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Apr 28, 2013

eni FIM Superbike World Championship Race Two Results From Assen (Updated)

A map of the Assen TT Circuit.
eni FIM Superbike World Championship
Assen, Netherlands
April 28, 2013
Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Eugene LAVERTY, Ireland (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), 22 laps, 35:36.814
2. Tom SYKES, UK (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -0.089 second
3. Loris BAZ, France (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -5.848 seconds
4. Jonathan REA, UK (Honda CBR1000RR), -5.890
5. Chaz DAVIES, UK (BMW S1000RR), -7.359
6. Sylvain GUINTOLI, France (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -7.404
7. Leon CAMIER, UK (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -21.095
8. Marco MELANDRI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -27.267
9. Michel FABRIZIO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -30.233
10. Carlos CHECA, Spain (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -32.401
11. Ayrton BADOVINI, Italy (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -39.924
12. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (Ducati 1199 Panigale R), -43.904
13. Ivan CLEMENTI, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -60.169
14. Federico SANDI, Italy (Kawasaki ZX-10R), -61.853
15. Mark AITCHISON, Australia (Ducati 1098R), -62.664
16. Jules CLUZEL, France (Suzuki GSX-R1000), -7 laps, DNF, retired
17. Davide GIUGLIANO, Italy (Aprilia RSV4 Factory), -17 laps, DNF, crash
18. Vittorio IANNUZZO, Italy (BMW S1000RR), -20 laps, DNF, retired


World Championship Point Standings (after 6 of 30 races):

1. Guintoli, 111 points
2. TIE, Laverty/Davies/Sykes, 83
5. Rea, 63
6. Baz, 58
7. Fabrizio, 53
8. Melandri, 51
9. Cluzel, 41
10. Giugliano, 33
11. Camier, 30
12. TIE, Checa/Leon Haslam/Neukirchner, 29
15. Badovini, 20
16. Clementi, 14
17. Sandi, 8
18. Lundh, 7
19. Glenn Allerton, 6
20. Jamie Stauffer, 4




More, from a press release issued by Effenbert Liberty Racing Team:

On Assen circuit it is closed the third round of the World Superbike Championship. The Effenbert Liberty Racing Team, this year for the second time lined up on the standing grid after the debut of Aragon, was finally able to gain the first fruits of its work. The rider Mark Aitchison on Ducati 1098R showed in both races a continuous improvement, finishing 15th of the day, grabbing the first two points of 2013. Race report - The Australian rider, who started from 17th position on the grid, gradually improved his lap times, fixing at 1'39 .581 his best in race 1. In the second race increased his speed performance stopping the crono at 1'39 .157. The team leaves the Assen circuit in a positive way, finally setting aside the bad memories of last year with the serious injury of young Canadian Brett McCormick. The race weekend was able to pick up more informations that will allow Aitchison and his Ducati 1098R, with the support of the Effenbert crew, to be even more competitive.




More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:

- EUGENE LAVERTY WINS AT ASSEN AND MOVES UP IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS.

- SYLVAIN GUINTOLI STRENGTHENS HIS HOLD ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD.

- APRILIA INCREASES THE GAP IN THE MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIP.


Assen (Holland), 28 April 2013 – It was a weekend of satisfaction for the Aprilia Racing Team on the legendary track at Assen in the fourth round of the World SBK season. At the end of the Dutch weekend the Aprilia riders lead the championship standings and the Italian brand increases the gap in the Manufacturer Championship.

Eugene Laverty, starting from the front row for the seventh consecutive time, triumphed in Race 2 after a nail biting duel with English rider Tom Sykes, earning Aprilia's first win on the Dutch circuit in World Superbike.

This win, combined with his fourth place finish in Race 1, takes the Irish rider to second place in the standings, just behind team mate Sylvain Guintoli.

The French rider, after taking a strong third place in Race 1, suffered from a poor feeling with the front end in the second race. This was a problem which, by Guintoli's own admittance as soon as he had taken off his helmet, kept him from "closing the door" on his rival's attacks on the third place position that he had boldly achieved six laps from the end, battling with Baz, Rea and Davies. The sixth place final result contributed in any case to strengthening his grip on the championship lead.

After riding to the foot of the podium in Race 1, Eugene Laverty took the track for the second race extremely focused and well motivated not to let Tom Sykes run away at the front and dominate as he had in the first race. Sykes and Laverty quickly pulled ahead of the pack, but the Irishman and his RSV4 never let up even a metre. The gap between the two was never more than a few tenths of a second and 4 laps from the end Laverty made his move and then fought off Sykes' final assault in the last turns before the finish.

With Laverty's victory the World SBK standings are now coated with Aprilia colours.

Thanks to his placings today Sylvain Guintoli widens the gap in front of his closest rivals and is now firmly in command of the Rider standings with 111 points. Eugene Laverty moves into second place with 83 points.

In the Manufacturer Championship Aprilia dominates at a distance of 131 points, widening the gap in front of BMW (99 points). They are followed by Kawasaki (94), Honda (70), Suzuki (52) and Ducati (40).

Eugene Laverty: “The little time we had with a dry track created a few problems in Race 1. In fact, before the second race we made some changes to the RSV4, which we usually don't do because of how risky that is. Actually the changes they made worked really well. I had the right feeling even though I didn't think I would be stay up with Sykes. But in the end I was able to keep up with his pace. In fact, his wash actually helped me out since there were some strong gusts of wind on the track. Four laps from the end I overtook Tom, even pulling away a few metres, but then the wind kept me from being too precise so he was able to cling back onto me. Winning today was important. We back in the fight for the championship and we were able to leave the troubles from Aragón behind us”.

Sylvain Guintoli: “It's too bad about the end of Race2. I enjoy a fight in the last laps but this time I just wasn't able to do it. In Race 1, on the other hand, Rea and I put on a good show and in the end Jonny got the best of me but I had fun. In the second race Tom and my team mate Laverty really had an unbeatable pace. Let's just say that the second race didn't go great, but I was able to increase my lead in the championship, widening the gap in front of my closest rivals, and that's important, especially considering the fact that the next round is Monza, a circuit where Aprilia has always been a strong player”.




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Sykes Wins On Great Day For Kawasaki At Assen

WSBK, Assen, Netherlands, 28 April 2013

Tom Sykes took a 1-2 today while his KRT partner Loris Baz pushed to take a fifth and then a first dry podium on his Ninja ZX-10R. Now ranked 4th, Tom shares the same points total as two other riders.

