Results and summary of the second World Superbike race at Assen:
Results and summary of the World Supersport race at Assen:
Results and summary of World Superbike Race 1 at Assen:
PBM Kawasaki's Chris Vermeulen has released another chapter in his personal video reports from the racing. In Saturday's episode, Vermeulen talks about how his leg is healing, how Superpole went and what happened during his very nasty looking crash.
Once practice got underway for this weekend's World Superbike round at Assen, I received an urgent email from the family of one rider in the MotoGP paddock asking me where the sudden burst of speed was coming from. All of a sudden, the World Superbike men were going faster than the MotoGP riders, and Ben Spies' pole record from 2009 was not so much being shattered, as being stomped on, atomized and then thrown away like a cheap plaything.
Of course, this had little do to with any slowness on the part of Ben Spies. Instead, a key change in the circuit layout has transformed the back section of the track, and even restored some of its former glory. The entry to the Ruskenhoek, at the end of the Veenslang (the back straight), was bowdlerized around 4 years ago, as part of the changes which removed Assen's glorious North Loop, and replaced it with the crochet hook section which sits there instead. It became a sharp, almost 90 degree right hander, slowing riders right down for the long left of the Ruskenhoek, at the end of which was another right, the Stekkenwal.
Results of Qualifying for the World Supersport class:
Results of the World Superbikes Superpole, updated as they happen:
Troy Corser continued in the second session of Free Practice where he left off in QP2, by heading the timesheets on the BMW S1000RR. The Australian once again finished ahead of HANNSpree Ten Kate's Johnny Rea, while Leon Haslam put the Alstare Suzuki in 3rd. BMW's progress continued in the other half of the garage as well, with Ruben Xaus ending the session in 4th, just over three tenths of a second behind Corser.
Troy Corser took provisional pole spot during the second session of qualifying for the World Superbike class, underlining the serious steps forward that BMW have made with the S1000RR. Corser's hot lap displaced Jakub Smrz from provisional pole, and bumping Ten Kate's Johnny Rea down into 3rd. Carlos Checa made a big jump forward to move up into 4th place.
The final starting grid will be settled during Superpole this afternoon.
Eugene Laverty finally broke the stranglehold which the Ten Kate Honda World Supersport team had at Assen, putting his Parkalgar Honda between Kenan Sofuoglu and Michele Pirro. Sofuoglu still has a firm grip on the class, though, leading Laverty by over half a second. Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki's Fabien Foret was 4th fastest in the morning session, run in cool, but sunny and dry conditions.
Entering the paddock at any World Championship event still sends a thrill of excitement through me every time I do it, though as a fellow - and far more experienced - journalist pointed out to me, perhaps that's because I've only been doing this for a couple of years. Yet the difference between entering the World Superbike paddock and the MotoGP paddock is huge, despite the fact that their core activity is absolutely identical: allowing brave young men (and in the case of the World Supersport paddock, one brave young woman) to go as fast as possible on two wheels.
There are the obvious differences, of course. The World Superbike paddock is a much friendlier, more relaxed place. Riders, team members and fans mingle freely - or as freely as the constraints of time and hard work required of the riders and teams allow. The fans are welcomed into the paddock, as paddock passes are on sale to the public, rather than only available through specialized resellers as part of VIP packages. The post-qualifying and post-race press conference takes place in the public WSBK tent, in the middle of the paddock, in front of a live crowd, rather than in the press room in the media center. And there are still plenty of teams who race out of the back of a van - albeit a large one - instead of a giant race truck.
As is their custom, OnTheThrottle.tv have another pre-race show for this weekend's round of World Superbikes at Assen. Recorded live in the press room at Assen - just a pre-fab wall away from the coffee corner - World Superbike commentators Jonathan Green and Steve Martin round up the first day's events at the legendary Dutch track, talk about the new, improved Ruskenhoek corner (more old Assen than new Assen) and even get a guest onto the show. Pata S&G Ducati's Jakub Smrz takes over the mike and talks to Dave Williams about setting the fastest time of the day during qualifying.
Here's the OTT WSBK Preview show:
The Ten Kate World Supersport team are clearly determined to dominate their home round of World Supersport this weekend. After sweeping all opposition before them during the first session of free practice, Kenan Sofuoglu and Michele Pirro continued in the same vein during QP1. Sofuoglu sits on provisional pole, three tenths ahead of his teammate Pirro, but the gap to the rest has been reduced from huge to just dominant. Frenchman Fabien Foret sits in 3rd, half a second behind Sofuoglu, while Parkalgar Honda's Eugene Laverty took the final spot on the provisional front row, three quarters of a second off the pace of the young Turk.
Jakub Smrz is on provisional pole for Sunday's World Superbike races, after taking the top spot from Johnny Rea with a few minutes left in the first session of qualifying. The Pata S&G Ducati rider was helped to first spot by Rea himself, after the engine of the HANNSpree Ten Kate rider's Honda CBR1000RR blew up in a very oily mess, causing the session to be red-flagged, while the marshalls cleaned up the mess.
Troy Corser finished the session 3rd, continuing his strong start at Assen on the BMW S1000RR, while Alstare Suzuki rider - and championship leader - Leon Haslam finished in 4th, and rounds out the provisional front row.