World Supersport Returns to Assen with Yamaha on Top
The World Supersport Championship moves to The Netherlands this week and heads to the iconic TT Circuit Assen for round three of the 2014 championship.
DMC-Panavto Yamaha rider Kev Coghlan arrives at ‘The Cathedral’ leading the standings with a total of 31 points after the first two rounds. The Yamaha YZF-R6 began the season as it finished the last, fighting the front, with Coghlan taking the first podium of the year with second at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.
The 25yr old Scottish rider then moved to round two in Aragon and had looked threatening to take his first race win of the year from pole position until a collision with following rider Jules Cluzel lost valuable time. Coghlan was able to remount and continue and took fifth, saving enough points to take the lead in the championship ahead of this weekend’s action.
First used in 1926 as a road course, the TT Assen circuit is one of the oldest tracks in Europe. It has undergone many changes in its history, the current modern track layout featuring six left-handers, eleven right-handers and a 300m long start/finish straight.
The DMC Panavto Yamaha team is using the YZF-R6 for the first time in the World Supersport Championship this year but is no stranger to the brand as Panavto is the official distributor for Yamaha in the Ukraine.
More, from a press release issued by Pata Honda Supersport Team:
Van der Mark fired up for home race
The Pata Honda team is preparing for its home race at Assen this weekend (25-27 April) for round three of the 2014 World Supersport championship.
The 4.542km Assen circuit is just 70km north of the team’s Nieuwleusen base in the north of Holland and is one that the team knows well. Assen also marks the home round of Michael van der Mark.
The team’s 21-year-old Dutch rider was born in Gouda near Rotterdam and is in his second season on the Pata Honda CBR600RR. Van der Mark finished second in the last race at Aragon in Spain after a no-score in the opening round, and he finished fourth in the World Supersport race at Assen last year.
His Pata Honda team-mate, Italian rider Lorenzo Zanetti, is also in his second year with the team and took an impressive fourth place at Aragon despite an injured finger, sustained in a qualifying crash at the first round in Australia.
Zanetti has adapted well to Honda’s CBR machine and worked hard in its development during winter testing. The 26-year-old is determined to convert his consistent top five finishes into podiums.
Michael van der Mark
Although it’s a big race for both me and the team, the approach is just the same. There’s only one thing to do, and that is to go as fast as possible! Of course, there is some more activity – it’s a busier event for me and my crew, but I have to put those things to one side and concentrate on the job. I was very happy to score some points in Aragon after crashing at Phillip Island, so I come to Assen with the confidence that gives. The CBR felt really good in Spain and we have been able to improve it a lot. The team has so much experience at Assen, I’m sure the bike will be ready to go like me on Friday morning.
Assen is a special race because it is my second home race. It is my team's home round so there is always a lot of pressure there but that is also OK because I like to ride with pressure. Assen is a very special track but last year I did not finish so well, I think in tenth place, but this year I have more confidence on the bike and the team has worked hard all winter. We had a good result in Aragon and I want to fight for a good position all weekend in Assen and go for a podium. My finger injury has not yet had time to come back to 100% and in Aragon it was painful when I was riding the bike. The season is very competitive and there are many riders and bikes in it this year, which is good for the spectators. Also for us, because when you are fighting with a lot of riders it is exciting.
Of course, it’s an important race for us as a team and it’s always nice for friends and family to come and see what we get up to the rest of the year! For Michael, too, it’ll be a weekend that’s busier than normal but we’ll give him a bike to do the job. He had a good result at Aragon and we need to maintain that momentum now. In spite of his injury, Lorenzo also performed well in Spain and I believe he can fight for podium positions regularly.