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Apr 22, 2013

BMW World Superbike Rider Chaz Davies Says Assen Is A Circuit That He Enjoys And One That Has Been Good To Him In The Past

FIM Superbike World Championship: Chaz Davies (19).
The tyres chosen by Pirelli to race at the University of motorcycling for the third round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship

The new 17 inch Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres in SC1 and SC2 compound are called on to tackle the weekend on the Dutch track of Assen after excellent results already achieved in the first two rounds of the season.

The new intermediate Diablo Wet tyre, also due to the new “Flag to Flag” rule, could play a fundamental role in the event of unpredictable weather conditions.

Assen (Holland), 22 April 2013 – Pirelli is ready to take on the third round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship which will be held this weekend at the Dutch circuit of Assen, also known as the University of motorcycling because of its characteristics. In particular, the new 17 inch Pirelli Diablo Superbike tyres will be available for both the front and rear in standard SC1 and SC2 compound as well as with alternative development solutions.

In the event of varying weather conditions with rain showers, the Assen round could also see the début of the new intermediate tyre designed by Pirelli, the Diablo Wet.
In fact, Diablo Wet could be the solution that the teams and riders bank on if the races start in wet conditions due to recent or dwindling rain and finish on a completely dry track, but also if the conditions are reversed, with riders starting on a dry track and the weather shifting to rain showers during the race.

The new “Flag to Flag” rule introduced this year which allows the riders to make a pit stop to change the tyres in order to avoid stopping the race in the event of rain, while on one hand allows the race to continue, on the other it means that riders will lose a lot of time to stop and change tyres. In some cases the Diablo Wet could prove to be an essential part of strategy because it would allow the riders to avoid stopping and losing precious minutes.

The TT Circuit Assen was designed specifically for motorcycles. It has always been considered one of the most difficult in the championship, even earning the nickname "University of motorcycling" due to its extremely fast average speeds. Despite the recent modifications which have partially changed its fame, the circuit still puts bike, rider and tyres to a hard test. The circuit was built in 1925 and for 30 years hosted road races through the towns around Assen. At the time the track was about 28 km long. The modern circuit was not built until 1955, no longer open to daily traffic, and the total length was reduced to 7,705 m. The most recent significant change was made in 2006, entirely eliminating the first part of the circuit, a very fast and particular section for a modern track, which reduced the length by almost 1,500 metres. In its place new stands were built, higher capacity than the previous ones, overlooking the new group of first slow turns. Today, after the many changes made over the years, the track is 4,552 metres long with the longest straight stretch measuring 970 metres, 11 left hand turns and 6 right-handers.

TT Circuit Assen from a tyre point of view:

The Assen track is very interesting because the tyres, although not very stressed from a thermal point of view, must be capable of providing the rider with great precision and a lot of directional stability. During the springtime, which is when the Dutch round is schedules, the Assen circuit is generally subjected to weather conditions which are often unpredictable as well as rather cold temperatures.

The first right hand turn deserves particular attention, which is very long, taking about 15 seconds to get through it. The rear and front tyres must be perfectly balanced in order to maintain a perfect line at an average speed that exceeds 100 kph. The most important point, however, is the following left hairpin, which has a curvature radius of less than 20 metres. The rider is forced to change the lean angle of the bike at a speed of 70 degrees per second, so from a leaning position of about 40° on the cold left side of the tyres, he has to brake hard, come out of the turn at maximum speed (guaranteed by the front tyre) and then accelerate almost from a standstill taking maximum advantage of the grip provided by the rear tyre. This sudden change from an extremely long turn to a high and constant speed to a sudden hairpin in the opposite direction, characterised by a braking section from a leaned position, is very demanding on both tyre and rider.

After this there is an extremely fast flip-flop. The rider has to navigate the double turn at a high speed of about 150 kph, first to the left, and then about 110 kph on the left-hander, but above all he has to move quickly from a maximum left hand lean to maximum right hand lean, changing angle at an astonishing speed of about 90° per second. The rear and front tyres must reach an extremely demanding balance in order to allow the rider to get through the chicane as quickly as possible.

