2017 Assen World Superbike Race Two Results: Two Hundred Starts For Rea

Race two of World Superbike at Assen would be Jonathan Rea’s 200th start in the series and he would have to deal with a windy track.

With the reversed grid, Xavi Fores launched from pole position into the lead ahead of Eugene Laverty charging through from the second row in second place. Lorenzo Savadori from second was in third, but he very quickly fell prey to Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea, Sykes getting an uncharacteristically fast start in spite of his dodgy stomach distracting him all weekend.

Eugene Laverty took the lead from Xavi Fores at turn five on lap two and later round the lap, Jonathan Rea chasséed through the Geert Timmer chicane complex past Tom Sykes to take third place from his teammate.

On lap three, moves were afoot and the reverse grid was once again shown not to make a real difference to the championship as Jonathan Rea passed Xavi Fores to take second place, followed by Tom Sykes squeezing past into third place, and as Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri closed in on Fores, Rea made his move on Eugene Laverty to take the lead off his Northern Irish neighbour and a couple of laps later, Sykes joined Rea at the front, leaving Laverty to deal with the hard-charging Davies who in turn had despatched Fores for his teammate to deal with.

Seven laps in, just under one third race distance, as Davies took third place into turn one, the race looked a little familiar, with Rea, Sykes and Davies sitting in the top three positions. Further back, however, things were a little different.

Michael van der Mark, starting in eleventh place, had gained on average one place a lap, closing gaps and passing riders like they were in a different race. At one third race distance, he was in fourth place, closing in on the wake of Chaz Davies and breaking free of Eugene Laverty in fifth place. A little later, Alex Lowes would make a similar progression, but his charge through the pack would only net him a nonetheless impressive fifth place from starting fifteenth on the grid.

Marco Melandri’s race, however, wouldn’t be as fortuitous. Attempting to take seventh place from Xavi Fores, Melandri took turn five too tight in an attempt to block Fores from passing back but he lost adhesion as he had too much speed for too little grip and he crashed out, ending his weekend.

Meanwhile, back at the front, Tom Sykes was closing on Jonathan Rea, reducing a lead of almost two seconds to nothing, capitalising on a slight error by Rea and the Kawasaki pair did their familiar synchronised swimming demonstration at the front of the race while Chaz Davies lost a few tenths of a second here and there. Michael van der Mark put on a valiant show for the home fans, but after a brutal tank slapper trying to close down Davies, he maintained a safe distance and eventually settled for fourth place.

Tom Sykes stayed behind his teammate, not looking for a way past as the pair managed their lead, until the last lap where he made several stabs at passing, but Jonathan Rea just had more grip and was able to thwart any efforts. On the last chicane, Sykes had one last try from behind and powered out from Rea’s clean air and charged to the flag alongside his teammate, but Rea had the drive as well and the pair finished within twenty five thousandths of a second. Chaz Davies took third place five seconds further back while Michael van der Mark pleased his fans in fourth place.

Jonathan Rea took another double and extended his lead at the top of the championship to sixty four points over Tom Sykes. Chaz Davies, twenty points further back took third place off Marco Melandri as a result of his teammate’s DNF.

In a damning indictment of the reverse grid, none of the riders who started in the top seven finished in the top seven.



Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 0.025
3 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 5.077
4 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 8.739
5 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 16.244
6 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta 1000 F4 17.899
7 81 J. TORRES BMW S 1000 RR 19.026
8 50 E. LAVERTY Aprilia RSV4 RF 19.184
9 69 N. HAYDEN Honda CBR1000RR 21.475
10 6 S. BRADL Honda CBR1000RR 24.693
11 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 26.751
12 36 L. MERCADO Aprilia RSV4 RF 26.924
13 12 X. FORÉS Ducati Panigale R 36.611
14 88 R. KRUMMENACHER Kawasaki ZX-10RR 40.597
15 15 A. DE ANGELIS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 49.140
16 86 A. BADOVINI Kawasaki ZX-10RR 51.241
17 35 R. DE ROSA BMW S 1000 RR 1'01.141
18 37 O. JEZEK Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1'01.175
RET 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 10 Laps
RET 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale R 13 Laps
RET 84 R. RUSSO Yamaha YZF R1 13 Laps


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Its hard to hate Rea for getting the best out of his package every weekend but at the same time the championship has really lost the exiting spark it used to have. Somehow that Kawasaki has walked away in terms of performance (and litteraly) for the other manufactueres. Is that because they are able to focus all of their attention to WSBK while everyone else focuses more on MotoGP? Kawasaki needs to enter MotoGP and move Rea over. He's clearly capable of holding his own over there.

