Releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams following the races at Assen:
Muresan finish shows potential
PTR ROMANIA HONDA'S Robert Muresan finished 16th and just missed out on points at the third round of the World Supersport Championship at Assen in Holland - his first race finish in 2011.
Starting from 28th on the first grid, Robert improved with every lap and at the end was just a single place away from scoring points - a promising result that he can build on.
Two red flags interrupted and delayed the race at Assen. The next round of the World Supersport Championship is at Monza in Italy on May 8th.
Robert: "One place outside the points is not bad. Most importantly we improved my PTR Romania Honda for the race - especially the suspension. Three starts were hard but it is good to achieve a first finish for us. Now we have achieved this the next time we will get a better result. I was faster in the race than qualification, so this shows we are making good progress."
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Romania Honda Team Manager: "It was a difficult race with three starts but Robert coped well, kept his calm and got the finish he needed. Now we can build on the data and experience from here so Robert will be in a better position at Monza."
Points for Szkopek and Ellison
BOGDANKA PTR HONDA Polish racer Pawel Szkopek scored his first World Championship points by finishing 13th at the third round of the World Supersport Championship at Assen in Holland.
James Ellison on his Bogdanka PTR Honda finished seventh and is equal seventh in the Championship. Polish racer Marcin Walkowiak was 24th in the opening Superstock 1000 race after suffering a fast crash in qualifying yesterday.
James Ellison: "Every time the race got red flagged it went in our favour because we could make some small changes to the bike, get further up the grid and then gain a few positions at the start. The race was going really well until half distance. I had a bit of a problem with the front all weekend and in the end the front tyre was gone - but other than that, the bike had a podium potential. I'm a bit disappointed but we'll get the bike up there where it needs to be at Monza."
Pawel Szkopek: "I'm really happy with my first Championship points. It was a very difficult race but with each restart I was feeling more calm and confident and it paid off. My starts weren't the best but the bike was brilliant today and I knew I could keep a good rhythm."
Marcin Walkowiak: "It wasn't the start me nor the team expected but we were unlucky with the crash yesterday. I've had a bit of a problem with the chain today but while I'm not pleased with the result, I know we can do a lot better than that and I'm confident ahead of Monza."
Simon Buckmaster: "Congratulations to Pawel on his first World Champ points, he is building confidence for Monza and the next rounds. We will work hard with him to improve more.
"James was disappointing in seventh and we struggled to find a good setting all weekend. His bike was better for the race and he got into 1m39s but was not able to maintain this level of performance. As a team we will do our utmost to get James fighting for the podium at Monza."
Assen – Races.
Sunday, 17 April 2011.
Weather conditions: Sunny with light clouds.
Temperature: Air: 15 – 19 °C, Track: 17 – 26 °C
Number of riders participating: 21 from 12 teams
Fastest lap Race 1: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1:36.660 min
Fastest lap Race 2: Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia Racing Team) 1:36.476 min
Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport concluded the third round of the 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship in Assen (NED). In the riders' championship British works rider, Leon Haslam, is now fifth (68 points). Troy Corser (AUS) moved up to 12th (26 points). In the manufacturers' standings BMW is fifth with 74 points.
Troy had a very good start in race 1 and was lying third on the first lap. For most of the race he was pushing hard in a close fight with the leading group and finished sixth. Leon also made up positions at the start, but crashed on the third lap. He was able to continue and crossed the finish line in 12th. At the start of race 2 Leon made up a lot of places. He rode a consistent race finishing fifth. Troy's second race was ended by a crash on lap eight. The races were won by Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa respectively.
The team congratulates the successful riders of BMW S 1000 RRs at the legendary 24 hour race "Bol d'Or" at Magny-Cours, who celebrate two podium finishes. Team BMW Motorrad France 99 with Sébastien Gimbert (FRA), Damian Cudlin (AUS) and Erwan Nigon (FRA) finished 3rd in the EWC Superbike class. In the Superstock class, BMW Team Van Boenig Motorsportschool with riders Michael Filla (CZE), Werner Daemen (BEL) and Matti Seidel (GER) also finished 3rd.