After this the rider takes on a situation which is reversed with respect to the first turn. First there is a tight turn to the left with a curvature radius of about 50 metres, followed by a wide right-hander where the bike maintains a 50° lean angle for about 8 seconds. The rear tyre must guarantee the best possible acceleration coming out of the turn, allowing the rider to speed up from 90 to 150 kph as quickly as possible. In fact, the riders who are able to open up the throttle first will gain a decisive advantage.

The Assen allure lies in this series of long and constant speed turns, slow U-shaped turns with braking and sudden acceleration, quick chicanes and long turns with strong acceleration coming out with the bike still leaned over.

Made up of a very high bituminous percentage, the asphalt at Assen represents a strong correlation between how aggressive the track is and the air temperature. This means that with low temperatures the rear solutions can suffer from problems with tearing (by now well known as cold tearing), particularly in the event of soft solutions (and therefore less resistant) and when the track is poorly rubberised, typically during the Friday sessions.

Therefore all the softer versions could be risky for this time of year and this is why high performance over a few laps is usually foregone in order to guarantee the best protection against tearing for the long run in view of the races. In fact, the cold tearing effect, once it begins, prevents the tyre from functioning properly, drastically damaging its level of grip and handling.

Therefore the rear solutions available will go from the SC1, with less protection available but higher performance, to SC2, greater protection available (required only for critical situations). The two prototype solutions (R1688 and R829) available for Superbike are also included in this range.

On the other hand, where the front tyres are concerned there are no particularly critical issues. Generally, since Assen is quite a ridden track without any violent braking sections, the front tyre choice tends more toward the higher performance SC1. In fact, the new front Diablo Superbike S41 falls within the SC1 area in order to increase the riders' options.


TT Circuit Assen from a technical point of view:

“Although the Dutch track has been a bit altered in recent years, losing a few of the fast chicanes, it is still a track with very aggressive asphalt but with good water drainage, capable of drying off quickly in the event of rain, because it is in an area which is traditionally exposed to the wind” said Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director “Even more than Phillip Island, Assen is an extremely varied track where dry sections can sometimes alternate with damp or wet sections, so it is a track where the right tyre choice made by the teams could prove to be essential for a win. In the event of damp conditions or light rain, the new intermediate tyre could be very useful both to allow riders to avoid losing time for tyre changes and because, if there are alternating dry and wet areas on the track the pure rain tyre may not provide optimum performance."


Pirelli solutions for the Superbike and Supersport classes:

For the Superbike and Supersport classes Pirelli will be providing various solutions for the riders to choose from, all in SC1 and SC2 compound both from the front and rear, including development solutions as an alternative to the standard tyres. Pirelli will take a total of 4848 tyres to Assen and each Superbike rider will have 34 front and 40 rear available, while the Supersport riders will have 25 front and 29 rear tyres available, taking the regulations into consideration which state that Superbike riders may use a maximum of 9 front and 13 rear tyres up to warm-up, whereas Supersport riders have a maximum of 9 front and 11 rear.

For the Superbike class Pirelli will take three slick solutions for dry on the front and four for the rear. These are joined by the rear qualifier that riders will be able to use in the three Superpole sessions on Saturday and the intermediate solutions (4 available for the front and for the rear) as well as wet solutions (8 for both the front and the rear).

On the front the slicks that Pirelli has chosen are the same ones which were used on the Spanish Motorland Aragón circuit in the last round. There will be an SC1 solution (R426) in a soft blend and the SC2 standard solution (R982) in medium blend, joined by the S41 development solution in a soft blend as an alternative to the standard SC1 (R426) intended to reduce cold tearing and to provide greater mechanical stability, a good compromise between the SC2 for solidity and the SC1 in terms of grip.

On the other hand, the rear selection will include a range of four options. These will include the standard SC1 (R828) in medium compound which were already seen at Phillip Island and which were used by all the riders on the starting grid at Motorland Aragón, as well as the standard SC2 (R832) in hard blend, capable of providing greater resistance even in the event of low temperatures. In addition to the standard SC1 and SC2 solutions, the R829 will be present, a development solution that met the track for the first time at Motorland Aragón and which, in terms of compound hardness, fall halfway between the standard SC1 and SC2, as well as the R1688, a new SC1 compound development solution capable of ensuring better grip than the R829 and more sturdiness than the R828.

As for Supersport, for dry on the front the riders will be able to choose from the two standard solutions, the SC1 soft compound (P1177) and the SC2 medium (R1031), already used at Motorland Aragón.

