|2||Michael VD MARK||NED||49||-5|
Press releases from the World Superbike series organizer, and World Superbike and World Supersport teams, after Sunday's thrilling races at Assen:
The World Superbike standings after a weekend's racing in the Netherlands make for interesting reading. The day gave us good weather that got better as the day went on and thrilling racing that followed the weather. There were ups and downs, winners and losers and those who leave with a mixture of both.
Race two at Assen was under warmer weather, causing a few tyre changes, but tyres didn't plague any of the front runners.
Tom Sykes once again made a break for the front, but he had company this time as Eugene Laverty followed him through and glued himself to the back of the Kawasaki. Davide Giugliano forced his way past Loris Baz and Jonathan Rea for a hard fought third place, but Sykes and Laverty used the opportunity to break a second and a half free from the fight for third.
Fabien Foret leads the championship and starts the race from third place behind the seething rivalry of Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu.
A race that started of as a scrap, settled to a relaxed affair in the middle and ended up as a typical Assen fight. World Supersport gave us the fight we wanted to see and even the local rookie made good from a bad lot.
The weather decided not to turn nasty, allowing us to enjoy another flowing race at Assen. In the warm-up lap, Marco Melandri's BMW had gearbox issues that meant he had to get off and push. He didn't start the race. Chaz Davies, to add to BMW's woes, destroyed his bike in the morning's warm-up and it was being rebuilt until the last possible minute, starting the warm-up lap from the pits. Leon Camier stated that he may only manage a few laps as his injured knee was causing him issues.
Press releases after qualifying for Sunday's Dutch round of World Superbikes at Assen:
SMOOTH SUPERPOLE FOR THE APRILIA RACING TEAM - RANKING LEADER IN THE MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIP - PLACING LAVERTY ON THE FRONT ROW WITH THE THIRD BEST TIME AND GUINTOLI ON THE SECOND ROW WITH FOURTH BEST.
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI WILL HAVE TO DEFEND HIS PROVISIONAL FIRST PLACE.
SEVENTH CONSECUTIVE FRONT ROW FOR EUGENE LAVERTY.
Assen, motorcycle racing's cathedral, has been the scene of some of the greatest entertainment in World Superbike racing, hailing back to Carl Fogarty's incredible run of victories, through the Bayliss years up to the Jonathan Rea wins. Assen has always been considered a rider's track, much like Donington and Philip Island. It represents everything that's good about World Superbikes with flowing corners making it a skill and bravery over power track. While it suits certain machinery, a good rider can, so the legends go, win on anything.
Carrying on from this morning, qualifying would come down to whoever was able to dial in a setting with the fewest laps.
Sam Lowes was therefore favourite for pole position and he didn't disappoint, setting a lap three quarters of a second faster than his rival Kenan Sofuoglu could manage. Championship leader Fabien Foret, having missed the whole of Friday through a dislike of riding in the wet, slotted into third ahead of this morning's surprises Jack Kennedy and Roberto Rolfo, while Luca Scassa took the last spot on the second row.
The track was dry, if cold, promising to favour the Kawasakis, Aprilias and Jonathan Rea.
Tom Sykes heads to Superpole knowing he's the favourite for pole position after posting the fastest time in the second free practice session. His team mate Loris Baz also seems to have got a setting that will suit him well and Chaz Davies has finally found a way to get the BMW on the front row. Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa continue their good form, both peeling off 1'37 laps in sequence which seems to be the sort of race pace we should expect if the conditions are the same tomorrow.
Assen - FIM Superbike World Championship - Free Practice
Sam Lowes ended Free Practice 2 at the top, with his arch-rival Kenan Sofuoglu in third. The surprise was class rookie Jack Kenendy in second place, only losing the top spot at the last minute. Kennedy joined World Supersport this year, fresh from a second place in British Supersport.
A dry start to the day meant qualifying would have a more familiar look to it, in spite of the cold, and both Eugene Laverty and Tom Sykes were predictably fast early on, ahead of their French team mates Sylvain Guintoli and Loris Baz. Jonathan Rea, at his team's home track, along with Carlos Checa, also put in respectable times by the half way point.
Press releases from the teams and the series organizer after the first day of practice at Assen:
COLD AND RAINY WEATHER MARK THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE SESSIONS AT ASSEN.
SYLVAIN GUINTOLI, RANKING LEADER OF WSBK, AND EUGENE LAVERTY STAND OUT EVEN IN DIFFICULT CONDITIONS.
SECOND AND THIRD BEST TIMES IN THE FIRST QUALIFIERS FOR THE TWO APRILIA RACING TEAM STANDARD BEARERS.