Press releases from the teams after Sunday's thrilling World Superbike races at Assen:
Rea wins again as van der Mark gets maiden WorldSBK podium
Davies finishes second with Haslam and Sykes in forth and fifth, respectively.
The opening Dutch WorldSBK race at the TT circuit was won in emphatic style by Jonathan Rea, who set a new lap record in 1’35.889s on the penultimate lap to record his sixth win at Assen, the fifth of his 2015 championship campaign. After a 21-lap fight involving for a number of laps up to six riders, Rea eased away from eventual second place finisher Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team) with two laps to go to secure another win for the Kawasaki Racing Team, the twentieth of his career. On the other hand the Welsh rider gave Ducati its 500th WorldSBK podium.
Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) became the first Dutchman in the history of WorldSBK to stand on the podium - as well as the first non British rider to do so this year - in third after displacing Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) with an impressive move through the fast left hander of Ramshoek on the penultimate lap, which had the packed grandstands on their feet.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) ran strongly in the opening laps before fading to fifth. The former champion looked to suffer pace-wise in the latter stages.
Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) recovered from an average start to overhaul compatriot Xavi Fores (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) for sixth in the final five laps leaving Fores to claim seventh at the flag after he had been as high as fifth in the early stages.
Reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) had a lonely ride to eighth, coming home five seconds ahead of Nico Terol (Althea Racing) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who crossed the line almost side by side to finish ninth and tenth respectively.
The Voltcom Crescent Suzuki pairing of Alex Lowes and Randy de Puniet went down together at Turn 1 on lap eight, the Frenchman crashing alone and collecting his team mate who appeared to have run straight on. Both riders were unhurt.
Double win for Rea as van der Mark bags another podium
Same top-3 as first race with Davies in second place.
The second WorldSBK race of the day at the iconic TT circuit of Assen in the Netherlands served up another nail-biting climax that once again had the crowd on their feet as the leading riders stayed locked together until the final lap. As he had in race one, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took the win ahead of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team).
Rea’s victory in race two is the second double that he has achieved at Assen making him the second most successful rider in the history of the Dutch Round (behind Carl Fogarty). It also gave him a career best run of nine consecutive podium finishes. Rea has now a significant 50-point lead in the standings.
Another brave move at the penultimate turn saw local rider Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike) grab a double podium with another third place after nudging aside Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), the Briton claiming 13 points with a fourth-place finish.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) again led in the early laps before fading to fifth ahead of Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) who fought hard to recover from another average start to finish sixth.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) finished one place higher than he managed in race 1, bringing his CBR1000RR SP home in seventh ahead of Xavi Fores (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team), while Alex Lowes had a much better race on his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki finishing ninth. Tenth place went to Leon Camier, who brought his MV Agusta Reparto Corse machine home in another solid top-ten position.
Nico Terol (Althea Racing) crashed out of contention on lap 4 and, after being taken first to the Medical Centre and then to the hospital, he was diagnosed with a right wrist fracture. Randy de Puniet retired once again on his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki.
WITH GRIT AND DETERMINATION LEON HASLAM TAKES TWO FOURTH PLACE FINISHES AT ASSEN
DOUBLE SIXTH PLACE FINISH FOR JORDI TORRES, PENALISED BY TWO IMPERFECT STARTS
APRILIA WINS SUPERSTOCK 1000. SAVADORI DOMINATES WITH THE RSV4 RF IN ITS ROOKIE YEAR IN THE CATEGORY
THE OTHER RSV4 RF RIDDEN BY KEVIN CALIA FINISHES FIFTH
Assen (Holland), 19 April 2015 - The finishing order for the two Superbike races at Assen were identical, putting on a lively show for all the fans that came out to the Dutch track.
For Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils it was an exciting Sunday with Leon Haslam in the leading pack and Jordi Torres riding two great comeback races after starting from the third row of the grid.
