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Apr 14, 2019

World Superbike: Race Two Results From TT Circuit Assen (Updated)

The start of a World Superbike race at Assen. Photo courtesy of Dorna WorldSBK Press Office.

WorldSBK Race Lap Record: 1:34.880, Jonathan Rea, 2017

WorldSBK Pole/Circuit Best Lap Record: 1:33.505, Jonathan Rea, 2017

Motul FIM Superbike World Championship

TT Circuit Assen, Netherlands

April 14, 2019

Race Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

1. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Duc Panigale V4 R), 21 laps, Total Race Time 33:28.682, Best Lap Time 1:34.564 (New Race Lap Record)

2. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), -4.688 seconds, 1:34.767

3. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -4.706, 1:35.037

4. Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), -10.073, 1:35.302

5. Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale V4 R), -13.667, 1:35.256

6. Markus Reiterberger, Germany (BMW S1000RR), -15.373, 1:35.553

7. Tom Sykes, UK (BMW S1000RR), -15.387, 1:35.582

8. Leon Haslam, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), -20.915, 1:35.390

9. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), -22.922, 1:35.619

10. Jordi Torres, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), -23.518, 1:35.615

11. Sandro Cortese, Germany (Yam YZF-R1), -28.286, 1:35.683

12. Leon Camier, UK (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -36.039, 1:36.520

13. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Duc Panigale V4 R), -36.359, 1:36.549

14. Marco Melandri, Italy (Yam YZF-R1), -36.895, 1:36.416

15. Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Duc Panigale V4 R), -36.913, 1:36.494

16. Hector Barbera (Kaw ZX-10RR), -37.095, 1:36.605

17. Alessandro Delbianco, Italy (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -70.200, 1:36.915

18. Ryuichi Kiyonari, Japan (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), -5 laps, DNF, retired, 1:36.739

World Championship Point Standings (after 11 of 38 races):

1. Bautista, 236 points

2. Rea, 183

3. Lowes, 126

4. Van Der Mark, 115

5. Haslam, 93

6. Davies, 76

7. Melandri, 69

8. Cortese, 64

9. Sykes, 54

10. Torres, 49

11. Razgatlioglu, 46

12. Rinaldi, 36

13. Reiterberger, 35

14. Laverty, 32

15. Camier, 26

16. Mercado, 11

17. Kiyonari, 10

18. Delbianco, 3

More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing:

Rinaldi scores a point in race 2 after a retirement in race 1

Assen (NED), 14th April 2019. A very difficult weekend ended for BARNI Racing Team and his rider Michael Rinaldi at Assen, home of fourth round of MOTUL FIM WorldSBK. With low temperature and cold Rinaldi didn’t managed to warm tyres and suffered all weekend long.

In an old style Superbike weekend with two races on Sunday, due to snowfall of yesterday, Rinaldi puts in the pocket only one point, scoring a fifteenth place in race 2 after a retirement in race 1.

Race 1

In a slightly higher temperature than yesterday race 1 got underway. Started from the sixth row Rinaldi leaved well being fifteenth after overtaking Kiyonari at lap 5, but at lap 11 a problem on the rear tyre appears and he was forced to slow his pace until retirement 5 laps to go. It was the same type of problem suffered in race 1 at Aragon: an abnormal vibration on the rear tyre.

Race 2

At the start of race 2 temperature increased until 9°C air and 17°C asphalt. Rinaldi had the same start of race 1 being fifteenth at the first turn. Finally from middle-race the Barni Racing Team rider found his pace scoring his best lap time in race in 1’36.494 at lap 10. He managed to reach the four riders group ahead with Melandri, Laverty, and Camier. Rinaldi gave his all but under a checkered flag he missed the fourteenth position for thousandth of a second.

Marco Barnabo, Team Principal

It was the most difficult weekend of the season. The rider had some trouble to understand the track with new bike and the cold temperatures didn’t help us. Besides all the problem faced, in race 1 we had the same problem encountered in Aragon race 1, and we were forced to retire. In race 2 we made some substancial changes and the rider was able to keep the pace of experienced riders as Laverty and Melandri. We don’t have a basic setup to start on all track and this is the biggest problem for us.