Englishman Tom Sykes came close to his first double race win in SBK with a first and a second place finish at Assen, making himself the single highest points scorer of the day with 45. He is now on a total of 83 points so far, the same as two riders above him, but Tom is ranked fourth in the official results.

Young French rider Loris Baz scored two good results in the dry condition that blessed raceday in the Netherlands, the second of which was a strong third place. He had to work for it all race long under pressure from other riders. He leaves Assen sixth in the championship with 58 points.

Superb preparation in the team garage and then a similar performance from Sykes when the flag dropped in race one saw Sykes lead every single one of race one’s 22-laps, the English rider pulling away, setting a new lap record of 1’35.893 on lap two. He was over eight seconds clear at the end for a popular win and Kawasaki’s first victory at Assen since 2006.

In the second race today Sykes led for 18 of the 22 laps and despite a late charge to try and take a double win he lost out by only 0.089 seconds.

Baz got boxed in a little of the start of race one but carried good pace and re-passed some riders to take a fifth place, matching his best of the season to that point. He was just less than six seconds from a podium finish. In race two he was on better starting form and pushed hard to stay in third place for most of the second half of the race, and eventually score a deserved third.

Alex Lundh did not ride at Assen after suffering a broken collarbone in practice and his Kawasaki Team Pedercini team-mate Federico Sandi took his Ninja ZX-10R to 16th place in race one and 14th in race two.

Tom Sykes: “Almost the perfect race weekend for us after winning Superpole as well. We have made progress after a slow start to the season so we will build more momentum now to move it all forward again. The bike was working well and was very consistent today. When Eugene came past me in race two I realised it was much easier to follow than to lead round here and it was just unfortunate that exiting the final chicane on the last lap I hit the kerb on the inside when I was trying to pass him, and I was out of the seat. It would have been great to win race two as well but I am happy with the day and we had and the great support at Assen from all the Kawasaki fans and some Tom Sykes fans. Race one was great for us and we did all we could. We have had a very strong winter test programme, learned a lot and have a lot of information and data. Now we are finding where we need to be. Overall I am happy because we did a lot of hard work in free practice yesterday. To be honest I surprised myself a little but the Ninja ZX-10R is working great. We have some great people who fight in my corner and they have given me a strong package so that I can do quite a lot of what I want to do with the bike. That first race was nice and believe me, to see that pit board gap get bigger every lap is magical for a rider.”

Loris Baz: “The last lap was just too long for me because I wanted to get it finished. We went top five and then onto the podium today in dry conditions so I just want to thank all the team and the people in Kawasaki who have made a good job on this bike to make it better for my style and my weight. I thought my pace was good enough to fight in the group ahead of me in race one but I do not know what happened because I had no grip in the rear right at the start so maybe I did not warm the tyre enough. It was strange and it has never happened before, so I lost one or two second and that was already too much to come back. But to finish P5 was good and my pace was strong, as we saw in race two when I got away better.”




More, from a press release issued by Althea Racing:

Team Althea Racing- Assen SBK races

Today the sun shined and the track was dry, but there were low temperatures in Assen for the third round of the World Superbike Championship. Thanks to the excellent performance provided yesterday during qualifying and Superpole, Davide Giugliano started from the second row of the grid with the sixth time in two races over a distance of 22 laps each.

In race one, the Althea Racing team rider started quickly and passed the first lap in third place. Subsequently, Davide lost some positions and at the midrace point he occupied the sixth place. Thanks to a good race pace, Giugliano maintained the position and finished sixth in the first heat.

In race two, Davide started very strongly and with some spectacular overtaking took third place. The Althea rider incremented much of his pace in order to bridge the gap between the two front riders, Sykes and Laverty, when unfortunately, during the sixth lap he crashed without being able to regain the race. A real shame because Giugliano was having a great race that it would have securely ended up on the podium. Team Althea Racing leaves Assen knowing that they provided great performances both during the practice and the race and made a large step forward towards greater results. Giugliano is now in tenth place of the ranking with 33 points. The next round of the Superbike World Championship will be held on May 12th on the Monza track in Italy.

Davide Giugliano: "Race one was a good, even if we did not achieve the results we had hoped for. I was very strong in the first laps but at mid race a sudden drop of tires prevented me to gain a better result. I was not in a position to do better and I preferred to settle for sixth place. In race two I was determined to win. I knew I could do it and I think I demonstrated this with a very consistence pace with a lot of overtaking that had brought me close to the leaders. But suddenly I lost adherence and I crashed. This was a real shame. I'm truly sorry for my team that had worked exceptionally hard and well all weekend."

Genesio Bevilacqua : “‘With respect to race 1 we found a good solution in the second race that allowed us to obtain a strong result. In race two Davide was comfortable with the tyre and made the right choice, opting for a slightly harder compound that allowed him to finish the race well. I was pleased to see that he rode hard and made the most of the bike’s potential. Unfortunately when you’re riding on the limit there’s always the chance that you’ll fall, although I’m of course disappointed because I was sure he’d reach the podium – a result that was well within our grasp. It was however an important weekend during which both rider and team took another step forward especially as far as experience is concerned. Davide is modifying his riding style that, not only spectacular, is also becoming profitable.’




More, from a press release issued by Team SBK Ducati Alstare:

Difficult races for both Team SBK Ducati Alstare riders today at the TT Circuit in Assen

Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 28 April 2013: today’s Superbike races at the TT Circuit in Assen proved challenging for Team SBK Ducati Alstare. While Carlos Checa was unable to confirm the positive results seen during the practice and qualifying sessions, Ayrton Badovini was unfortunately conditioned by physical problems resulting from yesterday’s crash.

Race 1 - starting from eighth on the grid, Carlos was able to hold this position throughout the opening laps, before battling briefly with Cluzel and Camier. From the mid-race point he found himself lapping alone, with no reference immediately ahead of him. With a similar pace to the riders ahead of him, the Spanish rider was unable to improve his position and closed the race in final tenth position. It was a different story for Ayrton who, eleventh on the grid, tried his best to push but unfortunately, in addition to injuries sustained to his hand and ankle during yesterday’s crash, a neck pain that worsened as the race went on brought on blurred vision which made it difficult for the rider to concentrate. He lost a couple of positions as a result, before running a solitary second half of the race and crossing the line in a valiant thirteenth position.