Haslam battled no-hold-barred in the pack that decided the podium, managing several times to close the gap behind the leaders and entertaining the fans with a series of spectacular scuffles. Especially in Race 2, where the English rider's pace at about 10 laps from the end seemed to promise an attack for a podium finish. Only front tyre wear, particularly stressed both by the characteristics of the circuit and his riding style, kept Leon from finishing on the podium, making him settle for two fourth place finishes.
This confirms Haslam's hold on second place in the overall Rider standings, the same position that Aprilia holds in the Manufacturer rankings.
Leon Haslam: "The two races were quite similar. I had good pace and was able to keep up with the leaders, but in the final laps I lost that feeling with the front tyre that was wearing quite a bit on the right side. Even using the harder solution the situation didn't change, maybe also because I had to push quite hard. We'll have to analyse the data to figure out where we can improve in this area. I'm a bit cross because I felt like I could have battled at least for the podium, but instead I lost it on the last turn."
The pace that Jordi Torres demonstrated in the centre part of the two races was encouraging. The end result, a double sixth place finish, was due almost entirely to the initial laps where the Spanish rookie is still unable to be incisive and take full advantage of the new tyres. In these first apprenticeship rounds Jordi has improved consistently. Now his feeling with the RSV4 RF is solid, so the only thing lacking is the experience he needs to battle at the top of a new and demanding category like World Superbike.
Jordi Torres: "We raced two cloned races. Unfortunately I am still lacking that feeling to be able to push in the first 6-7 laps with a new tyre and a full tank. Actually in the middle phases of the race I had a good pace, at the same level as the leading riders, but it's hard to make up the time lost at the start. My RSV4 was great on this track; I just need to be more aggressive from the start. If I take better advantage of Superpole and start farther up front on the grid I could make a play for the podium, or at least battle with the riders up front."
APRILIA RSV4 WINS IN THE SUPERSTOCK 1000 FIM CUP.
It was a race to remember for Lorenzo Savadori in the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup. Starting from the pole position he earned yesterday, the 2014 season runner-up led the race from the opening laps. After a red flag and consequent restart, Savadori kept his pace and rode the Team Nuova M2 Racing RSV4 RF to victory, also putting the race fast lap on the sheets and moving into first place in the overall rider standings. Taking a win as early as the second race of the season is an exciting result for the team and for Aprilia who is making its début with the RSV4 RF in this category, the one closest to factory bikes.
Kevin Calia rode a great comeback race, starting from the fifteenth spot on the grid. With an impressive pace and a series of spectacular passes, Calia finished fifth, just barely missing fourth place. This is further confirmation of just how competitive the new RSV4 RF is.
Double podium success for Davies and the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team today at Assen
Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 19 April 2015 – Chaz Davies and the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team scored a further 40 points in today’s Superbike races at the TT Circuit of Assen, with Davies twice powering his Panigale R across the line in second position. Javier Forés finished the day's races seventh and eighth.
Race 1 – The first of the day’s Superbike races took place in dry but cold conditions (air temperature 9°C, track 15°C). Davies, from fourth on the grid, was immediately up into third behind the two factory Kawasakis. Having got past Sykes, Chaz held second place for the entire second half of the race. The Welshman, maintaining an extremely fast pace all the way to the line, did all he could to reach Rea, a few tenths ahead of him, but, owing to front tyre wear which had reached a critical level by the final stages, he was forced to settle for final second position. Javier, seventh on the grid, immediately made up one position off the line. Retaining sixth place for almost the entire duration of the race, the Spaniard continued to set some fast lap times which allowed him to stick close to the leading group until just a few laps from the end, when he unfortunately lost ground due to front tyre wear. Forés therefore closed race one in seventh position.