Result Race 1: 12th, Gap to 1st: 00:45.289 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:37.588 min
Result Race 2: 5th, Gap to 1st: 00:16.916 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.816 min
"It's been a tough weekend. We have been encountering a few minor issues this weekend which have made lap by lap consistency difficult. The situation obviously wasn't helped by my crash in race 1. The back of the bike came round on me unexpectedly and I was unable to stop myself from crashing. I also got clipped by one of the other riders when I was on the floor, which meant I was a little sore for race 2. Still I got a good start in the second race and managed to get up with the leaders, but sadly I was unable progress through the pack. But we still managed to secure another top five finish, and I know we will go away from here, work hard back at the workshop and prepare well for Monza."
Result Race 1: 6th, Gap to 1st: 00:11.120 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:37.135 min
Result Race 2: DNF / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:37.229 min
"The first race was not so bad, and I was pretty happy with that. For the second race we just made a few adjustments to the rear shock and I think we improved the bike. Then I unfortunately lost the front tyre going into a corner. I am okay with no injuries, but it is a bit disappointing. In the free practice all went okay, but in the race we had some issues with the tyre. But we are now going to analyse that and to improve it for the next race."
Bernhard Gobmeier (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director):
"Overall, we learnt a lot this weekend. In the first race Leon tried to win the race in the first couple of laps – he simply pushed a little too hard and lost the bike. He fought back bravely, but the race was over for him. Troy started the first race with 1:37 min laps, but unfortunately was not able to go at this pace all race long. His times dropped after five laps. After adjusting the traction control his lap times were good again, and he finally finished sixth. In the second race Troy struggled with grip, while Leon started well and was able to defend the fifth position up to the chequered flag. We now look forward to going to Monza."
FOURTH WIN OF THE SEASON FOR CHECA AND THE ALTHEA RACING TEAM AT THE TT CIRCUIT IN ASSEN
Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 17th April 2011: having enjoyed a third place finish in race 1, Carlos Checa and the Althea Racing team were really ready to celebrate when the Spanish rider was able to take a spectacular win in the second race on the TT Circuit in Assen today.
Race 1 – Carlos, starting from pole, was able to maintain leadership for a couple of laps before being passed by several riders over the subsequent laps. Having opted for the harder tyre solution, Carlos needed a few laps before he was able to find the necessary pace. From mid-race onwards he really began to push and, from fourth position, began to close in on Laverty in third. Once past the Irish rider, Checa aimed for the two leaders Rea and Biaggi. At this point all three riders were lapping with similar times and for Carlos to close the two second gap that separated him from the frontrunners was a big challenge. He got close but had to settle with the third step of the podium in this first race.
Race 2 – after two laps Carlos took the lead ahead of Biaggi and Rea and so the three podium finishers from Race 1 were the very same men fighting for the positions that counted in Race 2. In the second half of the race, still lapping with a very quick pace, Carlos was caught by Biaggi who got by him but didn't stay ahead for long. Checa, making the most of his soft tyre choice (which turned out to be the correct choice) was able to get back in front two laps from the end - the public enjoying one of the best passes seen so far - and hold the lead to the finish line.
With today's win, Carlos consolidated his lead in the championship standings with 132 points and a 43 point advantage over Biaggi in second place. Ducati remains ahead in the manufacturer's standings with 136 points to Aprilia's 106.
"The beginning of race 1 was difficult; I didn't have enough grip and so some of my rivals were able to get past me. Then I really had to push to make up lost ground. I tried to stay clam and maintain my rhythm and was able to get in front of the second group, but to reach Max and Johnny wsa just too difficult. They already had an advantage because I had lost time getting past Laverty. I happily accept the result however, a positive end that gives us important championship points.
Then for Race 2 we decided to change tyre and so, with the softer solution, I had more grip and could maintain a strong pace right from the start. I wanted to push at the beginning and try to build a gap between me and Max but he stayed with me, putting me under pressure. When I made a small mistake and he passed me in the final stages, I was able to see that he was having some tyre trouble. I got back past him and took the win, a result that is surprising but fantastic. At Monza we will try to defend our position as best we can, knowing that it will be a very tough track for us."
Genesio Bevilacqua, General Manager of Althea Racing
"The Race 2 result gives us enormous satisfaction in light of the race 1 outcome, which was nonetheless a good result. We had some doubts regarding tyre choice because the harder solution didn't perform as we had expected it to. We risked a little, concentrating on the softer tyre that we had tested in yesterday's long run. The choice turned out to be the right one. Carlos surprised me once again; there are no longer any doubts that he is able to make the most of every opportunity that arises and this gives us great confidence as a team because we see he is able to take advantage of everything we give to him. I thank the team for the incredible work carried out this weekend, as it was also one of the most difficult races in terms of choices. Thanks too to Ducati for providing us with a solid package once again. We'll continue like this, we're very happy but we must also keep our eyes open in view of future rounds."
