2012 Assen World Superbike and World Supersport Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Release Round Up
Press releases from the World Supersport and World Superbike teams at Assen after qualifying on Saturday:
Hat trick of front rows for Jules
PTR HONDA'S Jules Cluzel improved his lap time to stay third on the grid for tomorrow's third round of the World Supersport Championship at Assen in Holland - and closed the gap on the two riders in front. It his third front row start out of three attempts - an impressive hat trick for the class debutant.
Ronan Quarmby on his PTR Honda had a markedly better day and has jumped to 15th on the grid with his potential clear as he posted the 10th quickest ideal time. Riders PTR Honda's Martin Jessopp did not get the big step improvement he wanted - partly foiled by a wet morning session - but still improved his times but dropped to 23rd. Bogdanka PTR Honda's Sam Lowes is on pole position for the race that starts at 1330CET tomorrow, April 22nd.
Jules: "Today has been better and we have improved lap time slightly and my feel for the bike is close to what I want. It is nice to improve and get closer to the two riders in front, I think it will be close over race distance. I like Assen and it is most important for me to get a good finish at this race - and if I can challenge for the podium I will."
Ronan: "It went better for me today and my ideal time is better again, so it has been a big improvement for me. Let's see how the rest of the weekend goes, I am just looking forward to having a good time in the race."
Martin: "I am losing a lot of time in the final sector - half a second. It is a problem area for me and by the time I got to running decent laps my tyre was gone. I am grabbing too much brake and scrubbing off too much speed in what is a really fast fifth gear corner. It is a Superbike approach and it is hard to get my head round it but the data shows I am losing time. I've got a lot of work to do in the first laps tomorrow but I hope to get dragged along and improve - the rest of the lap I am much better."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "Jules has had a good day. He was quick in the rain and we can still make improvements in the dry; either way he has the pace to challenge for the podium. Ronan had a difficult day yesterday and couldn't get his rhythm but has improved to 15th and is looking for a good top 10 finish. Martin improved his times and is consistent. 23rd is not where he wants to be but he is always good in the race and has a chance for a points finish."
FIFTH PLACE ON TOMORROW’S ASSEN SBK RACE GRID FOR CHECA AND THE ALTHEA RACING TEAM
Assen (The Netherlands), Saturday 21st April 2012: the third Superpole of the 2012 World Superbike Championship took place this afternoon with very variable conditions at the Dutch TT Circuit in Assen. Carlos Checa, championship leader after two rounds, qualified in fifth place for tomorrow’s races while his team-mate Davide Giugliano will start from the fifth row, in nineteenth position.
As expected, this morning’s second qualifying session took place in the rain and with a track temperature of just 4 degrees (air temperature 8˚C). Despite the difficult conditions, Giugliano made some fast laps right from the start, recording one of the fastest times of the first half of the session (2m01). Unfortunately, towards mid-session, the Althea Racing rider crashed, but was thankfully unhurt. It took time to repair the damage to the bike and so Davide was unable to return to the track. Lap times began to fall in the final stages of the session when the rain stopped but Carlos wasn’t taking any risks, preferring to work on the set-up and recording a best of 1m57. Yesterday’s dry qualifying times thus determined who would enter this afternoon’s Superpole, meaning that Checa qualified with no problems in fourth position while Giugliano unfortunately closed outside of the top sixteen. He will start from nineteenth position on tomorrow’s grid.
Today’s Superpole was declared ‘wet’ despite the fact that the rain had stopped once more and the track was beginning to dry out again. Regulations dictate that a wet Superpole comprises two free sessions, each twenty minutes in length. Carlos went out on slick tyres and by the end of the session had clocked a best time of 1m38.8, closing the first phase in third position and proceeding to the second phase without difficulty.
This time Checa took to the track first with a race tyre and then on a qualifier. The times dropped dramatically in this second session, thanks to a quickly drying track. The Althea flagbearer recorded a fastest lap time of 1m37.1 which assured him of fifth position on the grid for tomorrow’s races.