Race 2 – Overcast skies but dry conditions for race 2. A good start for Davies initially positioned him fourth. The race, which was extremely hard fought by the frontrunners, saw Chaz battle it out against Rea, Sykes, Haslam and Vd Mark for the podium places. On lap 18 Davies set the ‘best lap’ of the race, in 1’35.992, before continuing to push until the line and close in second position, just four tenths of a second behind Rea. A difficult race 2 for Forés who was unable to find the right feeling with the medium front tyre selected. Despite showing strong pace in the early stages, the Spaniard started to lose terrain from mid-race onwards, concluding in final eighth position.
After the first four rounds of the 2015 Superbike World Championship, Chaz Davies is in third position in the championship standings with 123 points accumulated so far. Having competed at both Aragón and Assen, Forés now has 38 points and lies twelfth overall. The Spaniard will now turn his attention to the German IDM Championship, in which he will compete once again with team 3C Racing on board the Panigale R. The IDM championship will begin on 3 May at the Lausitzring.
As long as there are no unexpected complications, Davide Giugliano should return to the ranks of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team for round 5 of the Superbike World Championship, taking place at Imola on 10 May.
Quotes after the races:
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 2nd, 2nd
“I’m very happy with today’s results, also because it’s the first time I’ve stepped up to the Assen podium in Superbike. I’m pleased because I know we did all we could today, Rea was just a little stronger. In race 1, we were fairly confident with our rear tyre choice, having tested it over the weekend, but surprisingly my problem in race 1 was the front tyre – I had no grip at all in the last couple of laps and so there was no way of sticking with Johnny to the end. In race 2 the bike and tyre were better, we definitely made a step forward but there was no catching Rea. Now I can’t wait to head to Imola, Ducati’s home circuit and a track where we were able to do well last year.”
Javier Forés (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #112) – 7th, 8th
“In race 1 I was riding well and was able to stick with the group in front. Unfortunately from about lap fourteen onwards a drop in front tyre performance meant that I lost confidence and so I slowed a little in order to be able to finish the race. In race two I thought I’d found a solution, having changed both the tyre and the setting but the situation was worse. I didn’t have the same feeling with the bike as in race 1. But anyway, overall I’m very pleased with these last two race weekends. I’ve been able to score good points in all four races without making mistakes. It’s been a useful experience ahead of the IDM championship that I’m about to start, and I thank the team for having given me this opportunity.”
Stefano Cecconi – Team Principal –
“It’s undoubtedly been a positive weekend. Here in Holland we’ve again come close to victory in both races, further proof of the hard work being carried out by the team and riders as well as the potential of our Panigale. Chaz rode brilliantly, we were just missing that little extra with which to make the difference and so we’ll continue to work in preparation for Imola, where we anxiously await Davide’s return. A special thanks goes to Javier for the work he’s done over the last two weekends. We had no doubt as to his talent and he didn’t let us down. Now we wish him and the 3C Racing Team lots of luck for the IDM championship that’s about to begin.”
KRT’s Rea Takes A Double Win For The Second Time This Year
Jonathan Rea (KRT) made it six wins from eight starts in the FIM Superbike Championship since he joined Kawasaki, taking the chequered flag each time after two exciting and often tense racing at Assen in the Netherlands. Superpole winner Tom Sykes (KRT) was in the front group in each race but dropped back to finish fifth each time.
With cool temperatures on the track in each race Sykes and Rea ran with the front group in each 21-lap race. Rea was the start-to-finish leader in race one and Sykes was ahead of the pack for 12 laps of race two, until Rea moved forward to lead and then take his second win.
Rea had to turn up the pace in the final laps of each race to keep ahead of eventual second place rider Chaz Davies, setting a new lap record of 1’35.889 on lap 20 of the first race to make sure of his opening win.
Sykes had issues in keeping his strong early pace as the races unfolded, but his push right at the front in race two was impressive, keeping him clear of the battles going on behind for much of the race. He had to slow as the races wore on, but he is still fourth in the championship standings leaving the fourth round.
