#NLDWorldSBK Assen, Sunday roundup: World Superbike, World Supersport, World Supersport 300
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship had more history written at the TT Circuit Assen during the Pirelli Dutch Round as Italian manufacturer Ducati claimed their 400th victory in WorldSBK history after Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed a hat-trick in the Netherlands. Ducati become the first manufacturer to reach this milestone.
The battle for the lead involved Bautista, Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in the early stages of the race with all three taking their chance to lead throughout the race. Razgatlioglu made his move for the lead on Lap 3 but Bautista responded quickly, before Rea made his move on Lap 5 at the same Turn 8. Bautista was able to respond almost immediately to re-claim the lead and Rea’s race would come to an end on the following lap. He lost the front of his Kawasaki machine at Turn 9 on Lap 6 which put him out of the race.
It meant the fight for victory became between Bautista and Razgatlioglu, but the reigning Champion was able to pull out a gap over Razgatlioglu as he claimed his 40th WorldSBK win and Ducati’s 400th win in WorldSBK. Razgatlioglu was unchallenged as he took second place in Race 2 to continue his run of podium finishes, now at six races. He was directly ahead of teammate Andrea Locatelli in third, matching his podium tally from 2021 and doubling his count from 2022. Locatelli had to fend off a challenge from Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) who took fifth place.
WorldSBK will return with the Prosecco DOC Catalunya Round taking place from the 5th to the 7th of May at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
The FIM Supersport World Championship’s visit to the TT Circuit Assen for the Pirelli Dutch Round concluded with a thrilling Race 2 which was won by Nicolo Bulega (Aaruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) as he continued his strong start to the 2023 campaign, while there was an incredible fight for the podium behind Bulega as he took his fourth win in six races this season. Home team Ten Kate Racing Yamaha were able to celebrate a home podium with Stefano Manzi taking second place in the Netherlands.
Bulega has been the only repeat winner in 2023 so far and he continued that record as he claimed victory in Race 2 at Assen. He initially fell behind Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) on the opening lap but he responded at the final chicane to re-claim the lead of the race and, from there, he was able to take advantage of the squabbling behind him to build a gap of more than three seconds.
It meant the podium fight ended up being between Caricasulo, Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and Schroetter, with Manzi and Caricasulo fighting hard for second place. On Lap 16, the pair went side by side into the final chicane before Manzi opened up a gap to Caricasulo with rookie Schroetter fighting back to close the gap on the podium places. Despite Caricasulo and Schroetter fighting hard, Manzi was able to hold on by just 0.086s for second place, with Caricasulo in third.
Schroetter backed up his maiden podium from Race 1 with fourth place in Race 2, finishing just half-a-second away from Caricasulo on the podium. The German rookie had a more than five second margin to the riders fighting hard behind him as Niki Tuuli (Dynavolt Triumph) and Valentin Debise (GMT94 Yamaha) battled it out for fifth place throughout the second half of the race. Finnish rider Tuuli was able to hold on to fifth on his Triumph machine with Debise ending a strong weekend in sixth place.
There was drama everywhere you looked in Race 2 for the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship as Petr Svoboda (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) claimed his second victory of the Pirelli Dutch Round at the TT Circuit Assen after a track limits penalty for one of his rivals. Across the line, before penalties were applied, just 0.045s covered the top three but penalties for Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) and Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) meant Svoboda started his 2023 campaign with two wins from two in 2023.
Maier had initially crossed the line in first place but was deemed to have exceeded track limits on the final lap and was therefore demoted to second place. However, with Vannucci deemed to have committed the same offence, he was also demoted one place and dropped to third with Maier in second and Svoboda being promoted to first place to claim his first double in WorldSSP300 and starting his campaign with a maximum 50 points out of 50 to lead the World Championship standings leaving the Netherlands.
Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) had crossed the line in fourth place but was demoted to fifth place for a last-lap track limits infringement with Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR) the main beneficiary as he went from seventh to fourth ahead of Gennai. With Gennai in fifth place, French rider Samuel Di Sora (ProDina Kawasaki Racing) claimed sixth spot with Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing), who crossed the line in fifth, demoted to seventh place.