WorldSBK: Assen, race 1
Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea as won Race 1 at the TT Circuit Assen as he cements his place as second most successful rider at the Dutch track. Chaz Davies took a well-fought P2, and Honda rider and MotoGP Legend Nicky Hayden got to the WorldSBK podium for the first time.
After a great start for the front row, Tom Sykes lead from pole and was followed off the line by KRT teammate Jonathan Rea as both Kawasakis took off in the lead of the race. After a mistake by Sykes, Rea then passed the pole-sitter as the Ducati of Chaz Davies fought to catch the two, eventually getting past both as the lead group started to concertina.
Sykes was the first of the frontrunners to falter as the Kawasaki rider lost the front into T16, crashing out of the race but escaping unharmed. The group of Rea, Davies, van der Mark and Hayden was left out front in the race, with the Welshman heading the group.
Van der Mark, Davies and Rea fought for the lead in a spectacular showcase of WorldSBK, before the Dutchman sadly pushed too hard and lost his Honda, sliding out and leaving his rivals to a duel won by Rea. Honda teammate Nicky Hayden, after playing a patient game in P4, earnt his way to his first podium in World Superbike with a ride that shows he know has the measure of the Honda, and the Pirelli tyre.
MV Agusta recovered from disappointment in Aragón as Leon Camier fought his way back from being denied entry to Superpole 2 by finishing in an incredible P4, a great haul of points and show of pace from the Italian factory and a well deserved reward for the hard work put in by team and rider.
Pata Yamaha pairing Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes suffered mixed fortunes in Tissot-Superpole and in Race 1, with the number 50 Yamaha of Guintoli starting from the front row and unfortunately ending his first Race in the Netherlands too early with a trip to the gravel. Teammate Lowes fought back from a crash in Superpole 2 to run in the top 6 before ending his race in P8.
BMW riders Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres, after graduating from Tissot-Superpole 1, both ran close together in the top ten until Reiterberger ran off track, leaving teammate Torres to take another top 5 finish as the flag fell, with the German recovering to an impressive 7th, just behind lead Aprilia Lorenzo Savadori. Savadori recorded his best career result to date by coming home P6 as the Noale factory continue to improve and the reigning STK1000 Cup winner continues to impress, and the Kawasakis of Roman Ramos and Lucas Mahias, replacing Sylvain Barrier, closed out a top ten in Race 1 in which every manufacturer was represented.
WorldSBK will be racing once again on Sunday at 13:00 local time (GMT +2), as van der Mark endeavours to take the same pace to the end of the race, and Rea aims for another double at the TT Circuit Assen.
WorldSBK Race 1
P1 – Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki Racing Team
P2 – Chaz Davies – Aruba.it Racing – Ducati +1.662
P3 – Nicky Hayden – Honda World Superbike Team +5.365