Both Assn WSB races provided thrills aplenty for the large Dutch crowd and the second race in particular was a classic of its type. There were multiple overtakes, dramatic passing manoeuvres and high speed battles through the sculpted curves of Assen’s final two sectors.
Thanks to his latest successes Rea is now 50 points ahead in the championship table after scoring his 49th and 50th podium places in WSB today. He has a total of 190 points; Leon Haslam has 140, Chaz Davies 123 and Sykes 88.
Imola, on 10th May, is the venue for the next WSB races, a track both Kawasaki riders can count as a favourite from years gone by.
Jonathan Rea: “I feel awesome to win two races here. Today has been amazing and like in Thailand I need to sit down and savour this moment. There was a lot of pressure on me coming here, everyone talking about how Assen was my circuit, so I am just happy to deliver. We chose a different rear tyre in race two and it worked out well.
Race two was slightly different because I knew Tom would be fast in the beginning. The race was a bit faster at the start and slower at the end because of that. When Chaz put a pass on me and I saw Tom slowing I knew that it could end up to be a messy fight so I wanted to get straight back into the lead and make it my race. This one is for all my mechanics who have been working tirelessly and all the people at KHI. Hopefully now we can go to Imola and do a similar job - but this one feels very special.”
Tom Sykes: “We had a better performance in qualifying at this round and at the beginning of the races I feel comfortable. I think that has shown in the last couple of rounds. We are definitely starting to make progress and we have had various changes in rear set-up this weekend with very similar outcomes. I definitely feel that I have a clearer understanding of where we are, and my crew chief feels the same. I know I can run with the guys but at the last third or half of the race we cannot stick with the guys in some aspects. We know what we need to do and I am confident in where we can improve. We will move on to the next race in Imola but before then we will pinpoint a few things.”
At Assen David Salom (Kawasaki Team Pedercini) finished race one 14th and race two in 13th meaning he is now 14th in the championship overall. His fellow Spanish rider Roman Ramos (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) placed 13th and then 15th in the Assen races and is only one place behind Salom in the points table.
Sofuoglu And Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Win Again In WSS
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) came out on top of a final corner battle with another rider to secure his second race win in as many weekends. Intermoto Ponyexpress rider PJ Jacobsen placed just off podium this weekend, in fourth position.
After a four-rider fight at times in the earlier stages of the 18-lap WSS race it came down to a last lap decider between Sofuoglu and pole man Jules Cluzel. Sofuoglu saw Cluzel go inside at the final chicane and then go wide, but the two came together on the exit, with Sofuoglu the winner by 0.879 seconds.
Sofuoglu took his career total of WSS wins to 29 today and in doing so took a championship lead of 25 points after four rounds.
Jacobsen was eventually a distant fourth after being a potential podium rider for most of the race. He is second in the standings with 55 points to Sofuoglu’s 80.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) finished seventh overall in the race, one place and four seconds ahead of rookie WSS rider Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki). In the points Mahias is tenth, Faccani 11th.
Dominic Schmitter (Team Go Eleven Kawasaki) placed 13th and scored three points today, while his team-mate Christian Gamarino was unlucky to fall and not finish.
The fifth round of the series will take place on May 10th, at Imola in Italy.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “In the last few laps I really pushed and pushed and reached almost the qualifying lap time with a 15-lap old tyre but Cluzel was still following me. I knew in the last lap he would try to pass. Anyway, we won the race, took the 25 points, and we deserved to win. The bike worked very well, Pirelli brought good tyres, and they too worked well. The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team is giving me a very good package and the Kawasaki support is always there. I am very happy to win for Kawasaki, for the second time this year and we have very good points for the championship. It looks like we are getting stronger and stronger.”
Marco Faccani: “I am not so happy to be eighth but it was a good race in some ways because I passed a few riders. The first laps were not so fast for me and I lost a lot of positions in the turns. I hope to improve my confidence with the bike in the next races, starting at my home round in Imola.”
