ended five laps early when oil was dropped on the circuit, Rea’s Pata Honda team-mate Leon Haslam, 30, taking eighth place at the flag.
The rain eventually arrived for race two but not before the race was declared ‘dry’ and started under threatening skies. The first attempt was delayed after the end of the warm-up lap when the rain finally fell in earnest. While some riders lined up on the grid, others, including Haslam, entered the pits to switch from slick tyres to full wets.
The second attempt to start the race was stopped after just three laps when the rain became torrential and red flags were waved. A long wait followed for track conditions to improve, with a shortened 10-lap race finally starting two hours behind schedule.
Rea took the lead on the opening lap and kept his rivals at arms length, eventually crossing the line two seconds ahead of fellow British rider Alex Lowes, with Davide Guigliano finishing third.
Jonathan Rea - third first
It’s been a really good weekend because we’ve been on the podium twice. To be honest, our dry pace was OK in race one but Sylvain [Guintoli] made such a fast start to the race, I struggled to go with him. When Tom [Sykes] went past I made a big mistake but, after that, my pace until the end was quite similar to theirs. For race two we were quite excited to see if we could go with them in the dry but during the break it rained quite heavily. After some delays, we got going for a 10-lap race and to win that was really special. It’s a wet race win around Assen but I kept having flash-backs to Magny-Cours in 2012 when I had a 10-second lead and crashed. For the last laps I just tried to be as smart as I could, and they were long laps, because I had a bit of a gap. I just want to thank all the team. This win’s for all those guys who have worked tirelessly throughout the winter and since the start of the season to make the CBR as strong as possible. It’s great to be able to give them back some good vibes to roll with into the next part of the season.
Leon Haslam - eighth fifth
Race one was a bit frustrating really because I felt we could have been easily fifth from where we were. The pace wasn’t that mega but we had a lot of issues again this weekend. It wasn’t right in race one but I think fifth was still possible. The flag put an early end to it anyway. I was confident that, for the dry, we’d made the right move for race two but it was wet. In the first part I was already up to fifth when they stopped it but, in part two, I got caught behind Chaz [Davies] and it took me a few laps to get by him. When I passed him, everyone had gone, but I was able to be one of the fastest guys on track in the last three laps. I managed to get past Baz and Melandri and was closing the gap to Tom [Sykes] but then ran out of time. We hadn’t really done any wet testing, so it was positive that we weren’t too far away. The pace was pretty good but starting from where we were on the grid didn’t help either.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Race one was dry and we were, of course, very happy with Jonathan’s podium, although Leon had one or two other issues. In the wet conditions, and after flags, and delays, we finally went for 10 laps. Jonathan went to the front, built a gap and kept control. It was a really smart, clever race so I’m very happy for him and the whole team. Leon got held up a bit but once he got going he was doing similar lap times to Jonathan. It was a difficult weekend so it’s good to finish this way and we can go to Imola with more confidence.
Van der Mark delights Dutch crowd with Assen victory
Pata Honda’s Michael van der Mark won today’s third round World Supersport race at Assen in the Netherlands today, dominating the 18-lap race to the delight of an ecstatic home crowd.
It was the first World Supersport race win for the 21-year-old Dutch rider and particularly poignant for his team which is based just 70km south of the 4.542km circuit. Following his second place at Aragon last week, van der Mark now moves to second place in the series, just four points off the lead.
Starting from third place on the grid, van der Mark took the lead from Kenan Sofuoglu on lap three and was never headed – putting in a series of remarkably and consistently fast laps, including a new lap record of 1m38.587s, to open up a lead of almost 10 seconds at the flag.
Van der Mark’s Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, recovered from an indifferent start to finish fifth in today’s race. The Italian rider sits in eighth place in the championship table ahead of his own home race at Imola in two weeks’ time.
Michael van der Mark - first
That was unbelievable! We’ve been fast all weekend but my start wasn’t really that great. I was third and followed Kenan [Sofuoglu] and Florian [Marino] for the first two laps and saw immediately that I was faster. When I passed Kenan I kept pushing and the race pace was so incredibly fast that I was able to pull away from the guys all through the race. It was the first time I’ve led my home race and I didn’t want to make any mistakes and at the end I won with about nine seconds. The slow-down lap was amazing to see all the Dutch fans waving and yelling at me! It’s incredible to take your first win in front of your home crowd, plus your sponsors, family and friends. I want to thank everyone, including everyone in my team and the Clinica Mobile, because I had a bad fever this morning and they got me ready to race today.
Lorenzo Zanetti - fifth
In the end I think it’s been a positive weekend. Like Portimao, this is one of my weaker circuits so to take fifth is not too bad. I had a little problem with the front tyre from the start. I never any problems with this tyre before but there was a lot of movement. Without this problem, maybe I could have fought with Marino and Sofuoglu, but Mikey [van der Mark] had a really good rhythm this weekend. The whole team has worked really well this weekend though and this is a positive, so it means I can really look forward to Imola. Congratualtions to Mikey, of course. His win is the result of hard work by all the team over the winter, but he rode very well today.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It was a sensational win for Michael which has made everyone very happy. It’s the first time that a Dutch rider from a Dutch team has won a World Supersport race in front of a Dutch crowd at Assen so we are all very glad. He’s been strong all weekend and in the race he was in another class – at times lapping almost a second faster than the guy in second. He brought it home for a day to remember. Lorenzo had a good race, too, and was fighting for third until the end. He had some front tyre issues which stopped him going for the podium but it’s been a very, very good day for the Supersport team.