Michael Rinaldi

NC (Race 1) - P15 (Race 2)

In race 2 we managed to improve after a very though weekend but not enough to be in the first group. We still have a lot of work to do but it’s very hard when you have no informations neither experience with the bike. When everything works I’m able to use my machine at his best, but when we lose the right way, as happened here, it’s hard to escape from a difficult situation.

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:

Unstoppable Bautista continues to make history winning again in Race 2 at the Cathedral of Speed

11 wins in a row for Bautista who continues to set new WorldSBK records, whilst van der Mark was second in front of a huge home crowd

Once more, WorldSBK went to war on the famous TT Circuit Assen layout, with ten riders in the leading group in the early stages. However, after an incredible start, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) couldn’t hold off Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) any longer, as the Spaniard battled through to take an 11th race win of the year!

A frantic first lap saw Jonathan Rea erupt through the grid from eighth and was already up to the lead by Turn 5, in what was an impressive opening few corners from the reigning four-time champion. Alvaro Bautista was placed in second but under some serious pressure from home-hero, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) was also right in the mix during the opening laps, whilst Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) completed the top six.

The race unfolded, and Jonathan Rea was putting in a fantastic effort to defend from Bautista, standing the bike up on the apex of Turn 5 in order to back Bautista up into the chasing pack. Chaz Davies was able to climb up the order and got as high as third, whilst Michael van der Mark was being pushed back down the order, to fifth.

On lap six, Bautista, who had been continuously probing and searching for a way ahead of Rea, made his move at the fierce Turn 8, slamming his Ducati down the inside. The move rattled Rea, who needed to fight back straight away to get a hold of Bautista before he stretched away. The Northern Irishman was then passed by Chaz Davies at Turn 9 and Ducati were first and second at Assen.

Rea was soon back into the second place, getting ahead of Davies at the final chicane. Alex Lowes was still ahead of his teammate, but Leon Haslam was the rider who looked rather ominous, lapping quicker than the two Yamaha riders ahead. Just behind, it was another solid ride from Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) who was seventh for the majority of the race.

From the middle of the race, it was a phenomenal ride from Michael van der Mark, who was lapping far quicker than everyone ahead of him, including Bautista at one point. The Dutch rider was heroic, bridging a huge gap in short time to catch Jonathan Rea with just three laps remaining. At Turn 13, around the outside, a brave van der Mark roared ahead, with Rea now facing losing more points to Bautista. As Rea went backwards, it was his teammate Haslam who suffered a similar fate after looking so strong, sliding back behind the BMWs of Reiterberger and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team).

With the last lap upon us, Bautista had secured enough of an advantage to secure another win, and despite a desperate attempt by Rea at Turn 10 to get ahead of van der Mark – where they collided – it wasn’t enough, with the crowd’s favourite battling hard to remain ahead. Bautista took the victory but on a run to the line, Rea got alongside van der Mark, but the Dutch star held on ahead of the reigning four-time WorldSBK Champion! Fourth position was secured by Alex Lowes ahead of Chaz Davies, whilst Markus Reiterberger held off Tom Sykes on a run to the line for his second consecutive sixth position.

In eighth position, Leon Haslam struggled home, some 20 seconds behind race winner Bautista. He was only just ahead of the two Independent Kawasaki riders of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing), completing the top ten in that respective order.

Outside of the top ten, it was Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) in 11th and Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) in 12th, whilst Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) could only manage 13th. Marco Melandri completed a miserable weekend in 14th after a fierce battle with those ahead of him, whilst Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) was the last point-scorer. Hector Barbera (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 16th ahead of Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team). Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) retired.

Bautista’s win is a new record in WorldSBK, having won the opening 11 WorldSBK races of a season. He gives Ducati their 352nd race win in WorldSBK and their 27th at the TT Circuit Assen. It is also Spain’s 48th win in the WorldSBK class. With his 11th win, it puts him level with Jonathan Rea in terms of consecutive race wins, something the reigning champion only achieved last year! It also puts him level with Ruben Xaus, Regis Laconi and Stephane Mertens with number of wins in their WorldSBK career.

P1 - Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing - Ducati)

"It has been a perfect weekend. We were struggling with the cold temperatures this morning but in Race 2 the situation improved as it the track temperature increased, and I felt much better on the bike. I was surprised when I saw Jonathan in front of me in the early stages of the race. He was starting the race from sixth on the grid, and he came back really strong, and he did a good start. I saw that my race pace was faster than his, so I passed him and pushed to the limit to put some ground between us. I enjoying the race! I am so happy to have won 11th races in a row this season".