Race 2 – On a slightly warmer track compared to race 1 (25°C) Carlos lost a few positions at the start of the race and was lying twelfth on the second lap directly in front of his team-mate Ayrton. The Spanish rider pushed to make up a couple of positions and by mid-race he was in tenth place behind Fabrizio. Despite his best efforts he was unable to close the gap that opened between himself and the Roman rider and he crossed the line in tenth position for the second time today. Ayrton, also thanks to the support of the Clinica Mobile between the first and second races, had a stronger pace this afternoon compared to the first race. Thirteenth on the grid, he too was able to improve his position over the course of the 22-lap race to bring his 1199 Panigale home in eleventh place behind Carlos.

In the overall standings Checa is now in twelfth position with 29 points and Badovini lies fifteenth with 20 points.

Carlos Checa: ‘In reality I thought I’d be able to do more today and bring the bike to the next level. In race one the rear of the bike caused me some problems so we made some changes before the second race and that improved the situation slightly. We still have a lot of work ahead of us but this does not put us off. I’m aware that this is a challenge and I will do my best to improve the bike race after race.’

Ayrton Badovini: ‘The second race went better for me because I was really suffering this morning. I visited the Clinica Mobile between the two races and they really helped me a lot with a series of treatments that allowed me to push harder in the second race. The bike was not bad but we still need something more in order to be competitive. I wasn’t 100% of course and so I’m happy to have finished both races because after what happened yesterday I thought it would be even more difficult today.’

Francis Batta, team manager: ‘This weekend was unfortunately more difficult than we expected but this does not discourage us, in fact it heightens our motivation to continue to work and improve.’




More, from a press release issued by FIXI Crescent Suzuki:

Camier completes comeback with a stunning seventh

IXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier completed an amazing return from the awful injury he suffered two weeks ago to record two top-nine finishes at today’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship races at Assen.

Camier saved the best till the second race where he got a great start from 18th on the grid to be up in 11th by the end of lap one. He continued to progress through the field as he chased team-mate Jules Cluzel, before the pair got involved in a inter-team battle through the mid part of the race. Camier and Cluzel swapped places a number of times as they jostled for seventh position, before Camier got the better of his team-mate and held on to that place for the remainder of the race. Unfortunately for Cluzel he couldn’t challenge the Englishman again, because an electronic throttle system failure caused him to retire on lap-16.

Camier had already shown huge determination in race one, as he also got a good start and was in 12th by the end of the first lap. He again made his way through the field before getting involved with ex-World Champion Carlos Checa. The FIXI Suzuki racer on his Yoshimura-powered machine, made a brave and fast pass on the inside of the Spaniard through a left-hand turn – with his injured knee firmly placed on the asphalt. Camier then held his position for the rest of the race and brought his bike home in ninth.

Cluzel had mixed emotions this afternoon as he looked like securing a pair of top-eight finishes before fate dealt its hand in race two. Cluzel produced an impressive ride in race one to take eighth place at the flag. He made a good start from 10th on the grid and consolidated his position with some consistent laps which saw him running at a strong pace. In race two he again looked strong as he battled with Camier, but his weekend drew to a premature close when his bike stopped out on track and he was unable to continue.

Both of today’s races were held in bright sunshine with track temperatures rising to 23°C, a big difference from the two practice days. Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki was very commanding in race one as he won by almost nine seconds. Race two saw Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty take the spoils and his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli kept his championship lead, after he took a third and sixth place.

FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now return to the workshop in England, before heading to Monza in Italy for the fourth round of the season on Sunday 12th May.

Leon Camier:
“I am really happy considering the way everything has gone this weekend. In the first race we changed the set-up dramatically from the warm-up and took a gamble, but then in the second race we changed it a lot again, but this time we made it feel more like the bike I am used to. I felt like I had the pace to run towards the front and I was making some big passes in race two and then got caught up with Jules and he really battled me. I got frustrated because I thought I could have got to the front group, but we lost out a bit and then I was in a sort of a race of my own. If I could have got to the group ahead I think I would have been comfortable and probably got a good result. Overall I am happy, even though at the end of the race my leg and body felt as if they were in bits, I was just pleased to finish both races.”

Jules Cluzel:
“I am happy with the first race because we had a plan and tried to improve and understand the bike setting for me better. We tried to work more on the bike this afternoon and made some changes, but for me these didn’t work and made things feel worse, so I tried to do my best to finish well. I was in eighth, but we had an electronic problem and had to stop. This is a bad thing because this is not my favourite track and we had a problem that meant we couldn’t finish, but at the end we know it was possible to score two top-eight finishes. This is racing though and I will try my best at the next race.”

Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The whole FIXI Crescent Suzuki team is very proud of Leon today. Seventh and ninth are not his target results, but when we consider where he was two weeks ago and the physical condition of his leg, just to sit on the bike was impressive and race to that level was really quite amazing! Added to the injury was some very bad luck in missing the whole of the only dry qualifying session, and therefore missing the extra laps and set-up time in Superpole, which meant he had to start at the back of the grid. Today’s result augers well for when he is fully fit and we can have a proper weekend, get the bike right for the races and allow him to challenge the front group.

“Jules has done a very impressive job, this track is physically very difficult on a Superbike and we honestly struggled to get the bike stable and predictable enough for him over the course of Saturday. The team managed to improve the bike a little for race-day and Jules didn’t deserve the failure – his first DNF of the season. We are getting closer to finding a base for him, we have to remember this is only his third Superbike event and his expectation is very high, so we will be doing everything we can to give him a bike that he can perform on well in Monza.”




More, from a press release issued by

Rea back on Assen podium

Jonathan Rea maintained his remarkable record of podium finishes at Assen in the Netherlands today, finishing second in race one of the third round 2013 World Superbike championship event.

It was the 30th World Superbike podium for the 26-year-old from Northern Ireland and his sixth at the 4.542km TT Circuit, having taken at lease one rostrum finish here in each of the last four years.

With Rea’s team-mate, Leon Haslam, watching the races from his hospital bed after breaking his left leg in a practice crash on Friday, Rea was the only Pata Honda rider contesting today’s two 22-lap races at Assen, which were won by Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty.

Rea finished fourth in race two, just four hundredths of a second from another podium finish, and moves up to fifth place in the overall standings. He will test with his team at Assen on Wednesday and Thursday this week (1-2 May) before heading to Monza in Italy for round four of the series on 10-12 May.