Double debut podium delight for van der Mark in Assen
Michael van der Mark took his maiden World Superbike championship podium in the first of two fourth-round races at Assen in the Netherlands this afternoon and followed it with another in the second outing in front of a delighted home crowd. Both races were won by British rider Jonathan Rea.
After starting from fifth place on the grid in his World Superbike debut at the 4.542km Assen circuit, the 22-year-old Pata Honda rider finished third in both thrilling 21-lap outings, becoming the first Dutch rider ever to stand on a World Superbike podium.
SBK rookie van der Mark was able to exploit the handling ability of his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade around Assen’s fast-flowing corners to fight with the leading group in both races, enjoying battles with vastly more experienced superbike riders.
But, in front of a enthusiastic and appreciative crowd, van der Mark saved his boldest move for the final lap in race two when, after seeming to have lost contact with the leaders earlier in the race, he forced his way past Leon Haslam heading to the final Geert Timmer chicane to grab the final podium place once more.
His Pata Honda team-mate, Sylvain Guintoli, endured a tough first two days at Assen and was able to qualify no higher than ninth place. However, the 32-year-old French rider fought his way back from that disappointment by matching the leaders’ lap times in the early stage of both races.
Guintoli went better in the second outing and finished the two races in eighth and seventh places respectively with two solid performances that have given him a welcome boost in confidence ahead of the next round at Imola in Italy in two weeks’ time.
Michael van der Mark - 3rd and 3rd
Race one was amazing and I’m glad we were able to be fast because we saw how consistent Jonathan [Rea] was yesterday. My start wasn’t great, but I had a good pace and was able to get back to the front group step by step. To be able to take my first podium here at my home round with a Dutch team and all the sponsors was amazing. In race two, Leon [Haslam] and I had a nice fight – we were strong in different parts of the track – but I knew I had to get by him. I passed him in the Ramshoek on the last lap and then into the chicane he came around the outside. We both braked really late and had to sit up but I’m really happy with the two podiums here. It’s way better than I could have expected this weekend. I must thank the team for giving me a really good CBR, and now I’m really look ing forward to Imola. On the cool-down lap it was great to see so many fans on the track waving the Dutch flags. I’m really proud that so many people came.
Sylvain Guintoli - 8th and 7th
It’s been a struggle this weekend but we have actually come away from both races with some positives. My feeling with the CBR is definitely getting better – it’s just taking more time than we thought. In race two I was able to keep the pace better for much longer and I was actually quite close to the leading group. We’ll take that with us to Imola and keep trying to improve that feeling. We’re basically working on little details and the way I’m riding the bike. It’s taking time to change the way I’m doing things and then dialling in and starting to use the bike properly. But I really feel we’re not far away now so this is the really good news!
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It’s been a very good day for the team! Sylvain had a difficult weekend up to today but in race one we saw some positives and improvements in the setting and, at one point, he was able to close in on the front runners. In race two it was a similar scenario but the lap times were even better and that got him up to seventh. Of course, that’s not where he belongs because we know he can be closer to the front, but we can take a lot of positives to the next round. Michael had a good warm-up this morning, and what a couple of races! They were both similar in character but we were already over the moon with his first podium. To take third in race two in the last chicane, at his and the team’s home race, in front of that crowd – it was just amazing. He’s a special talent and we are all just really savo uring this moment.
Assen (The Netherlands) – 19 April 2015
Not the best weekend for Team Althea Racing at the TT Circuit of Assen, which concluded with a bad crash for Nico Terol. Right when he was lapping fastest there was contact between him and another rider and, in trying to pass that rider, Terol unfortunately suffered a bad crash. After initial treatment at the medical centre, where Nico was diagnosed with a fractured wrist, the rider was transported to Assen hospital for a CAT scan as a precaution measure following the impact. Right now a recovery time has not been established, seeing as he has injured the hand used for accelerating and braking. In race one Nico crossed the line in ninth position, having run a consistent race in which he continued to catch up to the rider ahead of him.