P2 - Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)

"It has been a different race compared to the first one. I did a good start, and I felt quite comfortable on the bike. I was in the front group, and when we started to battle, I lost so many positions. I had to stay calm, which was difficult but slowly and lap by lap I overtook some riders and catch up with Johnny. He was struggling a bit, and I was planning to overtake him in the last sector. But then I passed him and tried to push as much as I could, but I couldn't get away. We even touched but we had such a nice battle, so I am delighted to be on the podium again and had finished second".

P3 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

"My team and I put so much effort into the weekend, so I can't say that we are disappointed for missing the second position. They gave me a great bike, and I got the full potential! Unfortunately, we just decided to go with a harder tyre again. For me, it was working good, and I was going really fast, but in the last few laps, I ran out of grip. Van Der Mark could pass me on the faster section. The grip was just a little bit better, but I didn't want to make a mistake. We touched at Turn 10, and luckily we both stayed upright. Now we move on to Imola! Thanks to all my team and the Dutch fans who came this weekend to see us".

More, form a press release issued by Moriwaki Althea Honda Team:

Leon Camier 11th and 12th at Assen, Ryuichi Kiyonari in the points in Race1

A completely dry, albeit still fairly cold day at Assen allowed the WorldSBK riders to stick to the revised Sunday race schedule which saw Race 1 kicking off at 11am, in place of the Superpole Race, and Race 2 at 2pm.

Leon Camier scored an eleventh-place finish in Race1 before crossing the line twelfth in Race 2, putting up a good fight against Laverty and Melandri for most of the time.

A recovering Ryuichi Kiyonari bravely finished Race 1 inside the points zone in 15th place before retiring five laps before the end of Race 2 as he was experiencing some set-up issues.

Leon Camier

11TH (RACE 1) 12TH (RACE 2)

“For sure we want to do better, and we will keep working with that target in mind but all in all I honestly enjoyed the races today. I feel we were able to get the most from the package we have, which is good. We managed to win the battle with the guys we were competing against, Eugene (Laverty) and Marco (Melandri), guys who have won a lot of races. We’ll keep a constructive mentality and see what Imola will bring us.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari


“I’m very happy I was able to get back on track today though I was still a bit sore from yesterday’s crash. Actually in Race 1 I had fairly good feeling with my bike but unfortunately in the second race I had a few problems with some vibrations towards the end and I had to retire”.

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team:

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team mates go toe to toe in the final Race at the TT Assen Circuit


TT Assen Circuit

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK’s Markus Reiterberger and Tom Sykes put in another solid performance today at the Motul Dutch Round riding their BMW S 1000 RR’s. Following on from yesterday’s drama, a revised schedule would see two 21 lap races around the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ with Markus taking his place in P3, and Tom in P6 ahead of the first race.

With track temperatures still low it would be a bit of a gamble with tyre selections for Race 1, Tom Sykes deciding to go with the SC1 rear (a harder compound) and team mate Reiterberger opting for the softer SC0 tyre.

The SC0 tyre undoubtedly worked in the early stages of Race 1 for Reiterberger as he rocketed off the line into P2 and held this position for the opening 7 laps, however the pace of Markus slowed down towards the latter stages as his tyre quickly lost grip and ultimately slipped down the pecking order. He would bring home his BMW S 1000 RR in a solid sixth position, his best of the season so far.

Sykes decided to go with the SC1 tyre, as did the majority of the grid. In comparison to his team mate Tom didn't get the best of starts and dropped into P8 where he would lay for most of the race. Tom found himself under increased pressure towards the end of the race as the No.81 of Jordi Torres and No.54 of Toprak closed him down and eventually passing him on the last lap. Final position for Tom Sykes P10.

In Race 2, Reiterberger looked to replicate his fast get away from Race 1 as re-took his grid position in P3. Sykes equally looking to get a better start had his work cut out having to line up again in P6. The race began and it was a storming Jonathan Rea who took the lead, closely followed by Alvaro Bautista. Jonathan's early lead meant the leading group all were within a second of each other with Markus Reiterberger tagging onto the group in P7.