Was nice to see Laverty at the front end for a bit again. His career path has always found a way to keep a championship trophy at distance. I hope next year is different for him. 

Still a bummer to watch Hayden stroll around mid pack. I hope Honda wakes up soon. 

I really miss Spies and Haga :'(

I've seen a few great riders go from WSBK to MotoGP over the years including Bayliss , Hodgson and Toseland, without any of them doing particularly well. Why would you swap winning races week in week out to be mid-pack in MotoGP?

Troy Bayliss won a MotoGP race on a Ducati, and what about Cal Crutchlow?

Bayliss' record of 4 podiums and 1 win on the D16 was better than Rossi did, and right now I don't think Lorenzo would put money on himself to do any better either, lol.

To be honest I didn't know Doohan came across from WSBK, and yes of course he did exceptionally well. But I'll beg to differ with respect to the others. That's not to say they lacked the talent, but to be at top you have to be on one of the top bikes, and those are spoken for.

Funny you should mention those guys, I'm away at work for a few weeks and have brought a copy of the '09 WSB season to perk me up after nightshift: just awesome viewing! I know the result but it still blows me away watching it unfold.  

Even now I get a little squirmy in the guts thinking about how Yamaha pretty much broke Spies in his last real season, just tragic that we never got the chance to see his talent fully flourish in MotoGP.

Remember that pass Spies put on Honda going into the final lap at Assen and how epic it was. Rea put the same pass on Sykes in race one very early. The commentators really missed an oppurtunity for a quick trip down memory lane with that one. (atleast on eurosport)

This is the second year I've done the SBK online subscription, and if things continue like this it'll probably be the last. I'm glad to see them doing video of practice sessions now, and I like the fact that their "color" commentator isn't as histrionic as some (I know others disagree). 

But Rea-Sykes-Davies every week, with Melandri the only other realistic podium finisher at this point, gets a bit old. Maybe I'm not as pure a fan of the sport as I should be, but with Honda seemingly going backward at this point, my interest is rapidly waning. The grid reshuffling hasn't done anything, except look gimmicky.

Also, this is completely shallow--and I say it as a fan of Kawasaki bikes in the real world--but those ZX-10Rs have the ugliest paint job ever. If I've gotta watch two identical bikes circulate at the front for 20 laps, why do they have to look like Santa Claus vomited Christmas onto a skunk?

...or sputum necessitating an antibiotic round hacked onto an otherwise beautiful bike?
Kawasaki green has always looked abhorrent on anything not being hit by a tennis racket. Which is what should be done to whomever picked it out.

We don't need any more red nor blue of course. I miss Orange (HM Plant) and yellow (several nice liveries). British Racing Green is amongst the best ever colors for anything beautiful but isn't there a rule against anything close to grass color?

The Honda, oof. At least the Yamaha is coming into some form. Glad to see Stapleford get the Triumph top 10 in Supersport. Tough time to be excited about production bikes altogether maybe. The next Moto2 iteration holds some interest for me.

MotoGP on the other hand is thriving! And look, just a dab of rancid infected snot out there on Monster logos. I guess Moviestar too. Just a dab is ok I suppose. Tech 3 looks like shite don't you think? Two of their main sponsors (Stanley/DeWalt)are yellow, perhaps I can dream - just swap the black and the yellow on the bike. So pleased to see Zarco Astronauting. But Herve, black and infected snot?

LCR going with white never worked for me either, but the Castrol livery was nice! Suzuki is gifted in neither the livery nor sponsorship dept. Go back to the Rizla light blue plz. And with Iannone you have sponsorship matches like headache medicine, vehicle liability insurance, condoms, meatballs, pregnancy/paternity tests, so forth. Ecstar isn't a sponsor! I am not even sure it is a product.

...if it's mostly by itself. Mixed with red, though? *shudder*

Tech 3 is definitely color challenged. LCR and Power Electronics white, yeah, not good. But agree on the Castrol livery--loved that one, should come back. Repsol orange always a winner IMO. Aprilia...yikes. But I think it wouldn't be quite as bad without the NOW TV logo. 



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