On the rear the riders will have the standard SC1 medium compound (R303) and the R1610 which has a blend designed for grip similar to the SC1 but with cold tearing resistance typical of an SC2. On the other hand, this will be the début round for the standard SC2, the R1136, a valid option in case of very low temperatures.


The 2012 Pirelli statistics for TT Circuit Assen:

• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4806

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

• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 6 rear

Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 29 front and 39 rear

• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 29 front and 30 rear

• Superbike Best Lap Awards won by Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing) in 1'57.793 (Race 1, 9th lap) and Carlos Checa (Althea Racing) in 1’38.092 (Race 2, 16th lap)

• Supersport Best Lap Awards won by: Lorenzo Lanzi (Prorace) in 1’59.828 (17th lap)

• Temperature in Race 1: air 9° C, wet asphalt 7° C

• Temperature in Race 2: air 14° C, wet asphalt 12° C

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli tyres: 286,8 km/h, Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in Race 2 on the 7th lap




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

The Netherlands – Assen.
Preview.

26th – 28th April 2013
3rd of 15 race weekends

Munich/Milan, 22nd April 2013. Just over a week after the successful Sunday at Aragón circuit in Spain, the BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team now heads to the iconic “TT Circuit Assen”. The Dutch track will host the third round of the 2013 FIM World Superbike Championship this weekend (26th to 28th April). Factory riders Marco Melandri (ITA) and Chaz Davies (GBR) aim to confirm the potential of their BMW S 1000 RRs by racing at the very front again.

With his double win in Spain, Chaz propelled himself to second in the Riders’ Championship, having collected 63 points in total over the first two rounds of the season. Marco, who has stood twice on the podium so far this year, improved one position in Spain and currently sits fourth with 43 points. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, BMW is second with 79 points.

The BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team with riders Sylvain Barrier (FRA) and Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) is also on duty in Assen, tackling the second round of the 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup. The squad had a brilliant start to the season at Aragón, with reigning champion Sylvain winning the opening race on his brand new BMW HP4 equipped with the electronic damping system (DDC).


Assen from the rider’s point of view:
Chaz Davies:
“After my double win at Aragón I am really looking forward to Assen. Obviously it is a confidence booster every time you win, but doing it twice really sets you up for the next races. I am very comfortable now with the RR and how I am feeling on the bike. On top of that, Assen is a circuit I enjoy and one that has been good for me in the past. Back in 2011, I celebrated my first World Championship victory there by winning the Supersport race, last year it was the first time for me to go through to Superpole 3 and I had a pretty decent pace in the dry.

I liked the character of the old Assen circuit a bit more, but it still has the camber in the corners, which is quite special. And obviously there is the history of Assen as well. Every time you go there you feel the tradition. It is a race to look forward to.”


Marco Melandri:
“My shoulder was feeling ok in Aragón for most of the weekend. Only towards the end of race two did I start struggling. The shoulder was a bit inflamed so to compensate I stressed the other arm more and as a result I got some cramps. Anyhow, I am quite calm because I have enough time until the next race to cure the inflammation. In the meantime I am continuing with physiotherapy and training in order to be fit in Assen.

“Assen is a nice track and I feel really comfortable there, even if I prefer the old layout which was wider. What really concerns me is the weather. Last year we weren’t lucky with it, so I hope this time it will be good and not too cold. The best thing in World Superbikes is the fact that balances are constantly changing. In Australia, it seemed that Aprilia was unbeatable. Then in Aragón, it changed. For Assen I expect an open race, with Aprilia, Kawasaki and Chaz being very fast. I feel better and I am improving my feeling with the bike. I am quite optimistic that we will not have the same issues as in Aragón.”


Assen from a technical point of view:
Andrea Dosoli (Technical Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“After the successful race weekend in sunny Spain we are now heading to Assen, where unpredictable weather conditions could play an important role. The Dutch racetrack has been the venue of memorable races in the past, earning the title of being the ‘University of Motorcycling’. The layout, even if it has been modified a few years ago, is technical and flowing. It will be demanding for the riders and for our engineers it will be the perfect playground to consolidate the performance shown so far.

Chaz, after the double win at Aragón, can count on a very good technical package. He and his crew will adapt this base to the requirements of the Dutch track, trying to use 100 percent of the RR’s potential. Marco deserves the important results he is used to getting after the unlucky weekend he experienced in Spain. The racing and the R&D department of the team have worked hard to improve his feeling on our winning RR. Now we are all looking forward to the Assen race.”