Markus had his eyes firmly set on the top 6 as he passed No.91 Haslam to take sixth in the race, however the battle wasn't over yet. A late challenging team mate Tom Sykes, chased down Reiterberger all the way to the line but marginally losing out by +0.014 of a second. Final race position, P6 for Markus Reiterberger and P7 for Tom Sykes.

Shaun Muir – Team Principal

“It’s been a very positive weekend for Markus and after quite a difficult Aragón round, he has turned things around here in Assen. He really deserves his two sixth place race finishes and his third position for both starts. The hard work paid off and he finally found a good direction to carry forward with, hopefully this is transferable to Imola and he can pick up where he’s left off here in Assen. So: well done, Markus.

Tom’s a little bit frustrated. The red flag in Superpole put him on the second row while it could have been a front row start. He had two average starts in the races and it took him too long to get back into a strong position again, so both races where difficult for him. Race one in particular, because he overrode the front, lost all the grip of the front tyre and so the lap times dropped and ended up going backwards. In the second race he tried a SC0 rear tyre which he didn’t get working hard enough, he came strong in the race too late but he managed to pick off Leon Haslam to get seventh at the flag and almost beat his team-mate. We will take the positives from Assen, four strong points scoring positions overall and we are looking forward to Imola.”

Marc Bongers – BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“We can be very happy with the race weekend in Assen. We are continuing to move in the right direction and are closing in on the front-runners. Markus, in particular, took a very big step forward. With third place on the grid and two top-six finishes, he has shown that he is feeling more and more comfortable on the RR.

Tom’s results do not reflect his performance. In Superpole, the red flag cost him a place towards the very front of the grid. The two races were not easy for him, starting from sixth place. I am sure, under different circumstances, that his results could have been better. After back-to-back races in Aragón and Assen, we now have a four-week break before the next round in Imola. We will use that time to work on more updates for our new BMW S 1000 RR, to ensure that we continue to move forward.”

Tom Sykes (GBR)

“Everyone has seen the potential of the BMW S 1000 RR is high considering how early the project is. Although the positions weren’t what I was hoping for today, on the positive side we have gained a lot of information. I was able to see where I am losing out and during the race that was confirmed it. We will try to improve now where we are missing out and moving forward we know that we progress on this in the next race.

Markus rode really well today, I knew he would be strong from his race here last year on the Superstock bike. One of the positives we can take forward is that in general the RR is working in the right direction. We have been consistently around five seconds from P2 in most races so given my experience and the level of the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team, I think we will get to where we need to be throughout the season.”

Markus Reiterberger (GER)

“I am really happy. The weekend in Assen was great and a big thank you goes to my team for their hard work. We have taken another step and I felt really good on the RR all weekend. I got off to a great start in the opening race and was able to match the pace at the front of the field for the first few laps. After seven or eight laps, however, I had a few issues with the grip on the rear tyre – there was quite a lot of movement entering and exiting the corners. I took wider lines and consequently made two mistakes, and I was forced off while overtaking on one occasion. Despite this, however, I was able to finish in the top six.

The second race also went well. We made a few changes to the balance of the bike. Unfortunately, my start was not so good in race two and we lost a few positions. I was able to maintain the same level for a relatively long time. In the end, I fancied myself to finish fifth, but I lost a lot of time behind (Leon) Haslam. That allowed (Chaz) Davies to escape in fifth place. We can now recharge our batteries a bit and prepare for the next races. We are heading in the right direction and will continue to work on further improving the chassis.”

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Two Race Sunday Gives Rea Two Podiums

After the postponement of the first planned race from Saturday to Sunday, both of Assen’s 21-lap races took place today, with Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea scoring first a second and then a third place finish. His team-mate Leon Haslam rode to fifth in race one and then a more difficult eighth in race two.

Under sunny skies, but in bitterly cold conditions, the first race took place at 11am, with Rea starting from eighth on the grid and Haslam fifth. Rea would work his way into third place after two laps, then second place from lap eight to the end. Haslam fought hard with Alex Lowes to finish fifth in the opening race.

In the second race Rea hit the front very early and led for the first five laps, as a battling bunch of seven riders began to form. With Haslam fourth in the first few laps he looked set for another good result, but a fading front tyre saw him drop back to finish eighth.