Matteo Baiocco earned important points in both of the day’s races. He finished race one in thirteenth position before just missing out on a top ten finish in race 2, crossing the line eleventh. During the morning’s race, Matteo was unable to fight with his rivals but changes made to his bike in the interval allowed him to pick up the pace in the second race.
Matteo Baiocco: “The weekend was more difficult than expected, but I think it’s clear that it’s not easy for us to fight against the factory bikes. Our aim is to be first among the non-factory bikes and in race two I think we came very close, the bike had improved a lot compared to race 1 in which it was so difficult to ride that my arm started to hurt. In race 2 I was fast right until the end and obtained important points. Now we go to Imola where we’ll try to approach the races in a different way, aware that our potential is great.”
Genesio Bevilacqua: “I’m really sorry about Nico Terol’s crash, just when it seemed that he’d found the way to run a more exciting and positive race. He has fractured his wrist and also has several contusions. Now we’ll have to see what kind of recovery time he needs and the whole team hopes that he returns to fitness as soon as possible. As far as Matteo Baiocco is concerned, it seems he hasn’t yet found the right feeling with the whole technical package. He is growing but unfortunately he still seems to be having some trouble, but I’m sure he’ll make up for this at Imola.”
Top ten for Lowes after dramatic day at Assen for Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes rode to a stellar ninth place finish in the second WSBK race at Netherland’s Assen TT Circuit today after the morning’s race had concluded prematurely in spectacular style.
Strong starts in both the day’s 21-lap races had seen Lowes circulating in fifth, before succumbing to the engine brake setting issue that had hampered his weekend. His impressive pace – setting a fastest lap on his third revolution and continuing to run with the front group for the first six laps - in the afternoon’s contest highlighted the progress made with the Yoshimura-powered machines, however, his four place drop due to running wide at turn one acknowledged there is more work to be done. Despite this, the British racer continued his charge at the Cathedral of Speed, progressing to eighth for the concluding six laps, and holding off the Ducati of Xavi Fores before he was caught on the final revolution to take ninth, and seven Championship points.
The morning’s battle had begun in a similar vein, with Lowes making a great start before being relegated to 13th on the second lap. A fairly solitary and uneventful mid-race looked to be granting him the valuable information needed to continue the team’s progression with the GSX-R’s new systems, before another unfortunate, but seemingly harmless, run-on at the first corner on lap nine became an unexpected accident. De Puniet – running three places behind Lowes – crashed under braking into Haarbocht on the same lap, collecting his teammate in the aftermath.
The Crescent team quickly responded by preparing the second race bike for the afternoon encounter, however, the Frenchman’s day did not improve. With the continuing set-up issues apparent from the start, de Puniet retired the GSX-R1000 on the sixth lap.
An expectant 50,000 strong crowd saw Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea claim both fourth round victories to extend his lead on the Championship, with local hero Michael van der Mark (Honda) securing his debut WSBK podium with a double third.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now heads back to the UK for two weeks of continued evaluation and preparation ahead of the Acerbis Italian Round at Imola on Sunday 10th May.
“Today was always going to be difficult but I gave it my best right to the end. It’s our first top ten with the new system which is positive, especially as no one else crashed so it’s a genuine result. We ran strongly for the first few laps of race two, until I got caught out entering turn one, so obviously still need to improve, but we’ve all done our best so we can be happy with that. Thanks to all the team for working so hard, we’ve got some good information to go on now so we will continue to push forward together and see what we can achieve at Imola.”
Randy de Puniet:
“I don’t know what to say, we have struggled in every session for the whole weekend. During race one I was running quite well and close to Alex after his mistake, my lap time was good but I was at the limit because I was unable to stop the bike how I need to. I crashed at turn one and hit Alex as I hit the gravel. Luckily we are not injured but the frame of my bike was completely destroyed and we needed to use the spare bike for the second race. As I had never used this bike before we still had problems with engine brake, connection and front suspension, I was running 16th/17th and was not confident, so I decided to stop instead of risking crashing again.”