Assen from a sporting point of view:
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“After Aragón we are very motivated and confident. Of course we know that in World Superbikes each race can have a different result and that our competitors are really strong. So it will not be easy for us to repeat such a success. We need to keep concentrated and work hard to keep our focus on the championship which is just starting and very long. The race and R&D team have done an excellent job. Now we need to enable Marco to compete at the very front and to ride a successful race. The races in Assen are always special. Very often we have to deal with extremely changeable weather conditions. It can change from wet to dry conditions and vice versa very quickly. We hope to have stable weather conditions which allow us to work well.

“In Aragón we had a successful start to this year’s Superstock 1000 Cup. We made our debut with the brand new BMW HP4 equipped with DDC, the electronic damping system which the HP RaceSupport Team and the STK team worked on over the last months. Sylvain did a great job in the opening race, confirming his determination and speed. Now we need to keep this high concentration and work consistently towards our target.”


Assen from Pirelli’s point of view:
The Assen track is very interesting because the tyres, although not very stressed from a thermal point of view, must be capable of providing the rider with great precision and a lot of directional stability. During the springtime, which is when the Dutch round is schedules, the Assen circuit is generally subjected to weather conditions which are often unpredictable as well as rather cold temperatures. For the Superbike class, Pirelli will take three slick solutions for dry on the front and four for the rear. These are joined by the rear qualifier, the intermediate solutions and the wet solutions. On the front the slicks that Pirelli has chosen are the same ones which were used on the Spanish “Motorland Aragón” circuit in the last round. There will be an SC1 solution (R426) in a soft blend and the SC2 standard solution (R982) in medium blend, joined by the S41 development solution in a soft blend as an alternative to the standard SC1 (R426) intended to reduce cold tearing and to provide greater mechanical stability, a good compromise between the SC2 for solidity and the SC1 in terms of grip.

On the other hand, the rear selection will include a range of four options. These will include the standard SC1 (R828) in medium compound which were already seen at Phillip Island and which were used by all the riders on the starting grid at Aragón, as well as the standard SC2 (R832) in hard blend, capable of providing greater resistance even in the event of low temperatures. In addition to the standard SC1 and SC2 solutions, the R829 will be present, a development solution that met the track for the first time at Aragón and which, in terms of compound hardness, fall halfway between the standard SC1 and SC2, as well as the R1688, a new SC1 compound development solution capable of ensuring better grip than the R829 and more sturdiness than the R828. In the event of varying weather conditions with rain showers, the Assen round could also see the debut of the new intermediate tyre designed by Pirelli, the Diablo Wet.


Background:
Riders and motorbike fans wax lyrical at the slightest mention of the name “TT Circuit”. The racetrack in Assen (Netherlands) is appropriately known as “The Cathedral” and “The University of Motorcycling”. Assen is located in the north-east of the Netherlands and is the capital of the province Drenthe. The first motorbike race was held there in 1925. At least one round of a motorcycle world championship has been held there every year since 1949 – initially on public roads and then, from 1955, on the “TT Circuit”, which is specifically tailored to meet the requirements of motorbikes.

After a number of modifications, the circuit is now about four and a half kilometres long. Assen first welcomed the Superbike World Championship in 1992 and is also a permanent fixture on the MotoGP calendar. In 1997, BMW Motorrad works rider Marco Melandri picked up his first victory in the 125cc World Championship in Assen at the age of just 15, making him one of the youngest ever Grand Prix winners.

The “TT Circuit” has a flowing but difficult layout. It is known for its high speeds and some very quick changes of direction. The track demands maximum concentration from the riders, who spend a lot of time in the lean position and subjected to enormous g-forces. What is basically a fast layout is interrupted by a tight hairpin, out of which the bike must accelerate well. The bike must be stable both in the fast turns and the hairpin. One thing in Assen which is quite unique is the positive camber in many corners. With this camber riders get extra grip and can let the brakes off a little bit earlier.

The asphalt is very aggressive, and the teams must also come to terms with the unpredictable Dutch weather. The surface dries very quickly after showers, meaning the track conditions can vary dramatically over the course of a lap which makes good tyre selection key to any success.