Today Kawasaki overtook Honda as the second most successful manufacturer in WorldSBK history in terms of podium finishes, with a new total of 393.

After Assen Rea is still a clear second in the championship points table, having finished second ten times in 11 races, and third in the remaining one today. He sits 53 points from Alvaro Bautista’s lead with his total of 183, while Leon’s Assen results keep him fifth overall, with 93 points.

The next round of the championship will take place at the parkland circuit of Imola, in Italy, between the 10th and the 12th of May.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I felt good in the fight and my team gave me a good bike to fight with and keep the gap quite stable for a while. I enjoyed today and it was like good old Superbike, two long races in one day. I feel like the only difference today was that I had a shorter time to take lunch and prepare for race two. But it was not anything extraordinary. I really feel like we maximised our potential with the bike this weekend. I felt good with the bike and we were stronger in some sectors and weaker in others compared to Alvaro. Even in the cold conditions I felt like the grip level was really, really good but at the end when the tyres were dropping, I lost a lot of grip. The bike became more physical to ride. Apart from that I was very impressed with the potential of the tyres and I was able to run quite consistently in the start to middle of the second race. I am pretty content.”

Leon Haslam, stated: “In both races, with about eight laps to go in race one, the front tyre grip just went and it was even worse in race two, with about 11 or 12 to go. I was happy to keep the bike upright and not lose the front. I feel we easily had the pace for podiums but we didn’t, so we have to reassess the problems.”

In a competitive day for the Independent Riders Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) each scored the same total of championship points in Assen – 14 – but the best single performance came from Jordi, who was eighth in race one, with Toprak only 0.049 seconds behind in ninth, despite the painful effects of a heavy fall on Saturday.

In race two Razgatlioglu edged out Torres for ninth place by just over half a second. With Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) injured at Motorland Aragon last weekend the team’s replacement rider for Assen, Hector Barbera, was 16th after having to pit in race one. He placed 16th again in race two, ahead of one other rider.

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Van Der Mark Does the Double Dutch at Home in Assen

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider, Michael van der Mark, ended his 2019 podium drought emphatically today in Assen, finishing third in the rescheduled WorldSBK Race 1 this morning and then going one better to thrill his home crowd with second place in Race 2 this afternoon. Alex Lowes was also one of the main protagonists in both races today, picking up two fourth place finishes and only narrowly missing out on joining his Pata Yamaha teammate on the podium in Race 2. It proved a tough weekend in the Netherlands for the GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK pairing of Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri, who finished outside the top ten in both races today.

Van der Mark lined up in second position on the grid for WorldSBK Race 1, which was rescheduled at 11.00 this morning after being postponed from yesterday due to adverse weather conditions. The Pata Yamaha rider got a good start but an out of the seat moment in the final chicane at the end of the opening lap dropped him back into the clutches of Jonathan Rea, who passed him for third on the entry to turn one. At half race distance van der Mark caught and passed Markus Reiterberger to secure third place, which he held to the line to claim his first podium finish of the 2019 season. Lowes crossed the line just behind his Pata Yamaha teammate in fourth place, after finally getting the better of a fairing bashing battle with Leon Haslam on the very last lap.

Melandri, hampered by his starting position after a difficult Superpole session yesterday, managed to hold off his GRT Yamaha teammate, Cortese, to finish in the points in 12th position. Cortese, struggling with pain in his shoulder following his big crash in Superpole yesterday, still managed to pick up points in 13th place.

Race 2, held in slightly warmer conditions this afternoon, proved a thriller for the Dutch fans who’d braved the unseasonably cold weather all weekend. While Alvaro Bautista managed to once again pull a gap at the front in the early stages of the race, the battle for the remaining podium positions, in which both van der Mark and Lowes were heavily involved in from the start, proved a frantic one.

Just before half race distance, with Bautista out front and Rea chasing to close the gap in second, Lowes swept past van der Mark to take third place, only to have to relinquish the position four laps later when his front tyre started to go off and he almost lost the front on two occasions. The 28-year-old Briton had a comfortable gap back to his closest pursuer, so backed off to ensure he finished fourth and picked up valuable championship points.

With a clear track in front of him, van der Mark set about chasing down Rea. With just three laps to go the Pata Yamaha rider made his move, riding around the outside of the reigning world champion at the kink at Hoge Heide, one of the fastest corners on the track, to take second place. Rea fought back on the final lap, but van der Mark closed the door on his rival and then out dragged him to the line to claim his best result of the season so far.