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
“We have made some limited progress with the new ECU system this weekend but we still face some fundamental issues, particularly with the engine brake control, that have made it very difficult for the riders to race rather than simply ride.
“For Alex making smooth laps on his own in practice has generated some competitive lap times but those have flattered the level of the bike when it comes to being adaptable in racing conditions. The main positives from Assen are that we have moved forward and we understand more about the next steps and priorities, the fact that neither rider was hurt in a very frightening and very scary collision in race one, and Alex’s performance in race two where he ran with the front group until the engine brake issue caught him out into turn one. The way he regrouped and set the sixth fastest lap of the race is another affirmation that when things are right we will be straight back in the fight with the front group.
“Randy made the decision to stop in race two – both riders were under instruction not to take any risks, we need to get the bike right and we need two fit, motivated riders when that happens. We will be doing absolutely everything in our power to make sure that we use the next two weeks before Imola to arrive in Italy with a properly competitive GSX-R.”
Sunday's Words & Pictures
Jonathan Rea #65 - Kawasaki Racing Team
Race 1 - 1st Race 2 - 1st
“Today has been amazing and like in Thailand I need to sit down and savour this moment. There was a lot of pressure on me coming here, everyone talking about how Assen was my circuit, so I am just happy to deliver. We chose a different rear tyre in race two and it worked out well. Race two was slightly different because I knew Tom would be fast in the beginning. When Chaz put a pass on me and I saw Tom slowing I knew that it could end up to be a messy fight. This one is for all my mechanics who have been working tirelessly and all the people at KHI.”
Chaz Davies #7 - Aruba.it Racing - Ducati SBK Team
Race 1 - 2nd Race 2 - 2nd
“I’m very happy with today, also because it’s the first time I’ve stepped up to the Assen podium in Superbike. I’m pleased because I know we did all we could today, Rea was just a little stronger. In race 1, we were fairly confident with our rear tyre choice, having tested it over the weekend, but the problem was at the other end. In race 2 the bike and tyre were better, we definitely made a step forward but there was no catching Rea. Now I can’t wait to head to Imola, Ducati’s home circuit and a track where we were able to do well last year.”
Michael van der Mark #60 - Pata Honda
Race 1 - 3rd Race 2 - 3rd
"Race one was amazing and I’m glad we were able to be fast. To be able to take my first podium here at my home round with a Dutch team and all the sponsors was amazing. In race two, Leon and I had a nice fight but I knew I had to get by him. I passed him in the Ramshoek on the last lap and then into the chicane he came around the outside.It’s way better than I could have expected this weekend. I must thank the team for that. It was great to see so many fans on the track waving the Dutch flags. I’m really proud that so many people came."
Weekend to forget for Team Pedercini
The rumblings of the two practice days on the Assen track found confirmation in two races colorless by the Team's top rider, David Salom.
The warm up, held in weather conditions characterized by cold temperatures, gave good hope thanks to David’s tenth position. The warm up also was helpful to confirm what would be the Pirelli tyres choice for both races: B (SC1) on the front and B (SC1) also on the rear.
In race 1, due to a non perfect start, the spaniard lost two positions, slipping in 18° position. Thanks to a sequence of six laps under the wall of 1 ' 38 ", David was however able to catch up for lost time up to reach the 15° position.
During lap 12, David earned an additional position, but lap times got worse up to 1 ' 38 ". Feeling lack with his Kawasaki ZX10-R, continued throughout the weekend, penalized the Spaniard not allowing him to engage those spectacular duels he had been able in the MotorLand Aragón last Sunday. Ordeal continued in the final stage of the race, with lap times rose beyond 1 ' 39 ".