Jonathan Rea – 2nd and 4th

It was kind of typical Assen – we got on the podium, which was good! In race one I rode really good but just had nothing for Sykes. In race two I was feeling quite good in the beginning but it was a little bit my fault that we couldn’t be on the box. I lost too much ground in the early laps, making mistakes, and then got involved in a battle for third with two other guys. It was clear that I didn’t have the acceleration off the small corners and where I was really strong in race one, in the back section, in race two I had too much electronics interference. There was a little bit of inconsistency and we’d changed tyres, and it was clear that the tyre in race two was spinning more. I know we’ve got more power than this but it’s impossible to accelerate like the others so we need to find some kind of compromise in the early corner exit area to make the power more manageable. It’s lucky that we have a two-day test to do that on Wednesday and Thursday before we go on to Monza where speed’s very important. A two and a four this weekend is not a win like Assen should be for me, but we’ve got to be satisfied. We’ve come from a long way back and the championship position is looking a bit more healthy than it did after Aragon so I guess I’m satisfied with the weekend.

Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator

I think we had a good day, as we have had in other years here at Assen. Jonathan got second in race one with a phenomenal passing manoeuvre which is one for the books, for sure. It’s great to get our first podium of the season here at our home round and it puts the sorrows of the last race, some early testing, electronics issues and everything behind us to some extent. It looks like we are on the right way now, but for race two we changed tyres. We hoped to be a little closer to the front but we had a big fight for third which we missed by a few thousandths of a second. A second and a fourth is really good and makes the whole team happy, but once again our best wishes go out to Leon who is having the operation on his leg today. We look forward to welcoming him back soon.




More, from a press release issued by Pirelli:

Tom Sykes on Kawasaki and Eugene Laverty on Aprilia win at Assen with the Pirelli standard SC1 rear tyre and with the R1688, an alternative development solution of the standard SC1

On a weekend characterised by particularly cold temperatures, the SC1 compound tyres confirm that they are more and more versatile in terms of use for both the Superbike and Supersport classes as well as further improving lap times with respect to previous years

Assen (The Netherlands), 28 April 2013 – This weekend was marked by the green Kawasaki and Tom Sykes, winner of both Superpole on Saturday and Race 1 as well as the respective Pirelli Best Lap Award today, but also by Eugene Laverty on his Aprilia who did quite well, riding to the top step of the podium and taking the Pirelli Best Lap Award in Race 2. The Pirelli tyres also played a key role because once again they contributed to making the race weekend exciting in all the eni FIM World Superbike Championship classes.

In particular, the SC1 compound solutions increasingly win over the Superbike riders, but also the Supersport riders, as well as lowering lap times compared to previous years. Using 2011 as a point of reference (in 2011 the Superbike races were held in the wet), the new 17 inch Diablo Superbike tyres allowed the riders to lower their lap times by more than half a second, confirming the positive trend begun in the first two rounds of the season. In particular, the rear SC1 R1688 development solution that was used for the first time here at Assen demonstrated excellent qualities of adaptability to all of the bikes, but it especially showed the ability, even more than the standard SC1, to work at low temperatures, a quality which has historically been held only by the SC2. This is all clearly to the advantage of the riders who were able to count on an excellent grip typical of an SC1 compound, but at the same time on protection against low temperatures and cold tearing of harder blends like the SC2.

In Supersport it was Sam Lowes on the top step of the podium, with his Yakhnich Motorsport team Yamaha beating out the Kawasakis from the MAHI Racing Team India ridden by Kenan Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret. In this class the Diablo Supercorsa SC in standard SC1 compound both on the front and the rear were also quite popular with the riders.

In Superstock 1000 victory went to Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team) and in Superstock 600 there was a second consecutive podium for Gauthier Duwelz (MTM-MVR Racing Team) in races which were battled out down to the last turn, taking full advantage of the Diablo Supercorsa SC tyres.


The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders:

The SC1 compound solutions proved once again to be quite popular with the Superbike and Supersport class riders. For the third round of the World Superbike Championship Pirelli once again provided the riders in both classes with various solutions including the standard SC1 and SC2 blends as well as few new development solutions.

In Superbike the R1688 SC1 development solution on the rear was the star of the weekend: chosen by 15 riders out of the 18 on the starting grid in race 1 and by half the riders in race 2, it was particularly popular for the good level of grip it was able to provide despite the cold temperatures (15° and 23° asphalt temps) and for its stability, managing to outdo the standard SC2 blend which would otherwise have been the most popular solution with the low temperatures. In race 2 a few riders like Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) opting for the standard SC1 compound, partly due to the rising temperature, which was able to provide better grip. This strategy rewarded the Irish rider, allowing him to take the top step of the podium.

In fact, those who did not use the SC1 R1688 opted for the standard SC1 (R828) which, as in the past, performed superbly adapting to the extremely varying temperatures.

On the front the Superbike riders more or less all chose the standard and the development (S41) SC1, confirming what was stated above for the rear.

The Supersport starting grid did not differ much from the Superbike grid, with most riders opting for the standard SC1 compound both on the front (P1177) and the rear (R303).


Pirelli Best Lap Award:

In the Cathedral of Motorcyclyng the brand with the long “P” as usual assigned the “Pirelli Best Lap Awards”, the three awards Pirelli gives to the riders who have put the fastest lap in Superbike race 1 and race 2 and in Supersport race. The winning riders received recognition, which this year is a trophy in the shape of a motorcycle dashboard which displays the best time made, presented in the paddock during the press conference following the podium ceremonies at the end of Superbike race 1 and race 2 as well as at the end of the Supersport race.
The Superbike and Supersport rider who has received the most “Pirelli Best Lap Awards” at the end of the season will be named the “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and will be awarded during the traditional end of year ceremony.