Race 2 proved another tough outing for Cortese and Melandri, but this time it was the German who took the advantage to add to his championship points tally with an 11th place finish, while Melandri picked up two points in 14th position.

Michael van der Mark

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P3 and P2

"Today was proper old school Superbike, with two long races in one day. This morning we had to go with the harder rear tyre because the track was quite cold. It made the bike difficult to ride because the rear was spinning quite a lot and there wasn't so much feeling, but we knew this would be the case and it was definitely the right choice for the race. In the second race the temperature had risen enough to go with the soft option rear, but the pace at the start of the race wasn't as high as I'd expected. I could see Johnny in front of me, but I was battling with a few riders and trying not to lose position, so I couldn't chase earlier in the race. I tried to stay calm and, once clear of the battles, I managed to close the gap to Johnny and was planning to make the move with two laps to go. But then the opportunity came to go around the outside of him in a fifth gear corner a lap early, so I took it. After that we had a good battle, I think we touched at least once around the back part of the circuit, but we were both struggling for grip at that point. The team did a great job with the bike this weekend, so thanks to them, and a big thank you to the Dutch fans for their support, in what were very cold conditions for anyone sat in the grandstands. I'm happy we could repay them with two podiums today."

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P4 and P4

"I didn't feel so strong in the colder conditions of the first race this morning, but it was good to get into a bit of a battle with Leon in the race and even better to beat him to fourth place on the last lap. I felt a lot stronger in the second race, when the slight increase in temperature meant we could run the soft rear tyre. I got up into third after passing Michael and I felt quite good, but then when he came back past me there were a couple of sections where he was a bit stronger than me and I couldn't quite stay with him. I have to be happy with two fourth places, as this was the best we could do here today, so I'll take the points and start looking now towards the next race in Imola. Congratulations to Michael and the team, as it was great to see a double podium again today. There's a fantastic atmosphere in the team and we're making steps forward every week, which is good to see and great to be a part of."

Sandro Cortese

GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – P13 and P11

"It was a tough weekend after the big crash in Superpole yesterday. The torn collarbone ligaments meant I was in a lot of pain on the bike and I was lucky that Race 1 was postponed from yesterday to today, as this gave me chance to rest a little bit more. The first race was really tough; I had a lot of pain and had to change my riding style to compensate but, by the time I'd figured out how to ride the race was almost over and the pain came back. In Race 2 we worked a little on the bike and made a big step, which allowed me to fight in the top ten and eventually finish 11th. So, not many points today, but I'm happy with how, in this short time, the team managed to adapt the bike well. We know what we need to focus on for Imola, which is a short track where acceleration is important and demands a very different set-up compared to here. For me the focus is now on rest and recuperation so that I'm fit and ready for Imola."

Marco Melandri

GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – P12 and P14

"The races were, if I'm honest, very difficult. Again, I had the same problem I've had since the start, with the bike almost impossible to get stopped on the brakes and difficult to turn. I can't use my normal riding style because, with any lean angle, the bike is quite aggressive over the bumps. Where normally I am quite fast is currently the weakest point we have, so it's not easy. The team is working hard but I think the cold and the characteristics of the Assen track have made a hard job even harder this weekend. We will see. We have three weeks now before Imola; different track, different weather, which will be a bit better but, well, it's not easy at the moment."

Andrea Dosoli

Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager

"The weather here in Assen made for a tough weekend, but the teams did a fantastic job to adapt to the changing conditions. The two Pata Yamaha riders have impressed this weekend with Alex bouncing back from two crashes on what was a difficult Friday to finish fourth in both races and showing his maturity by accepting that this was the best result possible in the conditions today. As the only Dutch rider in WorldSBK, Michael is under a lot of pressure to perform at his home race. With the support of the team he has managed that pressure exceptionally well and he certainly gave his home crowd something to cheer about with his double podium here today. The way in which he raced to third and second places today was impressive; he is one of the best riders I have seen at this track for quite a few years. We were expecting a reaction from Michael after the first three rounds without a podium finish, but this reaction here in Assen exceeded our expectations, so congratulations to him and his team. Sandro's results were compromised by the big crash in Superpole, but he managed the situation and the pain really well today, to come away with two points scoring finishes despite the injury. Unfortunately, we are not currently able to give Marco the feeling he is looking for with the R1, but we are confident that this situation will change in the coming races and he will be back at the front again, as he was in Australia. Finally, congratulations to the Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha team for their one-two with Federico and Randy in today's Supersport race. Congratulations also to Thomas Gradinger on his podium finish, his first in WorldSSP and also the first for an Austrian rider."