Final 14° position, 46 " collected from the leaders and only 2 points earned in the Championship give an idea of problems encountered by David throughout the race.
Between the two races the Team Pedercini technicians intervened once again on the setup, working on the suspensions to give the rider greater confidence on the front. The Assen circuit, due to its intrinsic characteristics, requires riders to reach delicate setup compromises and bike's balance is always a delicate operation, but above all never optimal.
In race 2, David Salom had a good start, gaining during the first lap one position. Setup adjustments finally produced the desired result, allowing the rider to ride the entire race under the wall of 1 ' 38. " Gained another position, David rode most of the race in the 14° position. Few laps before the checkered flag he could snatch the 13° position to Tati Mercado, finishing Race 2 with a gap of 22 seconds from the leaders, less than half the gap in Race 1.
Three points earned in the Championship and proved to be among the few riders to have improved the total time of the race, they are poor results of a weekend to set aside. The attention of David and his crew will be immediately addressed to Imola, aiming to redeem himself in front of the Team Pedercini fans.
The second Team Pedercini rider, Javier Alviz, had a crash in the early stages of Race 1. Spectacular in its dynamic, but fortunately without any consequences for the rider and the bike, crash put him out. In race 2, Alviz held a more cautious policy, aiming to conclude the race, possibly earning points. The 17° final position unfortunately compelled him to postpone once again the first point in Championship.
David SALOM – Pilot # 44
It’s finished a weekend with a lot of troubles, without ever being able to have a good setup for my Ninja. Anyway we have to go on with this line of work, because we're doing well. We arrived from the race of MotorLand Aragón where we reached a sixth place, but here at Assen unfortunately we couldn't confirm our performance. Next race is Imola and we hope to make progress in terms of results.
Lucio Pedercini – Team Manager
We come back with a weekend that has erased the 6th position satisfaction obtained at MotorLand Aragón. As ex-rider I can understand that there are races where you can lose lucidity, an essential component in the setup development. When it happens, you have to reset your mind as soon as possible and think about the next race. Moreover, the next appointment is on the track of Imola, in front of our fans. There are no other explanations for a weekend that we have to forget, without let it negatively affect us. I'm sorry for Javier Alviz, victim of a spectacular crash in race 1, fortunately without any consequences for him and for the bike. He was good to focus himself in finishing Race 2, a goal achieved and important to try to earn the first point in Imola.
Smith returns to World Supersport podium
Just one week after claiming his debut World Supersport podium at Aragon in Spain, Pata Honda rider Kyle Smith was back on the box, taking third in today’s fourth round race at Assen in Netherlands.
The race was won by Kenan Sofuoglu but Smith impressed again in his rookie World Supersport season by battling with the front runners at the famous 4.542km Assen circuit in the north of Holland – the home circuit for his Dutch Pata Honda team.
Smith got a lightning start and led for the opening two of 18 laps laps before slipping behind Sofuoglu and second-placed Jules Cluzel into fourth. However, in spite of a couple of mistakes, the 23-year-old British rider fought his way past Patrick Jacobsen to take the final podium position, missing out on second place by just 0.03s and moving up to joint third place in the series.
Kyle Smith - 3rd
I got a great start to the race, which helped because I knew that Sofuoglu and Cluzel had some pace. I’ve struggled throughout the weekend to find that pace, even though I could put in quick laps when they were needed. We made a couple of changes to the CBR and I felt a lot stronger in the race and had a good fight with PJ [Jacobsen]. I made a couple of mistakes and let the front two get away. They were battling really hard in front of me and when Cluzel ran wide at the final chicane I thought I had second place. I just missed out by a fraction so I’ll just have to try a bit harder next time!
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
Kyle had a really good race and got off to an excellent start and led for a couple of laps before he dropped back. But he always kept in touch with the leaders, despite having some small moments. He ran away from Jacobsen though and took another third place so we’re really happy with that. It’s been another good job from Kyle this weekend.