Here are the Pirelli Best Lap Award winning riders at TT Circuit Assen from the second European round (third of the season):

WSB Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'35.893 (2nd lap)
WSB Race 2 – Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), 1'36.085 (2nd lap)
WSS – Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India), 1'38.768 (7th lap)

The overall standings after the first three rounds are as follows:

WSB: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 2; Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team): 2; Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma): 1; Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 1

WSS: Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India): 1; Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport): 1; Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India): 1


Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director:

“My compliments to both Kawasaki and Aprilia for their results, but it's also a pleasure to see how heated the battle has been so far in the Superbike Championship with Sylvain Guintoli, at 111 points in the overall standings, followed by Eugene Laverty, Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes, all three tied in second place with 83 points, as a testament to how all the manufacturers have adapted to the new 17 inch tyres. The Best Lap that Tom Sykes put on the board with an extraordinary 1’35.893 was the icing on the cake for the weekend! I think we can be quite satisfied with this weekend. As regards the Superbike classes the solutions we brought, particularly the R1688 SC1 development solution for the rear, performed very well. It is still early to fully promote the R1688 because it only just made its début on this track and we still haven't seen how it might perform in higher temperatures, but if what we have seen the last few days is any indication, we can say that it will certainly be provided at other circuits during the year so that we'll have more data in order to assess it. In particular it was popular with the riders who chose it because of its excellent qualities in terms of grip and stability, characteristics of the standard SC1, combined with a durability and protection against low temperatures which are typical of the standard SC2 blend. The S41 also did quite well on the front (the SC1 development solution) which was chosen by half the riders on the grid. For Supersport as well, just like at Aragón, the standard SC1 solution proved to be the preferred option among the riders for both the front and the rear, confirming the fact that the work we did last year to make the SC1 a more and more versatile solution able to cover an increasingly wide range of weather conditions and tracks is moving in the right direction.”


The 2013 Pirelli statistics for the TT Circuit Assen round:

• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4848

• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 7 rear

• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 5 rear

Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 34 front and 40 rear

• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 25 front and 29 rear

• Temperature in Race 1: air 12° C, asphalt 15° C

• Temperature in Race 2: air 15° C, asphalt 23° C

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres: 293.3 km/h, Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) in Race 1 at 21st lap

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 258,8 km/h, Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport), 3rd lap.




More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad Motorsport:

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team concludes a dramatic and difficult Sunday at the “TT Circuit” in Assen (NED). Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) finished seventh and fifth after crashing in this morning’s warm-up. His BMW S 1000 RR was so badly damaged that the team had to prepare the rolling chassis for the races. His teammate Marco Melandri (ITA) had even more bad luck: a technical issue stopped him in the warm-up lap for race one. In race two, the Italian finished eighth. The winners at the third round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship were Tom Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty (IRL). In the Riders' classification, Chaz, Laverty and Sykes are on equal points behind leader Sylvain Guintoli (FRA), all having 83 points in their tally. Due to the race results, Chaz is classified third behind Laverty. Marco sits in eighth with 51 points. In the Manufacturers' classification, BMW lies in second with 99 points.

After Chaz’s crash in the morning, the squad did not have much time to build up the rolling chassis. Chaz's crew was supported by Marco’s crew, who stood in to help as soon as they had completed the race preparation on Marco’s RR. With their joint efforts and well organised work they succeeded in getting the #19 RR ready for race one, though Chaz had to start from the last row. With the first race getting underway, drama continued for the team. In the warm-up lap, Marco was stopped by a part failure in the final drive and was forced to roll off the track and onto the grass. The race was over for him before it actually began. It is as yet unclear what caused the failure. The part is currently at the supplier for analysis. Chaz meanwhile started his catch-up, charging his way forward through the field. After lap one he was already in 11th and gained more positions as the race unfolded. He crossed the line in seventh, collecting important points. In race two, both riders made a good start, with Marco improving from eighth to fifth and Chaz from 13th to ninth. But Marco was struggling to keep this position and dropped back. After nine laps, he was back in 11th while Chaz continued his way forward, being sixth at that time. On the last lap, Chaz gained another position, crossing the line in fifth. Marco also worked his way back forward and finished the race in eighth.

In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race, Sylvain Barrier finished second on the podium on his DDC-equipped BMW HP4 of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team. In a dramatic finish, the Frenchman was beaten by winner Eddi La Marra (ITA) by only 0.023 seconds. In the overall classification, Sylvain extended his lead to nine points, having collected 45 points in total at the first two rounds of the season. His team mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) had to retire early in the race due to a technical issue.

Chaz Davies:
Result Race 1: 7th / Gap to 1st: 0:22.570 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:36.867 min (lap 3)
Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:07.359 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.541 min (lap 3)
“The day started very badly with the crash in the morning. The track temperature was still very low and I lost the front. I did not think that the crash was that big but the bike must have tumbled quite a lot and it was really badly damaged. It was frustrating to destroy a bike like that in the warm-up. A big credit to the team who did an amazing job building up a brand new bike for the race. As it was a new bike I did not expect big things. I was just hoping to get some points so to finish seventh was a reason to be happy.

“To finish in the top 5 in the second race was not a great result but I got the maximum of what was possible and it was limiting the damage. I got the best possible result in both races. Again, I owe everybody in the team a big thank you for today, for pulling together and enabling me to race. We still have some work to do. I know where we are losing riding against the other guys. In some places the bike is working well, in other places I feel that we need to improve. Now I am looking forward to Monza.”

Marco Melandri:
Result Race 1: DNF
Result Race 2: 8th / Gap to 1st: 0:27.267 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.642 min (lap 2)
“It was an awful weekend and today, it was an unlucky day. In race one I did not even start, while in race 2 it seemed that a sensor failed so the bike could not work with the right electronic strategies. I had to slow down for a couple of laps to understand what was going on and what the problem was. Once I understood how to manage the situation I returned to my race pace and completed the race. Now we need to understand what does not work and to solve the problem. My aim is to rediscover the riding pleasure, to fight for the podium and to win again.”

Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We had a difficult and troubled weekend. Marco, after the technical issue he experienced in race one, again had difficulties in race two. Unfortunately, something did not work. He did not find the right feeling with his bike and we could not enable him to overcome these difficulties and ride properly. We are already planning some meetings in the next days to analyse the situation in order to allow him a consistent top performance from the next race in Monza onwards. Chaz fell this morning during warm-up but he took part in both races, thanks to the efforts of his and of Marco’s crew who worked together. I want to thank all the guys for this excellent job. Chaz did not get the final results he was aiming for but he collected some important points.

“In the Superstock class, Sylvain finished second today. Unfortunately he did not win and he was not happy. But to achieve this result against such strong competitors is very positive. We were very satisfied and we want to win again in Monza.”

Stephan Fischer (Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport):
“It was a difficult weekend for us. On Chaz’s side we had his retirement in Superpole and with Marco we were struggling to find the right set-up. This was topped this morning by Chaz’s crash during warm-up. Building up the new bike worked great because everybody pulled together and helped. A big thanks to the whole squad. Unfortunately the time was not enough to be ready in time to go to the grid normally. So Chaz had to start from the last row and we must pay him a compliment. He made a great start and over the course of the race, he showed a consistently good performance. His bike and the set-up worked well, his lap times were competitive and under other circumstances, they would have been good for a top result.