More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Assen SBK Race Laden With Possibilities For KRT

WSBK, Assen, Netherlands, 22 April 2013

Tom Sykes and his KRT partner Loris Baz each have many reasons to look forward to the latest round of the Superbike World Championship, with both heading to the Netherlands in positive mood.

After Sykes scored his first podium of the season at the previous round in Spain he is looking for more top three action at this forthcoming event. He is well placed for success this season after a strong winter of development work on the Ninja ZX-10R that so nearly took him to the championship itself in 2012. Tom is sixth in the rankings right now as he heads to the Netherlands full of motivation and positivity.

Having won the classic Bol d’Or race for Kawasaki on Sunday 21 April French rider Loris Baz now returns to his main point of focus in 2013 - riding in the SBK championship for the official Kawasaki Racing Team – in joyful and determined fashion. Baz left the challenging Motorland circuit after round two of SBK with a fifth and a sixth place finish in the bag, putting him eighth overall in the rankings at this early stage of the season.

Alex Lundh and Federico Sandi will run their Pedercini Team Ninja ZX-10Rs again in SBK, looking for more championship points and their first top ten race finishes.

With two rounds and four races of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship now completed the Circuit van Drenthe, close to Assen in the Netherlands, always provides a popular backdrop on the 15-round/30-race calendar. This classic ribbon of asphalt has been much modified and shortened from its origins as a road circuit and is now 4.542km long, featuring 6 right and 11 left hand corners.

There will be a round of both the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup and Superstock 600 European Championships at Assen, the second of the season. Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) returns to action on his Ninja ZX-10R with the status of Bol D’Or race winner as he, like his friend and compatriot Loris Baz, was part of the victorious riding team that recently scored this famous win for Kawasaki.

Tom Sykes: “I am looking forward to racing at Assen and it is a circuit that the Ninja ZX-10R has gone well at in the past. I will enjoy getting on the bike again. One of the reasons that I am looking forward to this weekend so much is that there are quite a few people from the KME headquarters in the Netherlands coming to Assen. This is the first circuit we have gone to this year without having had a test there first. We know the bike well now and in these circumstances we simply focus on setting it up for the two races on Sunday and we don’t spend a lot of time fine tuning and trying many different things. Assen is a good track to ride at and it’s a circuit that has changed a lot over the years. I did not get the chance to ride the longer version they used in previous eras of SBK, with the long loop at the start, but I would have liked to. Only the slow first section is really different from the rest of the current layout, which is still unique in some ways.”

Loris Baz: “After a 24-Hour race they say you maybe need a week off to feel OK. I knew April would be a hard month for me from the beginning but I think my head is pushing my body because I feel fresh! I do not feel like I have just done a 24-hour race. I am really looking forward to Assen and I am already thinking about this event and concentrating on it. Even on the night after the Bol d’Or I was doing some laps of Assen in my head, as the specifications of the SBK bike and Endurance bikes are not the same. I do not want to even take one free session to feel just OK on the KRT bike; I want to work at a good level from the beginning. I am going to rest for a couple of day now and I am sure I will be 100% ready for the Assen race. I think it will be a really good one for us because I like the track and I think the bike will work really well there. Hopefully we can have nice weather to let us continue our good work and I have been speaking with my crew chief Pere Riba already about how we can make our race pace even better than it was in Motorland. I am looking forward to working again with the team at Assen.”




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

WSBK back to “The Cathedral”

Rome (Italy), Monday 22 April 2013 – Eni FIM Superbike World Championship prepares for the usual late April round at Assen’s TT Circuit. The capital of the province of Drenthe has always stood for motorcycle racing, as the first event took place in 1925 (on public roads) and the permanent circuit has been hosting World Superbike since 1992. It’s the track with the second highest number of WSBK races held so far (42), along with Monza and behind Phillip Island.

The TT Circuit of Assen is the perfect hunting ground for the current Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team). The Frenchman scored last year his maiden World Superbike win in race 1, which was enhanced by the 2nd place of race 2. The 30 year old from Montélimar, is living his moment of glory on board the RSV4 and has been able so far to finish all races within the top-2 (a win and three second places). Time to get even for Guintoli’s team mate Eugene Laverty, after Aragon’s double DNF. The Irishman has won twice at Assen in his Supersport times (2009 and 2010) and finished 3rd last year in race 2, after successfully defending his position from Melandri and Haslam.