“This weekend has been, let’s say, different to many others, in that we’ve seen almost everything from a weather point of view, and such variable conditions have prevented us from working well, as it’s not been really dry or really wet for any length of time. In these conditions it’s also difficult with only one bike, as we can no longer set up one for the dry and the other for the wet, and so we lose time. I can’t make any guesses for the races, the only thing I can say with certainty is that everything is entirely unpredictable here at Assen!”
“Let’s say that it didn’t go our way this morning. We hoped to be able to make a few laps in the dry, seeing as we didn’t manage to qualify for the Superpole during yesterday’s session. But the track only got worse during today’s session, and was neither completely wet nor totally dry. I’d say that we’re better prepared for a wet race tomorrow, as we’ve had less time to work in the dry, but I just hope that we have one or the other, wet or dry, rather than mixed conditions like today.”
Lowes targets podium from pole at Assen
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA's Sam Lowes secured his second pole position of the season and aims for a podium finish in tomorrow's third race of the World Supersport Championship after a rainy day at Assen in the Netherlands today.
His rookie teammate, Mathew Scholtz, had his first taste of his Bogdanka PTR Honda on a wet track today and starting from tenth on the grid, he too targets a strong result and a eyes a top ten finish.
Bogdanka Honda PTR's PJ Jacobsen, standing in for the injured Pawel Szkopek, looks to improve on his 24th position on the grid after being consistently amongst the top riders in the wet morning practice. Tomorrow's race starts at 13:30 CET.
Sam Lowes: "The conditions were a bit on and off today. This morning we were fast in the wet. In the afternoon the track wasn't as good as yesterday but we had a good pace. I used the hard tyre a lot in the afternoon and was consistently in the 1:39's, so if we can keep that pace in the race, we'll be fine. At the end of the qualifying session the track was almost completely dry but still a bit slippery in places yet we still got close to our yesterday's time. I'm feeling good for the race and confident both in the dry and in the wet so let's wait and see what the conditions will be like tomorrow."
Mathew Scholtz: "The free practice this morning was the first time I got to ride my Bogdanka PTR Honda in the rain, and really enjoyed it. The bike handled really well. We did some good work and we are ready if the race will be wet. In the qualifying session, we improved our dry setup and I was consistently doing similar lap times as yesterday. I'm tenth on the grid and I'm very happy. I'd like to get anywhere above that in the race tomorrow and don't really mind if it's wet or dry as it's the same for everyone."
PJ Jacobsen: "This morning it was wet and we were doing pretty good. I think I was fourth for most of the session and only dropped down to thirteenth when it started to get dry in the end. I'd appreciate it if the race tomorrow would be wet and think we could do very well in these conditions. In the dry the bike was backing it in a bit, but if we can improve a little bit and run in the 41's, which is realistic, maybe we could get close to the top ten, which would be a great result."
Simon Buckmaster, Bogdanka PTR Honda Team Manager: "Sam had an off in the rain but there was no harm done to him and minimal damage to the bike. He came in and changed set up and within three laps set the second fastest wet time. He is in a great position whether wet or dry for the race. Mathew is 10th and that is a good qualifying position for him. Although he didn't do a faster lap time today he was consistently faster and we expect him to score his best race result tomorrow."
Front row for Rea at Assen
Jonathan Rea will start tomorrow’s two third round World Superbike championship races from the front row of the grid after setting the second fastest time in this afternoon’s Superpole qualifying session at Assen in the Netherlands.
Pole position at the 4.542km circuit was taken by Tom Sykes after a day of changeable weather conditions, which saw the track at one minute completely wet, and then dry.
The second qualifying session this morning was of the wet variety and no rider was able to improve their times. This left Rea’s Honda World Superbike team-mate, Hiroshi Aoyama in 21st place based on yesterday’s dry, then wet, session, eliminating him from Superpole.
This afternoon’s Superpole was declared wet, meaning two 20-minute sessions, the fastest eight riders going through from session one. With the track still damp in patches, Rea went out on intermediate tyres to evaluate conditions and immediately returned to the box demanding slicks.