"Marco had bad luck this weekend, too. It took us quite long to find the right set-up for the difficult conditions on this racetrack. Before the race we were headed in the right direction and his lap times during warm-up made us hope for a strong result. What followed, was the retirement in race one. This failure was probably something that happens to you once in a lifetime. However, we still have to examine accurately the reason for the failure. In race two he unfortunately struggled with issues again. But this is racing: you have highs and you have lows. Now we have to analyse our lows precisely and use our findings take the right steps. We will try to do our homework properly in order to head to Monza well prepared.”




More, from a press release issued by SBK Press Office:

Sykes and Laverty take one win each at Assen

Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 28 April 2013 – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship has put in today another great show as riders from four of the five classes battled out for the best positioning in the respective races in front of an enthusiastic crowd (that reached a total of 52.000 spectators over the whole weekend). Blue skies characterised the last day on track for the joy of all riders, starting from Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who was able to set a new lap record for the Superbike class in race 1 and to win by domination ahead of Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) – previous lap record holder from 2010 – and Eugene Laverty.

The Irishman, together with his Aprilia Racing Team crew, found the right set-up adjustments to match Sykes’ pace in Race 2 and thanks to a last-lap manoeuvre was able to snatch victory from today’s pole-sitter.

Race 1

Tom Sykes got the 6th race win of his career - the 1st of 2013 after a lonely race at the front, thanks to an incredible pace that allowed him to pull away from the chasing pack in the early laps. The 27 year old from Huddersfield has given Kawasaki the first victory after 7 long years: last time out was Chris Walker, in 2006, to win Race 1 on the iconic Dutch circuit.

Tom Sykes: “The bike was working well and was very consistent today. Race one was great for us and we did all we could. To be honest I surprised myself a little but the Ninja ZX-10R is working great. That first race was nice and believe me, to see that pit board gap get bigger every lap is magical for a rider. When Eugene came past me in race two I realised it was much easier to follow than to lead round here and it was just unfortunate that exiting the final chicane on the last lap I hit the kerb on the inside when I was trying to pass him, and I was out of the seat.”

Jonathan Rea finished with a solid 2nd place after a successful overtaking manoeuvre on Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) at Turn 13. Second works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty was part of the 3-way battle for 2nd place but had some hard time in the last part of the race.

Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was 5th at the chequered flag ahead of Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia), who was very competitive in the early laps but couldn't keep the pace of the leaders as the race progressed.

BMW’s unlucky race saw Chaz Davies lining-up on the last row of the grid after the warm-up crash that forced his crew to a quick rebuild of his BMW S 1000 RR. The Welshman made his way up to a 7th place finish after a good start. An unfortunate Marco Melandri - who was supported today by six-time World Motocross Champion and close friend Tony Cairoli - suffered a technical problem on his bike during the warm-up lap and was forced to pull in before the start of the race.

Race 1 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 22 Laps/99.924 km in 35'35.042 average 168.487 kph; 2. Rea (Honda) 8.786; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 8.792; 4. Laverty (Aprilia) 9.225; 5. Baz (Kawasaki) 14.231; 6. Giugliano (Aprilia) 16.150; 7. Davies (BMW) 22.570; 8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 24.751; 9. Camier (Suzuki) 30.311; 10. Checa (Ducati) 35.277; 11. Neukirchner (Ducati) 44.355; 12. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 52.580; 13. Badovini (Ducati) 59.736; 14. Clementi (BMW) 1'02.010; 15. Aitchison (Ducati) 1'21.861; 16. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'25.717; 17. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'42.710; RT. Melandri (BMW).

Race 2

A close battle between race 1 winner Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty, who pulled away at the front in the early laps. Sykes stayed on the lead until lap 19, when Laverty decided to take the plunge and made a move on the Brit at Turn 6. Sykes managed to stay with the Irishman until the end and tried his final shot at the win at Turn 16, with the two riders crossing the line side by side. A 0.089 seconds margin allowed Eugene Laverty to score his 5th career win, the 2nd this year after Phillip Island Race 2.

Eugene Laverty: “The little time we had with a dry track created a few problems in Race 1. In fact, before the second race we made some changes to the RSV4, which we usually don't do because of how risky that is. Actually the changes made worked really well. Despite feeling very comfortable on the bike I didn't think I would have stayed with Sykes. But in the end I was able to keep up with his pace. Four laps from the end I overtook Tom, even pulling away a few metres, but then the wind kept me from being precise so he was able to cling back onto me. Winning today was important. We back in the fight for the championship and we were able to leave the troubles from Aragón behind us.”

Loris Baz successfully defended his 3rd place over Jonathan Rea, who ended on a positive note a difficult round for the Pata Honda Team. A below-par race for Chaz Davies and Sylvain Guintoli, 5th and 6th respectively at the chequered flag.

Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) rode bravely from last place on the grid to a 7th place finish, while his team mate Jules Cluzel was forced to pull in during lap 16 due to a technical problem. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) had a perfect start of the race but struggled to keep the pace, eventually finishing 8th ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare). An unfortunate Davide Giugliano crashed out of Turn 2 during lap 6, while he was in 3rd place. The Italian rider was OK straight after the crash unlike his Aprilia RSV4 that went on fire.

Race 2 results: 1. Laverty (Aprilia) 22 Laps/99.924 km in 35'36.814 average 168.347 kph; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 0.089; 3. Baz (Kawasaki) 5.848; 4. Rea (Honda) 5.890; 5. Davies (BMW) 7.359; 6. Guintoli (Aprilia) 7.404; 7. Camier (Suzuki) 21.095; 8. Melandri (BMW) 27.267; 9. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 30.233; 10. Checa (Ducati) 32.401; 11. Badovini (Ducati) 39.924; 12. Neukirchner (Ducati) 43.904; 13. Clementi (BMW) 1'00.169; 14. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'01.853; 15. Aitchison (Ducati) 1'02.664; RT. Cluzel (Suzuki); RT. Giugliano (Aprilia); RT. Iannuzzo (BMW).