The man on the move is Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who is back on the track that started his unstoppable charge to the World Supersport title in 2011. Together with team mate Marco Melandri, the Brit – who lies 2nd in the standings thanks to the Aragon double win – will try to give BMW their first podium on the Dutch track (the best result so far is a 5th place).

Home round for the Pata Honda World Superbike Team, in what is being a difficult time for the Nieuwleusen-based team. Jonathan Rea scored 4 of his 10 WSBK race wins at Assen, at least 1 per year from 2010 on. Good memories of the Dutch Round for Leon Haslam with Honda: in 2009, when he returned to WSBK, the rider from Derby finished both races on the podium (a 3rd and a 2nd place).

Carlos Checa and Ayrton Badovini (Team Ducati Alstare) got the best of a two-day test last week at Jerez, to better prepare to the upcoming round. The goal for both riders is to make up lost ground and to show the potential of the 1199 Panigale R on a track that suits well the L-Twin machine from Borgo Panigale.
Tom Sykes makes his return to Assen after the unfortunate 2012 event, that saw him forced to an early retirement due to a technical problem in race 1, and 6th at the chequered flag in the following one. The Englishman of the Kawasaki Racing Team hasn’t had the best start of the season, especially compared to winter testing and high expectations from last year’s result. Sykes is now 6th in the standings, with 31 points less than 2012. Loris Baz will be back on a WSBK machine after being part of the winning team in the 77th Bol d’Or endurance race - along with close friend and STK1000 rider Jeremy Guarnoni.

Jules Cluzel could be the only full-time FIXI Crescent Suzuki rider to take part to the Assen round: Leon Camier’s participation is still in doubt following the left knee injury sustained at Aragon. Camier will make a final decision only on Thursday, together with the team and the specialists who are assisting him in the recovery.

Standings: 1. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 85; 2. Chaz Davies (BMW) 63; 3. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 45; 4. Marco Melandri (BMW) 43; 5. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 42; 6. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 38; 7. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 33; 8. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 31; 9. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 30; 10. Leon Haslam (Honda) 29; 11. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) 23; 12. Max Neukirchner (Ducati) 20; 13. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 17; 14. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 14; 15. Ayrton Badovini (Ducati) 12; etc.
World Supersport

The unpredictable outcome of the Aragon race has mixed up the cards on the table in the World Supersport Championship, putting even greater importance to this weekend’s round at Assen. After the unfortunate faux pas of both Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) and Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha), whose race came to an early end by technical issues, the current Championship Leader is now none other than Sofuoglu’s team mate Fabien Foret, who rode to his 16th race win of the career after a gear shift problem forced an indomitable Sam Lowes to throw the towel in (the Brit was leading the race despite a painful hand and wrist injury).

The Championship Standings are tighter than ever on top, as 2002 World Supersport Champion leads with 38, just a 2-point advantage over “rookie” Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), who is counting down the days to his home round, and 12 on Luca Scassa (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki).
Last year’s Assen round saw the historical podium of Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha), the maiden rostrum finish for a Russian rider at world level in motorcycle road racing.

Standings: 1. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) 38; 2. Michael vd Mark (Honda) 36; 3. Luca Scassa (Kawasaki) 26; 4. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 25; 5. Andrea Antonelli (Kawasaki) 22; 6. Sam Lowes (Yamaha) 20; 7. Lorenzo Zanetti (Honda) 18; 8. Jack Kennedy (Honda) 15; 9. Riccardo Russo (Kawasaki) 11; 10. David Salom (Kawasaki) 11; etc.


Superstock 1000
The second round of 2013 FIM Superstock 1000 Cup is about to get underway eyes on the Championship leader and defending Champion Sylvain Barrier, who won last year’s race ahead of Lorenzo Savadori and Eddi La Marra (both with Barni Racing Team Italia in 2012).

Former team mates both had a difficult Season Opener at Aragon: Savadori (now with Team Pedercini Kawasaki) lost the front of his ZX-10R after a good first half of the race, La Marra had some hard time, especially compared to Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Team Ducati), who crossed the finish line in 2nd place following an almost perfect race.