After setting the fastest time in Superpole 1, the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland, began Superpole 2 on a race tyre, keeping his two allocated qualifying tyres in reserve. When it came to use them, however, they offered no real improvement, but Rea was content with a front row start for tomorrow’s two 21-lap Assen races.
Jonathan Rea - P2 1m36.432s (Superpole 2)
I’m really happy to be back on the front row! All weekend we’ve been fast in all sessions and in all conditions, which have been very changeable, and the guys have got me out to learn the bike each time. I was quite happy with my Superpole 1 - it seemed good, but the bike was transformed with a qualifying tyre in Superpole 2 and I wasn’t able to push as hard because of some chatter from the front. But the good news is that we don’t have to race with a qualifier and we can go tomorrow with a set-up that I think is OK to race. In the wet, I still want to try some more things, but in the dry we’re ready to race, although the tyre decision will be critical again, like in Imola. It’s nice to be near the front though, and it’s a little gift to the guys back at the workshop, who are continuing to work as hard as they can on the bike to make the package better. So this one’s for the guys.
Hiroshi Aoyama - P21 1m41.768s (Qualifying 1)
We some problems finding rear grip today - in the wet session this morning and also in free practice later, when the track started to get dry. We couldn’t find a way to improve things, so the best I can hope for is dry conditions tomorrow so that I can get some more time on the bike. It’s been a difficult two days and starting from that far back is not a good place to be. But we’ll try some things in warm-up tomorrow that we hope will allow me to fight for some positions in the races.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It’s been a crazy day of changing weather conditions. This morning was full wet and Jonathan managed to fine tune his wet settings for fifth place, which was OK. We couldn’t get a good feeling for Hiroshi and he was unable to match his test times from last week. In the afternoon, free practice ended up dry and Jonathan was still in the top, but with the track conditions and grip levels changing so much, Hiroshi found it very difficult. Jonathan’s result in Superpole was a great achievement, however, and it just shows how much he’s building his confidence this weekend, wet or dry. I think he can be one of the top dogs in tomorrow’s races.
Sykes once more unstoppable in Tissot-Superpole
Assen (Netherlands), Saturday 21 April 2012 - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) was over a second faster than any of his rivals in a Tissot-Superpole contest run under ‘wet’ conditions. The wet Superpole rules dictated that there were two twenty-minute sessions only with the top eight riders only from Superpole 1 moving on to Superpole 2.
Despite being declared wet, the track surface during the second session in particular was almost completely dry, allowing Sykes to get to within less than half-a-second of the track best on his Ninja ZX-10R. This was his third Superpole win in succession this season, and Sykes’ fifth career Superpole win. Second fastest overall was the Honda of Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) from Jakub Smrz (Liberty Racing - Team Effenbert) and Sylvain Guintoli (Team Effenbert - Liberty Ducati).
Tom Sykes: “A lot has gone on since the Imola test with Joan and so on, so hopefully this is making him smile. What can I say? A massive thanks to Kawasaki, three on the bounce is a fantastic feeling. I went out on my second qualifier today, saw I had some pressure from Jonathan so I dug deep and it paid off. We’ve got a good race setting, both wet and dry, third time lucky so hopefully we can covert this one to a race win tomorrow.”
Jonathan Rea: “It’s the first time I’ve been up here this year and I’m pretty happy. That was a massive lap from Tom; we couldn’t match it today. When we put a qualifier on the bike, it transformed the front and I got a lot of chatter, but the good thing is tomorrow is that we use the race tyre. A big thanks to all the team for their continued hard work, it’s nice to come back and this result is for them.”
Jakub Smrz: “I am happy for the third place because we had a problem yesterday with the engine, so I only made a few laps in the dry. Today was really strange and conditions were mixed but in the end I got the front row. We did a great job: fast in the rain and fast in the dry!”
World Championship leader Carlos Checa (Althea Racing Ducati) was fifth fastest, with the first BMW rider, Michel Fabrizio (BMW Motorrad Team Italia Gold Bet) in sixth. Official BMW Motorrad Motorsport rider Leon Haslam was seventh and Crescent FIXI Suzuki rider John Hopkins placed eighth, with Hopkins now the last rider on the second row of the grid.
Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport), David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), Chaz Davies (ParkinGO MTC Racing Aprilia) and Leon Camier (Crescent Fixi Suzuki) filled the third row of the grid.
Championship second place rider Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing) missed out on Superpole qualification and will start from 17th place on the grid. A fall for Biaggi’s team-mate Eugene Laverty ruled him out of progression beyond Superpole one, and he went 14th on the grid, one place behind Canadian rookie Brett McCormick (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert).
Times: 1. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'35.399; 2. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 1'36.432; 3. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 1'36.566; 4. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'36.875; 5. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 1'37.156; 6. Fabrizio M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'37.311; 7. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 1'37.592; 8. Hopkins J. (USA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'37.913; 9. Melandri M. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'40.516; 10. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.523; 11. Davies C. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'40.627; 12. Camier L. (GBR) Suzuki GSX-R1000 1'40.681; 13. McCormick B. (CAN) Ducati 1098R 1'41.962; 14. Laverty E. (IRL) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'43.947; 15. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 1'44.022; 16. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'44.500; 17. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 1'40.231; 18. Canepa N. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'40.859; 19. Giugliano D. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'41.161; 20. Mercado L. (ARG) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'41.693; 21. Aoyama H. (JPN) Honda CBR1000RR 1'41.768; 22. Aitchison M. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 1'43.144; 23. Zanetti L. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'50.808.
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) had his Friday best qualifying time to thank for his pole position at Assen, while second place rider Broc Parkes (Honda Ten Kate Racing Products) was another who could not improve his opening day pace in today’s final session. Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) left it late to make sure he got third place on the grid, one ahead of top Kawasaki qualifier, Kenan Sofuoglu (DeltaFin Lorenzini).
Championship leader Fabien Foret (Kawasaki Intermoto Step) will start from row two after going fifth overall in qualifying, and Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) held onto his more than respectable sixth. Sheridan Morais (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini) and Vladimir Leonov (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) complete the second row for Sunday’s 21-lap race.
Times: 1. Lowes S. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 1'38.900; 2. Parkes B. (AUS) Honda CBR600RR 1'38.939; 3. Cluzel J. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 1'39.450; 4. Sofuoglu K. (TUR) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'39.548; 5. Foret F. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'39.730; 6. Toth I. (HUN) Honda CBR600RR 1'40.040; 7. Morais S. (RSA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 1'40.090; 8. Leonov V. (RUS) Yamaha YZF R6 1'40.289; etc.
Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Gold Bet) improved on his Friday best to take pole at Assen, as Team Pedercini Kawasaki rider Bryan Staring went second overall. Barrier's Italian team-mate Lorenzo Baroni was third, as he had been on day one, while Loris Baz (Kawasaki MRS) continued the front row symmetry of machines by putting a ZX-10R into fourth place. The first Ducati on the grid, in fifth, belongs to Barni Racing Team rider Eddi La Marra. Fabio Massei (EAB Ten Kate Junior Honda) added another machine to the top six mix on his CBR1000RR.
Times: 1. Barrier S. (FRA) BMW S1000 RR 1'39.566; 2. Staring B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'39.873; 3. Baroni L. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 1'39.888; 4. Baz L. (FRA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'40.201; 5. La Marra E. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1'40.394; 6. Massei F. (ITA) Honda CBR1000RR 1'40.621; 7. Savadori L. (ITA) Ducati 1199 Panigale 1'40.759; 8. Bussolotti M. (ITA) Ducati 1098R 1'41.080; etc.
