WorldSBK Race One: Rea Vs Davies
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took a clear victory in race one of round four of the Superbike World Championship at Assen (Netherlands), after a long battle with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) ended in a frustrating DNF for the Welshman who pulled up at the end of the penultimate lap. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) crossed the line in second place, ahead of Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who completed the rostrum places.
Rea had started in fourth place on the grid, having initially been on pole but being moved back three places to the head of row two due to a penalty, following a clash with Davies at the end of qualifying in Superpole 2. Davies then went on to lead for most of the race before Rea took over in the final stages. But just before the start of the final lap, the Ducati rider pulled off track due to a technical issue giving a runaway victory to the defending world champion.
Davies’ misfortune saw Sykes take a lonely second, the Yorkshireman crossing the finish line 4.5s behind Rea and 13 seconds in front of third placed Melandri. It was a good performance by Sykes considering his recent issues with a stomach illness.
Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) produced another solid result in fourth place on his Ducati Panigale R, his highest finish so far in 2017. An excellent ride by Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) to fifth on his return to action also gave him his best result of the season to date.
There were also season-best results for Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) in sixth and seventh respectively. Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) completed the top ten.
There was frustration for Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) who ran long on the first corner and then crashed out of his home race at turn 5 early on. That was before his teammate Alex Lowes went down at turn 10 midrace to make it a difficult day for Yamaha.
Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) were both unable to finish due to technical problems.
WorldSBK Race 1 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 2. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki 3. Marco Melandri – Ducati
WorldSBK Race Two: Rea Seals Assen Double With .025s Victory Over Team Mate Sykes
In pleasant sunny conditions at the TT Assen Circuit on Sunday Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) gave a superb demonstration of his talent with a tight victory over second placed teammate Tom Sykes, as Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) completed the podium in third.
In his 200th WorldSBK race Rea held his nerve to cross the line 0.025s ahead of Sykes as the Yorkshireman applied the pressure in the final stages. It was Rea’s second win of the weekend, his seventh victory from eight races so far in 2017 and his 11th career win at Assen – with maximum points from Round 4 in the Netherlands putting the KRT man 64 points clear at the head of the standings.
It was a valiant effort for Sykes after his recent health issues and he will aim for his first win of 2017 next time out, in two weeks time at Imola.
After his cruel luck on Saturday, which saw Davies pull up with a technical problem with a lap to go when fighting for victory in race one, the Welshman bounced back with a fifth podium result of 2017 so far, in third place.
A good ride by Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) at his home round saw the Dutchman recover from a crash on Saturday to register a solid fourth place finish from 11th on the grid. It might have been even better for Van der Mark but for a big wobble for the Yamaha rider at turn 12 midrace -when he was chasing Davies for third.
Van der Mark’s Yamaha colleague Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also made up for his race one disappointment to finish in the top five again, after crashing out on Saturday.
Englishman Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) rode well for sixth, finishing just over a second ahead of Spaniard Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team).
The top ten was completed by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team).
There were crashes for Italian trio Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) meaning no points for any of them. They will each have a chance to make amends at their home round in Italy at Imola in two weeks’ time.
The Championship now heads to Imola for round 5, May 12-14
WorldSBK Race 2 Results: 1. Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki 2. Tom Sykes – Kawasaki 3. Chaz Davis – Ducati
Championship Standings After Round Four
1. Jonathan Rea – 195 points (Kawasaki) 2. Tom Sykes – 131 points (Kawasaki) 3. Chaz Davies – 111 points (Ducati) 4. Marco Melandri – 97 points (Ducati) 5. Alex Lowes – 76 points (Yamaha)
WorldSSP: Runaway Win For Sofuoglu In Dutch Sunshine
The WorldSSP race at the Acerbis Dutch Round saw the reigning World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) produce a masterclass to dominate from pole, with the Turk joined on the podium by Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) and Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).
In clear weather conditions at the TT Assen Circuit Sofuoglu bounced back from his early season problems to take the holeshot and get the hammer down, leading from start to finish and crossing the line +2.611s in front of closest challenger Mahias.
It was the perfect response from the five-time World Champion as he registered his first points of 2017, having missed the first two rounds of the season due to injury and then crashing at Aragon earlier in April on his return to action. It is Sofuoglu’s first victory since his 2016 championship-clinching win at Jerez.
With Sofuoglu racing clear at the front an intriguing battle for second place raged on throughout the 18 lap contest, with Mahias, Cluzel, PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing) and Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) all in the hunt.
Mahias ultimately triumphed in that fight for second but finished with a spectacular wheelie coming out of the final chicane and was almost caught by Cluzel on the line, the two Frenchman separated by just 0.005s.
A 1.5s margin behind them was American Jacobsen in fourth, with South African Morais finishing fifth and Italy’s Caricasulo sixth.
The top ten was completed by Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI), Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing), Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) and Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Jenik – Against Cancer).
Dutchman Hartog was the top finisher of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup in tenth place, followed by Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) in 13th and Alessandro Zaccone (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in 18th.
The race results mean Mahias now leads the championship standings by 20 points from Morais, with Sofuoglu down in ninth place, trailing Mahias by 40 points after four races.
WorldSSP Results: 1. Kenan Sofuoglu – Kawasaki 2. Lucas Mahias – Yamaha 3. Jules Cluzel – Honda
Australians: RET. Lachlan Epis – Kawasaki
Championship Standings After Round Four
1. Lucas Mahias – 65 points (Yamaha) 2. Sheridan Morais – 45 points (Yamaha) 3. Roberto Rolfo – 41 points (MV Agusta)