Debut podium for Lowes at a rain soaked Assen
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki racer Alex Lowes proved his championship winning pedigree today by securing his first eni FIM Superbike World Championship podium with second place in the afternoon’s rain hit race two at the Assen TT Circuit in the Netherlands.
Lowes, starting from ninth on the grid, battled hard on his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R to challenge the front runners, claiming second place on his fourth lap, and setting the first of his three fastest laps of the race. The British rider seemed unperturbed by the afternoon’s two restarts due to the forecasted heavy rain as he continued to hunt down eventual winner Honda’s Jonathan Rea. Closing the gap to the front, the Englishman set two further stunning laps, securing the Pirelli Fastest Lap award with a 1’52.975 on his penultimate revolution, to claim his debut podium on only his third weekend on the world stage.
Lowes had previously mastered his best result of the championship so far with a ninth place finish in the morning’s race one. Battling with a number of riders the rookie set his personal fastest time on the 12th lap before the race was prematurely ended on a red flag at lap 17, seeing Aprilia’s Sylvain Guintoli victorious.
Suffering from the misfortunes of the previous day’s Superpole, Eugene Laverty had a race weekend to forget despite the promising form shown in the opening two days aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000. With two difficult starts he rode hard to regain places, recording the highest speed of the weekend of 291.7km/h during race one, but ultimately succumbed to the conditions, crashing out of both races.
A tumultuous day, the morning’s race was run in a cool and dry 15°C but the afternoon soon gave way to torrential rain, resulting in an hour long delay, before the final restart and ten lap race got underway two hours later than scheduled.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now returns to its UK headquarters with a raft of information and confidence ahead of the fourth round of the championship’s visit to Imola in Italy in a fortnight’s time.
“It’s fantastic, it was a great race for me and it’s really good for the team for me to finally get on the podium! It was a wet race, so it’s never as nice as getting on the podium in the dry but I’m very happy and hopefully this can kick start our season after the injuries. It’s been a really difficult start to the year for me, and now I’ve got some good points on the board and a podium, I’m looking forward to hopefully improving both myself and the bike, and seeing if we can be a bit closer to the front in the dry!”
“We had a bad start in the first race but we had a strong pace; it was a clear 11 points so I’m really angry that I threw those away. The second race I just had a terrible feeling with the bike, after we went off the line I just had absolutely no rear grip and it was a crash waiting to happen! With three laps to go I thought ‘I’ve stayed on this far’ and then suddenly I did a 180 and I was in the air. A terrible day, two non-finishes is a big disaster. This was a track where I felt we could be strong, Friday and Saturday we were, so to leave with no points is a big disappointment.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The obvious highlight of a tricky race day here at Assen was Alex’s superb ride to second this afternoon. The team made some very positive changes for the wet conditions after the stoppage and allowed Alex to ride to his full potential. To come from tenth on the first lap to nearly being in a winning position at the end and to secure the fastest lap of the race against this level of competition was a stunning effort and should give Alex renewed confidence as we go to Imola.
Today has been very cruel to Eugene’s championship aspirations, especially after such a positive performance from him and the bike during Friday and Saturday, and a genuine feeling by rider and team that it was a race that we could challenge to win. Things really went wrong in Superpole when the rain interrupted things for both riders but for Eugene the grid position, combined with very poor starts, added a lot of pressure and we can just be thankful that he is completely fit, as obviously with two accidents it can always be much worse. “
Fernandez wins wet EJC race at Assen
Spaniard Augusto Fernandez won today’s second-round European Junior Cup race at Assen in the Netherlands, leading from first corner to chequered flag to narrow the lead at the top of the 2014 championship.
Fernandez is second in a Spanish 1-2-3 at the top of the table with Marc Miralles leading the way after finishing in third place in today’s six-lap race at the 4.542km Assen circuit, adding to his first round win at Aragon in Spain two weeks ago. Javier Orellana could finish only eighth today, but still sits in championship third position.
In damp conditions in Assen, which followed disruption to the schedule following a heavily-delayed second World Superbike championship race, Jesper Hubner finished in second place today. The Swedish rider is just one point behind Orellana in the table.
Podium finisher in Aragon, Mika Perez, was one of several riders who fell victim to today’s wet conditions but local Dutch wildcard, Ricardo Brink, finished in a creditable fourth place, while his fellow Dutchman and the second Assen wildcard, Jamie van Sikkelerus, rounded out the top ten.
“It was a difficult weekend,” said Fernandez after the race. “I started from sixth place on the grid but my start was OK. I was a bit nervous but went into the first corner in the lead. I thought I could push, but I had to concentrate very hard. I’m very happy with this win, though, and I look forward to Imola.”
2014 European Junior Cup, powered by Honda Racing
Round 2: Assen, Netherlands - race result:
1 Augusto Fernandez (ESP)
2 Jesper Hubner (SWE)
3 Marc Miralles (ESP)
4 Ricardo Brink (NED)
5 Hannes Soomer (EST)
6 Paolo Grassia (ITA)
7 Connor London (NZL)
8 Javier Orellana (ESP)
9 Alex Wisdom (USA)
10 Jamie van Sikkelerus
Championship points after two of eight rounds:
Miralles 41, Fernandez 38, Orellana 28, Hubner 27, Soomer 20, Grassia 18, Perez 16, Angelo Licciardi (BEL) 14, London 14, Brink 13.
Next race: Imola, Italy – 9-11 May