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 1, 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 1 disappointment to finish in the top five again, after crashing out on Saturday.
Another 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 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.
The WorldSSP riders will be back in action over the 12th-14th May weekend at the Motul Italian Round, hosted at Imola.
Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) secured a stunning victory in a thrilling WorldSSP300 race around the iconic TT Circuit Assen, following a race long battle for the victory under the Dutch sunshine.
Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) got a strong start off the line and took the lead in the opening lap as a battle for the victory developed between the top sixteen riders, with nothing to split the pack. However Sanchez was forced to drop two positions with seven laps to go as he exceeded track limits.
Robert Schotman (GRT Yamaha WorldSSP300 Team) and Mika Perez (WILSport Racedays) suffered a crash at turn five with six laps remaining, as they were locked in a battle for a podium finish. Both riders were up and ok. Daniel Valle (Halcourier Racing) suffered a crash with five laps remaining, ending a tough weekend for the Spanish rider.
In a sensational set of closing laps, fans were treated to some stunning racing action which saw the group split by 0.113s over the line. Wildcard entry Glenn van Straalen (Vos – TKR Racing) took a stunning second position following tough final lap which saw a big crash between wildcard Finn de Bruin (Pearle Gebben Racing) and Angelo Liccardi (Team Trasimeno).
Alfonso Coppola (SK Racing) was up and fighting for the win in the majority of the race, setting the fastest lap with three remaining and crossed the line in third position ahead of Sanchez. Dorren Loureiro (DS Junior Team) rounded out the top five, as nothing could split the front.
Deroue leads championship heading into the third round of the season, with the intense championship heading to the next round at Imola.
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