Another great 4th place in a race with 2 red flags and 3 race starts. It's Sunday race day again at the Assen race circuit. The weather forecast was very positive, dry and sunny. In the 15 minut warm up, Robbins main focus was to do some race laptimes to final check the setup of the bike. The bike was working well for him so it gave him a lot of confidence for the race.
The race itself was one where not only the riders where pushed to the maximum, also the mechanics had to do some work. After 5 laps, Sam Lowes had a big crash that caused the first red flag, Robbin was in 7th place at that time so he could restart 7th on the grid. The second start went very good Robbin was the front group, passing Marino for 5th place. Another crash in the GT chicane caused the second red flag, just 2 laps in the second race. As the rule says that it's a complete restart, the second race didn't count so we had to go for the third time on the grid. The third start wasn't good and Robbin dropped few places down, finding his way back to the riders in front and overtaking them one by one. Winning two places because Scassa and Marino crashed out, Robbin was in fifth place, fighting for third place. Together with Parkes, Robbin raced a breath taking last lap just loosing 0.107s for third place. Again it is a great result for Robbin and the team
Robbin Harms, 4th place
It was really a tough and challenging day with those 3 starts and keeping the head cool In the final race unfortunate I had a bad start as the bike stalled so I lost out for the first group. My pace improved a lot since Saturday and kept close contact with the riders in front. I had some luck with the riders crashing out in front of me and could fight for third place in the last laps. I was doing everything to overtake Parkes, but I didn't find an opening to pass him and had to settle for fourth. I think it's a great result for the team as we where struggling for top speed but we managed the best out of the package we have and we are in a good fourth position in the championship.
Today I got 5 years older I think. First for the restarts we had today and also from the exciting racing from Robbin. I am very happy with this result and the way everything worked today!
Rea and Checa score wins at Assen as WSBK series hots up
Assen (Netherlands), Sunday 17 April 2011 – Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa scored a win apiece at Assen today, in races held in dry and occasionally sunny conditions at this classic Dutch track. Rea was particularly happy to see his first victory arrive at his team's home circuit, after some tough times early in the season.
It is Checa, however, who can leave with the greatest satisfaction as he now has a clear points lead over Max Biaggi, 132 - 89. Max, the reigning champion, recovered from all his dramas at Donington last month with two assured second place finishes today and he got the reward of second in the championship overall, with his home race of Monza next up. Donington race winner Marco Melandri just missed out on a podium finish in race one at Assen but fell in race two and is now in third place overall, four points behind Biaggi. Rea is now fourth, on 79 points, as he and Checa swapped wins and third places, with Checa taking the final spot in race one and Rea third in race two.
Leon Haslam had two hard fights on his hands today, but he scored good points in race two for fifth place, the same position he holds in the championship fight with his new total of 68 points. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) set the fastest lap in race two to help him go fourth and he is now sixth in the championship.
Rea overcame the early battles at Assen to record his and Honda's first win of the 2011 season, beating Biaggi by 0.7 seconds and championship leader Checa by 3.5 seconds in race one. Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) overcame a slow start to claw his way back to fourth, just ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare). With Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) behind Fabrizio there were six different machines inside the top six places. Top Kawasaki runner was Mark Aitchison (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) in tenth. Leon Haslam, Corser's team-mate, survived a fast early crash to recover to a top-12 finish. Race one saw many falls and retirements, and only 14 riders finished the race, but in race two only two riders failed to finish.
Jonathan Rea: "First and foremost I'm proud to give Castrol Honda their first podium in the world championship this year. My crew worked really hard all weekend and we really made the right decision to develop a specific bike for the race because it paid off. I lead from the start, was wondering whether to let Max pass, but made the right decision and won the race."
Max Biaggi: "I have to be happy with this result because of the way I finished free practice on Saturday afternoon. I had to use bike number 2 so it's a good result. We changed something in the warm-up but for the race we came back to a set-up we thought was correct for me and I could do nice lap times and be consistent."