Standings (round 3 of 15): 1. Guintoli 111; 2. Laverty 83; 3. Davies 83; 4. Sykes 83; 5. Rea 63; 6. Baz 58; 7. Fabrizio 53; 8. Melandri 51; 9. Cluzel 41; 10. Giugliano 33; 11. Camier 30; 12. Checa 29; 13. Haslam 29; 14. Neukirchner 29; 15. Badovini 20; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 131; 2. BMW 99; 3. Kawasaki 94; 4. Honda 70; 5. Suzuki 52; 6. Ducati 40.

World Supersport - Lowes out-brakes Sofuoglu for the win

After the disappointment of the Aragon round, Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) were back at the front for a two-way fight for race win at TT Circuit of Assen. The two riders shared the lead over the course of the 21 laps, but it wasn’t until the last lap that the final battle took place: Sofuoglu overpowered Lowes on the straight that leads to Turn 6, but couldn't do much when Lowes got along the inside of him - entering the last chicane - to cross the line in 1st place.

Championship leader Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) got an important 3rd place finish despite the 7.2 seconds gap from the lead at the chequered flag. The Frenchman looked strong halfway through the race, closing the gap with the front runners before eventually falling back. Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) got a terrible start of the race from the 11th grid slot, but was able to make his way through the field to a final 4th.

Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), substitute for injured David Salom, rode a great race finish 5th ahead of Roberto Rolfo (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse), who got his best finish so far in 2013, and Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda), early protagonist of the race before losing a lot of ground.

Race results: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 21 Laps/95.382 km in 34'51.011 average 164.215 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 0.026; 3. Foret (Kawasaki) 7.228; 4. Vd Mark (Honda) 18.927; 5. Marino (Kawasaki) 19.004; 6. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 19.179; 7. Kennedy (Honda) 19.774; 8. Coghlan (Kawasaki) 22.501; 9. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 28.453; 10. Zanetti (Honda) 29.027; 11. Iddon (MV Agusta) 29.420; 12. Leonov (Yamaha) 34.503; 13. Roccoli (Yamaha) 35.421; 14. Russo (Kawasaki) 35.486; 15. Ivanov (Kawasaki) 37.003; etc.

Standings (round 3 of 14): 1. Foret 54; 2. Vd Mark 49; 3. Lowes 45; 4. Sofuoglu 45; 5. Antonelli 29; 6. Scassa 26; 7. Zanetti 24; 8. Kennedy 24; 9. Rolfo 17; 10. Roccoli 14; 11. Russo 13; 12. Leonov 12; 13. Marino 11; 14. Salom 11; 15. Coghlan 11. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 70; 2. Yamaha 53; 3. Honda 49; 4. MV Agusta 17; 5. Suzuki 4.

Superstock 1000

A final lap thrilling battle saw Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Ducati) getting a close victory on the finish line by just 0.023 seconds over defending Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet).

The two riders had an incredible last lap, that started with La Marra closing the small gap to the front and waiting for the right time to overtake: the Italian rider made a successful move at Turn 13 but Barrier was ready to counter-attack entering the last chicane. Because of his last attempt for the win, the Frenchman was forced to take a different line on the kerb and couldn't get up to speed on the exit, so the two rode side by side to the chequered flag, followed by 3rd place Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Ducati).

That's the 2nd career win for La Marra, 2012 STK1000 runner-up, who is now second in the standings behind Championship leader Barrier and tied up in points with team mate Canepa. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) got the better in the end of Jeremy Guarnoni to eventually finish 4th ahead of the MRS Kawasaki rider.

Race results: 1. La Marra (Ducati) 13 Laps/59.046 km in 21'35.907 average 164.028 kph; 2. Barrier (BMW) 0.023; 3. Canepa (Ducati) 0.106; 4. Mercado (Kawasaki) 5.638; 5. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 5.768; 6. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 9.387; 7. Jezek (Ducati) 15.320; 8. Savadori (Kawasaki) 15.745; 9. Bergman (Kawasaki) 20.564; 10. Bussolotti (BMW) 21.238; 11. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 32.883; 12. Walraven (Suzuki) 38.314; 13. Moser (Ducati) 43.213; 14. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 49.582; 15. Suchet (Honda) 53.599; etc.

Standings (round 2 of 10): 1. Barrier 45; 2. La Marra 36; 3. Canepa 36; 4. Mercado 29; 5. Guarnoni 24; 6. Lanusse 20; 7. Jezek 18; 8. Bussolotti 14; 9. Savadori 8; 10. Bergman 7; 11. Ferrer 7; 12. Gildenhuys 6; 13. Andreozzi 6; 14. Lussiana 5; 15. McFadden 5. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 45; 2. BMW 45; 3. Kawasaki 29; 4. Honda 6; 5. Suzuki 5.

European Junior Cup

Local wildcard rider Bo Bendsneijder took a popular victory in the second round of the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda at Assen this afternoon.

As in Aragon, the leading positions changed too quickly to keep track of, with Bendsneijder, who had started 2nd place on the grid, fending off a number of attacks from Guillaume Raymond (Activbike), Adrien Pittet (Swisscare), Michael Canducci (Colors Experience) and Kevin Manfredi (Newton Trasformatori) who all took turns to lead on the final lap.

In the run to the flag it was Augusto Fernandez (DS Junior Team) who proved the biggest challenger as both he and Bendsneijder appeared to cross the line side by side. The photo finish gave the victory to the Dutch rider with Fernandez an impressive second. Italian Michael Canducci claimed his second podium placing in as many races with 3rd while Peter Sebastyen (World Management) from Hungary rode well to take 4th at the flag from Kevin Manfredi and pole-sitter Guillaume Raymond.

Race results: 1. Bendsneijder 10 Laps/45.420 km in 19'55.516 average 136.771 kph; 2. Fernandez 0.006; 3. Canducci 0.710; 4. Sebestyen 0.745; 5. Manfredi 0.907; 6. Raymond 0.979; 7. Pittet 1.199; 8. Anne 1.470; 9. Orellana 1.517; 10. Fernandez 1.660; 11. Mykhalchyk 1.866; 12. Filippini 7.168; 13. Harland 17.343; 14. Flitcroft 21.072; 15. Aranda 21.153; etc.

Standings (round 2 of 8): 1. Canducci 32; 2. Bendsneijder 25; 3. Lewis 25; 4. Raymond 23; 5. Sebestyen 21; 6. Fernandez 20; 7. Arenas 20; 8. Manfredi 18; 9. Fernandez 17; 10. Anne 13; 11. Mykhalchyk 11; 12. Levy 10; 13. Pittet 9; 14. Rusmiputro 9; 15. Orellana 9.