The Team Pedercini Kawasaki had something to cheer upon courtesy of Leandro Mercado, who snatched 3rd place from Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) for only 40 thousands of a second.
Standings: 1. Sylvain Barrier (BMW) 25; 2. Niccolò Canepa (Ducati) 20; 3. Leandro Mercado (Kawasaki) 16; 4. Jeremy Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 13; 5. Eddi La Marra (Ducati) 11; 6. Romain Lanusse (Kawasaki) 10; 7. Ondrej Jezek (Ducati) 9; 8. Marco Bussolotti (BMW) 8; 9. Enrique Ferrer (BMW) 7; 10. Greg Gildenhuys (BMW) 6; etc.


Superstock 600
The Superstock 600 European Championship lands at Assen after the close battle of Round 1. The man to beat is Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Racing Yamaha), who won the opening race at Aragon and last year was 3rd behind van der Mark and Russo – both racing in WSS now. Tony Covena (Nito Racing Kawasaki) will be waving the Dutch flag high, after the positive 2nd place in Spain ahead of Swiss Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team), who is looking for a good result on the team’s home track.
Wildcard Rob Hartog will once again be attending the Assen round. The Dutch youngster, who starred the European Junior Cup race last year by finishing 2nd, will be lined-up by Team NIWA Racing Suzuki.

Standings: 1. Gauthier Duwelz (Yamaha) 25; 2. Tony Covena (Kawasaki) 20; 3. Bastien Chesaux (Honda) 16; 4. Robin Mulhauser (Yamaha) 13; 5. Adrian Nestorovic (Yamaha) 11; 6. Franco Morbidelli (Kawasaki) 10; 7. Christian Gamarino (Kawasaki) 9; 8. Stefano Casalotti (Yamaha) 8; 9. Dominic Schmitter (Yamaha) 7; 10. Wayne Tessels (Suzuki) 6; etc.


European Junior Cup
The 2013 Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda is set for another weekend of racing after the close battle of the opening round. All 35 riders (33 full-time entries and 2 wild-cards) will take on the challenging 4542 m of the TT Circuit of Assen and New Zealand’s Jake Lewis will defend his leadership from Michael Canducci (Colors Experience), Guillaume Raymond (Activbike), Illan Fernandez (Evo Kids Racing) and Zac Levy (Puma R.V.s).

Standings: 1. Jake Lewis (Honda) 25; 2. Albert Arenas (Honda) 20; 3. Michael Canducci (Honda) 16; 4. Guillaume Raymond (Honda) 13; 5. Illan Fernandez (Honda) 11; 6. Zac Levy (Honda) 10: 7. Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro (Honda) 9; 8. Peter Sebestyen (Honda) 8; 9. Kevin Manfredi (Honda) 7; 10. Illya Mykhalchyk (Honda) 6; etc.




More, from a press release issued by PTR Honda:

PTR HONDA'S Luca Marconi is hoping for rain at the third round of the World Supersport Championship at Assen in Holland, on Sunday 28th April, as he is a wet weather specialist and believes a strong top 10 result may be possible.

The Italian racer has scored his two best ever results since joining PTR in 2013 and is ambitious to improve further.

Luca said: "I don't know if it will rain or not, maybe it is likely at Assen. If it rains then I think it is possible to get into the top five because I like so much racing in the rain. If dry then my target is the same as Aragon, the top 10 is possible. I am very happy for the job of the PTR team, it is a big difference compared to my last two years and I am enjoying good results."

Sheridan Morais is aiming to score his first result of the season after being dogged by bad luck at the opening rounds. He is a clear front-runner for PTR after qualifying fourth at the last round.

David Linortner on his PTR race bike has shown raw speed that he hopes to translate into a good points finish at Assen. His fellow rookies Mathew Davies and Nacho Calero are learning the class quickly and are in the reckoning for scoring their first points of the season. The race starts at 1330 CET on Sunday 28th April.

Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Luca has been a revelation since joining PTR and is starting to show the sort of ability he really has now that he is on a good bike with the support of a strong team. Whatever the weather, we want Luca challenging for the top 10 again at Assen.

"Sheridan is a challenger for the podium and he is more determined than ever to do well this weekend. David is a fast rider who we expect to finish in the points this round as well.

"Matt and Nacho are rookies with a lot of potential. The depth of quality in the field is impressive this year, so getting points is a major first achievement for both of them and we will be going for that in Holland with both of them."