Carlos Checa: "It was quite tough for me to keep the position at the beginning but finally I was able to pass the people from the second group and then I was trying to follow Laverty, overtook. Max and Johnny were too strong and it was difficult for me to catch them at the end. For us it's a very positive result."
Results: 1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 35'46.486 (167,589 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA)Aprilia RSV4 Factory 0.739; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 3.572; 4. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 9.508; 5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 9.892; 6. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 11.120; 7. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 15.235; 8. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 30.081; 9. 86 Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 32.071; 10. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 35.000; 11. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 43.287; 12. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 45.289; 13. Veneman B. (NED) BMW S1000 RR 45.298; 14. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 50.764; etc.
A delayed start to the second Assen race made no difference to the outcome as Checa and Biaggi played a high-speed game of cat-and-mouse. Biaggi looking to have it wrapped up as he passed long time leader Checa, only for the Spanish rider to reassert himself on the final lap and win his fourth race of the year. A battle between Rea and Melandri ended when the Italian star fell, leaving Rea on the podium in third. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) was fourth, while a multiple rider fight for fifth went to Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport), from Laverty, Fabrizio, Haga, Smrz and Guintoli.
In the points standings Checa now leads by 132 to Biaggi's 89. Melandri is third on 85, Rea jumping to fourth with his new total of 79 points.
Carlos Checa: "It's a fantastic result, the win was amazing. I put a soft tyre in for the second to get that that extra grip and at the end the tyre was good and responsive, this was the question mark. I was trying to put some gap between me and Max, but he was strong. I made a mistake and he passed me but then I overtook him again for the win."
Max Biaggi: "Good performance for us, we made a very good set-up for the race after my crash yesterday. We tried to adapt, it wasn't perfect, couldn't find the tyre to match. I was fast enough to make a good race but not enough to win the race. Too much movement, it's the maximum we could do."
Jonathan Rea: "We had to dig deep in that last race but it's been a good weekend for me and my team. I'm not sure but one of the Yamaha riders slowed me up at the start and the front guys got away. Then I was matching them for lap times but I ran into some tyre problems during the latter stages of the race. But the team worked well, I'm really satisfied and that's exactly the confidence and momentum we need to take to the next races."
Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 35'38.693 (168,199 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 0.524; 3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 3.584; 4. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 5.913; 5. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 16.916; 6. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 17.375; 7. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 17.740; 8. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 18.329; 9. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 18.378; 10. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 18.404; 11. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 26.284; 12. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 27.053; 3. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 38.614; 14. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 40.824; 15. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 40.953; 16. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40.982; etc.
Points (after 3 rounds of 13): 1. Checa 132; 2. Biaggi 89; 3. Melandri 85; 4. Rea 79; 5. Haslam 68; 6. Camier 50; 7. Smrz 49; 8. Fabrizio 47; 9. Laverty 35; 10. Haga 34; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 136; 2. Aprilia 106; 3. Yamaha 97; 4. Honda 79; BMW 74; 5. 38; 6. Suzuki 47; 7. Kawasaki 43.
Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) took his first win in the WSS category after heading up a 16-lap race that was restarted twice after red flag incidents. Second was Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) some seven seconds back, with third closely place contested but eventually taken by Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com). Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Honda) went fourth, David Salom, Parkes' team-mate, was fifth, and Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki rider Massimo Roccoli ended up a fine sixth. James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) pushed himself to seventh. Only 19 riders crossed the line from a field of 30, with three riders injured in two separate accidents that brought out the red flags. Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) suffered concussion and an injured shoulder, while Alex Lundh (Cresto Guide Honda) broke his wrist in a fall involving Marko Jerman (MD Team Jerman), who suffered many contusions and abrasions. In the championship standings, crashes from some of the leading contenders also closed up the points totals, with Davies' team-mate Luca Scassa still leading on 50, Parkes on 47, and Davies on 45.
Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 26'37.029 (163,816 kph); 2. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 7.236; 3. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.084; 4. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 8.191; 5. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.122; 6. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.222; 7. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 14.616; 8. Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR6000RR 32.623; etc.
Points (after 3 rounds of 12): 1. Scassa 50; 2. Parkes 47; 3. Davies 45; 4. Harms 37; Salom 34; Foret 20; Roccoli 19; Ellison 19; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 75; Honda 52; Kawasaki 47; Triumph 9.