The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be back in action for Round 4 on May 10-12 at the iconic Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale.




More, from a press release issued by Honda:

FIM SUPERBIKE / SUPERSPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND 03 SUNDAY APRIL 28 ASSEN, NETHERLANDS RACE REPORT

Weather: Dry and sunny
Temperature: Ambient 12/15 degrees C / Track 15/23 degrees C
Attendance: 52,000

PODIUM FOR REA IN RACE ONE BUT BAD LUCK FOR HASLAM

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) made real progress at his team’s home round of Assen in the third round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, scoring a second place in race one and was only just off the podium in the second race in fourth place. He is now up to fifth in the overall rankings after his first podium of the year on his CBR1000RR.

In contrast Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) was ruled out of the event early after falling at turn seven on Friday in wet conditions, suffering serious breaks to his left tibia and fibula that will require surgery. After some consultation with doctors in the Netherlands Leon elected to go home to the UK to have a pin inserted in his leg, in order to speed up his recovery process.

Rea, who had qualified in second position, had found his electronics package much improved throughout this event and that allowed him to be a force at the front on raceday. Assen is no longer his team’s designated test track and with the first day of practice dominated by cold and wet weather, he and his team had in effect one day to make final race preparations. Now that the round has been run at Assen, Rea and his team will test at the circuit on Wednesday and Thursday to make further machine improvements in readiness for the next round at Monza on May 12.

In the first 22-lap race he got away behind flag-to-flag leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) but ended up in an almost race-long battle with Aprilia riders Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty. In race two Jonathan changed rear tyre options and that had an eventual effect on his fourth place result, despite finishing only 5.8 seconds from the win itself.

In the championship Rea is fifth overall on 63 points and Haslam is now 13th, with 29. The fourth round of the season takes place at Monza, Italy, on May 12.

LOCAL RIDER VAN DER MARK RECOVERS BRILLIANTLY TO TAKE FOURTH

The Assen round of the 2013 FIM Supersport World Championship was a home event for Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and despite ending his first lap only 11th he battled back to score fourth place and end his day as top Honda rider. Van der Mark had been 11th on the grid but at one stage in the race he was down in 14th place. Michael’s magic race performance kept him second in the overall standings.

The race itself was won by Sam Lowes (Yamaha) from Kawasaki pairing Kenan Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret, with Foret still the championship points leader.

After a wet Friday and a cold Saturday raceday was dry and sunny, a factor which helped Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) take a top ten finish at his team’s home circuit, despite experiencing some tyre issues after mid race distance.

Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) was in line for a top four race finish, to replicate his qualifying position, until he was overhauled on lap 18 of 21. Having only one day of set-up had taken its toll on the rookie’s race settings and he had to concede places to riders who had more tyre life left at the very end. He finished seventh in the race and is now eighth overall.

Some tough luck for other Honda riders meant that Zanetti in tenth was the last Honda points scorer. Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) was 16th, Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda) 17th and Alex Schacht (Racing Team Toth Honda) was 19th.

Fancied Honda runners Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) and Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) could not race after suffering practice crashes. Alex Baldolini (Team Lorini Honda) entered the pits to retire while Balazs Nemeth (Complus SMS Racing Honda) had a fast crash. Aussie Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR) jump-started and was later forced to retire.

HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) Race result: 2nd / 4th Championship position: 5th “It is so nice to be back up on the podium again. It was a bit frustrating in race one because we had absolutely nothing for Tom today, he was on a different planet but I have to be happy with the way I rode. When you put 100% effort in and get a result like this it is always satisfying. It was good fun riding with Sylvain at the end and it was close and safe and we both ended up on the podium. I felt I could battle with Tom and Eugene in the second race but I outbraked myself a few times in the first two or three laps. When I got my rhythm back Giugliano balked me and then I only had the pace for third. I was strong in the section, coming back to the paddock area in race one but in race two our rear tyre was spinning much more. It was cutting too much power so I lost out in acceleration in those areas. The bike felt pretty good in the other areas. For engine braking into the corners and in throttle pick up I feel we are as good as any of the others. We just need to work on pure acceleration when I get onto the throttle. I am just happy to be on the podium today and to have scored good points.”

Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) Race result: DNS/ DNS Championship position: 13th “When I can come back all depends on when I get the operation to pin my leg. I am confident the strength would be there and then it is a case of getting over the trauma. I normally heal pretty fast. I remember the crash and it just low sided as the back came around as I entered turn seven. Then the footpeg went through my leathers on the right leg and then I got my left leg caught in the bike as I tried to kick it off me. It flipped and I think that is when I got the injury.”

Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) Race result: 4th Championship position: 2nd “In the beginning it was so difficult because even though we made a change to the set-up of the bike this morning we did not have the grip we wanted but after a few laps I changed my riding style and managed to pass a few people. I kept pushing towards the front and I am extremely happy to be fourth. The team worked really hard all weekend so it was a shame that we could not find a perfect set-up but we must be happy with a fourth place. I just wanted to take out everything about riding at my home race from my mind and I think what we did was the most we could do on this weekend.”

Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) Race result: 10th Championship position: 7th “I had a good start and I think I was seventh. In the first seven or eight laps, when the tyre was new, I had a good feeling and good rhythm. But when the tyre performance down a little bit it was the same thing I experienced at Aragon. The brake points become longer and it becomes difficult to stop the bike. In the race, when fighting other riders, this makes it too difficult. The other riders can pass under brakes, so we have to work on that. But finishing inside the top ten shows my potential and the team.”

Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) Race result: 7th Championship position: 8th “My race came down to set-up and tyre life in the end. I made a good enough start and then got to third then sat behind Fabien Foret, I felt comfortable in there behind him but then started to lose grip so I could not keep the traction level against him. I started to have a bit of a lonely race in fourth but then I saw on my pit board the gap to the guys behind me getting smaller and smaller which is the last thing you want to see. I tried to dig as deep as I could just to stay ahead with some consistent laps, but they kept closing. I had nothing left to fight with but we got more good information from race so I hope we can move forward with this.”

Gabor Talmacsi Race result: 16th, Championship position: N/A "I am very disappointed and we are just trying to understand what is going on with the settings. In Australia I was really happy until the crash and I recovered very fast, but the bike was not so good. We need to go back to the same setup as last year to see what is going on because finishing 16th is not my real level of performance. It feels like the bike does not ‘listen’ to me.”