Local rider Michael van der Mark (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team) won his home race in fine style by leading from the front and enjoying a final advantage of 4.7 seconds over the exciting fight for second place between Nacho Calero Perez (Team Trasimeno Yamaha) and Gauthier Duwelz (Yamaha MTM Racing). Stephane Egea (Team Falcone Competition Yamaha) got the better of a group of three other riders for fourth place. Riccardo Russo (Team Italia FMI Yamaha), Alex Schacht (Schacht Racing SBK ONE Honda) and Russo’s team-mate Luca Vitali rounded out the top seven, just behind Egea. Pole man Bastien Chesaux (Honda EAB Ten Kate Junior Team) crashed out of the 12-lap Superstock 600 race early on. In the championship standings, after two rounds, Van Der Mark leads Perez by one point, 41-40, with Russo third on 36.
Results: 1. Van der Mark M. (NED) Honda CBR600RR 20'36.504; 2. Calero Perez N. (ESP) Yamaha YZF R6 4.786; 3. Duwelz G. (BEL) Yamaha YZF R6 4.927; 4. Egea S. (FRA) Yamaha YZF R6 7.509; 5. Russo R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 8.116; 6. Schacht A. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 8.539; 7. Vitali L. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 8.694; 8. Tessels W. (NED) Suzuki GSX-R600 15.269; etc.
Points (after 2 of 10 rounds): 1. Van Der Mark 41; 2. Calero Perez 40; 3. Russo 36; 4. Egea 24; 5. Duwelz 22; 6. Morrentino 13; etc.
European Junior Cup
Dutch rider Rob Hartog is the first poleman in the opening round of the second edition of the European Junior Cup, this year promoted by Austrian manufacturer KTM as a support category to World Superbike. The series has been devised for 14 to 19 year olds and is a valid entry category for youngsters to shape up to each other in eight international rounds. All riders are on identical KTM Duke 690 machines supplied by the manufacturer. Second place on the grid went to Garijs Rozkalns from Latvia and Adrian Pasek from Poland. The poleman is nephew of Wil Hartog, who in 1977 at Assen became the first Dutchman to win a 500GP race. Hartog went on to win a total of five races in the world championship.
Times: 1. Hartog R. (NED) KTM Duke 690 2'07.105; 2. Rozkalns G. (LAT) KTM Duke 690 2'08.698; 3. Pasek A. (POL) KTM Duke 690 2'09.294; 4. Patterson J. (GBR) KTM Duke 690 2'09.320; 5. Scarcella G. (AUS) KTM Duke 690 2'10.213; 6. Harland J. (GBR) KTM Duke 690 2'10.787; 7. Garcia G. (ESP) KTM Duke 690 2'12.061; 8. Wimmer L. (AUT) KTM Duke 690 2'13.842; etc.
Parkes second at Ten Kate’s home round
Ten Kate Racing Products Honda team rider Broc Parkes will start tomorrow’s third round World Supersport championship race from the front row of the grid after setting the second fastest qualifying time at Assen in the Netherlands.
It’s the home race for the Dutch Ten Kate-run team, which is based just 60km down the road from the 4.542km Assen circuit.
After a disappointing tyre failure in the last round at Imola in Italy, Australian Parkes is keen to climb on the podium in tomorrow’s World Superpsort race to get himself back into the championship fight.
Broc Parkes - P2 1m38.939s
It was dry this afternoon but a little bit windier than yesterday. We managed to go fastest in the session, but were still a couple of tenths slower than yesterday’s qualifying time. To go that little bit extra was difficult in the wind, which I guess upsets the 600s a bit more than the superbikes. But in general I’m really happy - the bike feels really good, so we’ve just got to concentrate on the race tyre for tomorrow. We did a pretty good test this afternoon for that so we’re feeling pretty good.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It was mostly wet this morning but we managed to fine-tune Broc’s setting from the test last week and he ended up fifth. This afternoon it was dry but the conditions were not quite as good as yesterday, when Broc did a good time which we couldn’t quite match today. But he was fastest in the session and he’s second on the grid so, all in all, we’re quite happy and looking forward to the race.
ParkinGO MTC Racing Team
Assen Superbike, Saturday 21st April
Qualifying and Free Practice
The unpredictable weather has featured the qualifying and free practice with rain and sun and constant low temperatures that kept the racetrack wet at all times.
On qualifying the weather conditions stop the classification from changing; on free practice Chaz Davies has been with the best till the end of the session.