More, from a press release issued by Racing Ducati:

Two more wins at Assen for the Racing - Ducati rider, Álvaro Bautista, who equals Rea’s record of eleven victories in a row. Chaz Davies seventh and fifth in the two races

Today was another memorable day for the championship leader Álvaro Bautista ( Racing - Ducati), who added another two victories to his start-of-season winning streak. With success in both races, the 34-year-old from Talavera de la Reina took his number of wins to eleven, equalling Jonathan Rea’s record set in the second half of last season.

While in the first race Bautista, who started from pole, took control right from the start, powering away to win over the Kawasaki rider with a margin of 3 seconds, in Race 2 he had to fight until the mid-point against a fierce group of contenders made up of the two Kawasaki men, the pair of Yamaha riders and his team-mate Chaz Davies. After passing leader Rea on lap 6, Álvaro fired in an impressive series of sub-1m35s laps, setting a new circuit record on the way, and he crossed the line almost five seconds ahead of home rider Van der Mark (Yamaha).

Chaz Davies brought home a seventh place in Race 1 and a fifth place in Race 2. Starting from seventh on the grid, the 32-year-old Welshman was not able to get in amongst the fight for the podium in the first race, because of a contact at the first turn, and he had to settle for the same position at the flag. In the second race, after an excellent start, he passed four rivals in the first six laps to slot in behind Bautista in second place. Unfortunately, at around the half-way point, he lost a bit of ground and ended the race in fifth place.

With eleven wins to his name, Bautista remains firmly in control of the championship standings on 236 points, 53 ahead of Rea, while Davies has moved up to sixth place with 76 points. The next World Superbike round, Ducati’s home event, will take place in three weeks’ time at the Autodromo di Imola, from 10 to 12 May.

Álvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati #19) – 1st / 1st

“I’m very happy because I won two races at a circuit which was maybe not very favourable for us, and where the Kawasakis had always won in the past. The weekend didn’t get off to the best start on Friday, but in any case we managed to be consistent and competitive. Today we did two full-distance 21-lap races and I can tell you that I used up all my energy, but my training helped me a lot. In the first race in the morning there were very cold conditions, but I tried to get a good start and set my own pace right from the start. I was able to open up a bit of a gap on my rivals and manage the situation well to go on to win Race 1. In Race 2 to be honest I didn’t expect to see Rea ahead of me at Turn 4 because he was on the third row, but he made an incredible start. In the early laps I was taking it easy, trying to stay up and study him well but I could see that his pace was a bit slow so I decided to pass him. I always tried to give my all, in fact we also improved on the circuit record, so it was another wonderful weekend.”

Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati #7) – 7th / 5th

“Jumping onto the podium at Aragón was great then coming here and not getting a podium could be a bit of a disappointment, but I felt like I put together a decent second race. The first race was tough, I had a bit of contact with Johnny in the first corner, got pushed out and just didn’t make any progression in the race. The second race was good, I got a decent start and got up to second for a lap but then just struggled a bit with the balance of the bike after six or seven laps and in the longer corners in particular. We need to look at that and become more comfortable in these areas. It would have been nice to stay in the fight close to the podium, but it just goes to show that we have some work to do to improve in every track.”

Serafino Foti ( Racing - Ducati Team Manager)

“We’re clearly very happy because this weekend at Assen was another extraordinary one. Álvaro equalled Rea’s record of wins in a row, demonstrating once more his strength and talent even on a circuit with different characteristics to the previous ones. Even though we’ve won all the races so far, the championship is still long so we must remain focussed and continue working. As for Chaz, we’ve also seen some progress here, this weekend he fought hard to bring home the best result possible. We know his true potential and we’ll continue to work hard to put him in the condition to fight for the podium all the time. I want to thank all the guys in the team and everyone back in the factory for their commitment and the great job they’re doing.”

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