On the first wet Superpole of the season, with new rules this year having two sessions of 20 minutes instead of three, Chaz completed his first ever Superpole of his career finishing in a great 11th place for tomorrow’s race.
Chaz Davies after Superpole
It has been another weird day where I haven’t been able to do too many laps due to the weather.
We need to work a bit still on the bike as tomorrow should be wet as well. We were in Superpole thanks to the time done yesterday…and today I could have done better as I haven’t used the qualifying tyre. Anyway I wanted to be within the first three rows and I did it. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.
HOPKINS ON ASSEN WSB 2ND ROW
Team Suzuki Press Office - April 21.
Crescent FIXI Suzuki's John Hopkins will start tomorrow's World Superbike races at Assen from the second row of the grid after recording his best qualifying result of the season so far in The Netherlands this afternoon.
Hopkins (P8, 1'37.913) is still recovering from a pre season injury, but today showed that he is close to full fitness as he put his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 onto the second row. He could easily have been on the front row if chatter hadn't caused him to abort a flying lap when he looked likely to better his previous best time but is now in a confident mood for tomorrow's races and feels he can put on a good show at the 4.542m Dutch circuit.
Leon Camier (P12, 1'40.681) will start from the third row for tomorrow's races after recovering from a massive crash in final practice earlier today to participate in Superpole. The team was forced to use the rolling chassis, but worked hard and built a new bike in time for Camier to do the last 10 minutes of the first 'Wet Superpole.' Although he had taken a heavy battering in his fall - bruising an ankle and wrist in the process - Camier defied the pain barrier and qualified 12th fastest.
John Hopkins - 8th, 1:37.913:
"We had every type of weather condition out there today, but one thing was consistent and that was that it was cold all day. Every time I get on the Crescent FIXI GSX-R, I get more and more comfortable with the bike and I feel I'm improving all the time and that's what I want to carry on doing.
"This morning was pretty bad and we were struggling for grip on the wet track, especially because the track temperature was so low. In the afternoon, when we had some dry track, I began to push harder until the soft tyres started to chatter. It was good to finish the first Superpole with the second-quickest time and we were hopeful of a place on the front row. But our qualifying tyre just didn't work at all and was chattering so much and the bike was nearly impossible to ride. I would've liked to have been on the front row but I normally make good starts so let's see what happens tomorrow."
Leon Camier - 12th, 1:40.681:
"The conditions were very difficult today, particularly in the morning when it was pretty wet. The track was cold, we struggled for grip; and there was a lot of movement in the tyres. We had some ideas for improvement but we never got a chance to put them into action. In the afternoon untimed practice, I made a little mistake when I hit a wet patch and crashed. I got pretty banged-up and my ankle and left wrist took a bit of a battering. Considering the amount of damage, the boys did an awesome job building a new bike so that I could take part in the first Superpole.
"I managed to get out for the last 10 minutes and further credit to the boys because the bike worked OK without any problems. I missed out on getting into the second Superpole by just a fraction so now I've got to get off the line quickly tomorrow and get involved right from the start."
Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"I'm pretty happy with the results on what has been a very tough day. The boys did a mega job to get the bike ready for Leon in Superpole. He was pretty bashed up, but wanted to do Superpole and get his confidence back and, in the end, he only just missed out on getting into the second Superpole.
"John was second quickest in the first Superpole despite a lot of chatter from his qualifying tyre. Somehow he rode through it and got into the second Superpole, but this time his qualifying tyre chattered so much it prevented him from pushing hard enough to get on the front row of the grid. We need some time working on the wet set-up but I think John's getting back to what we know; and as long as Leon is not too sore, I'm sure he'll be trying to fight with the leaders as well."
Today's changeable weather at Assen brought rain and bright sunshine as well as strong winds, and with the same forecast for tomorrow, it could prove a very entertaining race-day. Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki took his third pole position in succession to head the grid.
Hopkins and Camier will take to the track for a warm-up session early tomorrow morning before the first of the two World Superbike races gets underway at 12.00hrs local time (11.00hrs BST).