Superstock 1000 FIM Cup
In the opening race of the Superstock season Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) held off a strong challenge from Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati) to secure the win at Assen. Pole man Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) slid back from his early challenge to go third. Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing Ducati) had an eventual clear fourth but Bryan Staring (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) had an impressive ride through from 12th on lap one to give the new Kawasaki Ninja a fifth in its race debut. Andrea Antonelli (Team Lorini Honda) was the top Honda rider, sixth, having been passed by Staring late on.
Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 26'37.029 (163,816 kph); 2. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 7.236; 3. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.084; 4. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 8.191; 5. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.122; 6. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.222; 7. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 14.616; 8. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 14.658; etc.
Points (after 1 round of 10): Giugliano 25; Petrucci 20; Barrier 16; Baroni 13; Staring 11; Antonelli 10; La Marra 9; 10 Ten Napel 8; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 25 ; 2. BMW 16; 3. Kawasaki 11; 4. Honda 10; 5. Yamaha 4.
The Assen weekend also saw the debut of the European Junior Cup which saw 12 riders line up at the start on identical Kawasaki Ninja 250 machines. The first race win went to German Tom Busch ahead of New Zealand's Daniel Mettam and American Brandon Kyee.
Official Tyre Supplier
"Assen is a fantastically flowing circuit with smooth asphalt for which Pirelli has made available 4 front and 4 rear Diablo Superbike tyres to the SBK class, including both Soft and Medium options for cold and warmer conditions; an overall allotment of 4,604 tyres including those to support the first round of the STK classes. The focuses at this spring race were durability and stability rather than pure performance, offered through an increased mechanical grip that requires slightly more setup time. Throughout practice and qualifying, it never exceeded 20°C on the asphalt whilst on race day we saw nearly 30°C, making tyre choice very critical.
Race 1: Sykes (Kawasaki), Xaus (Honda) and Guintoli (Ducati) opted for the Soft (A) rear tyre with bike setup finding trouble managing tyre wear, compared to Fabrizio's (Suzuki), whose team's bike setup was focused on the Soft and brought home a 5th and 7th place. A great performance by Rea (Honda) on the Soft (SC1) front and Medium rear at his team's home track, adding to his double-win here last year. Race 2: Seven seconds faster race time (35'38.693) vs. 2010, where Checa (Duc) demonstrated an ideal usage of the Soft (A) rear tyre he changed to for the second race.
SSP: the race saw a few rider errors and red flags, leaving Scassa (Yamaha) unable to finish but gave a chance to Parkes (Kawasaki), who switched to the Soft (SC1) rear after the red flag to find podium performances, behind Davies (Yamaha) and Foret (Honda).
STK600: the first race of the season left a track record 1 sec. faster of 1'40.94 set by new Australian entrant Metcher (Yamaha) on Diablo Supercorsa tyres available to our everyday dealer network." - Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director, Pirelli Moto
Pirelli BEST LAP Awards:
SBK Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike), 1'36.660 (Lap 3)
SBK Race 2 – Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia Racing), 1'36.476 (Lap 3)
Total BEST LAP (SBK): Biaggi M. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 2, Haga N. (PATA Racing Team Aprilia): 1, Checa C. (Althea Racing): 1, Sykes T. (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike): 1, Camier L. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 1
WSS – Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO Team), 1'39.019 (Lap 6)
Total BEST LAP (WSS): Foret F. (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 1, Lowes S. (Parkalgar Honda): 1, Scassa L. (Yamaha ParkinGO Team): 1
STK1000 – Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock), 1'39.050 (Lap 2)
STK600 – Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Team), 1'40.949 (Lap 7)
HONDA RACING INFORMATION
FIM SUPERBIKE / SUPERSPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 03 SUNDAY APRIL 17 ASSEN, NETHERLANDS
Temperature: Ambient 15/19 degrees C / Track 17/26 degrees C
REA TAKES FIRST HONDA WIN OF THE 2011 SEASON
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda) took a race victory and then a third place finish at the 2011 FIM Superbike Championship round at Assen, Netherlands, hoisting himself up the championship standings as a result. Carlos Checa (Ducati) won race two, and he remains the championship leader. The dry conditions experienced in practice continued on race day as Rea hit the lead on lap four of race one and was never headed from then on. In race two Rea did not get the same chance to fight for the win due to changes in track temperature, but still scored his second podium of the day, finishing only 3.584 seconds from the winner.
At the top of the championship Checa extended his lead and now has a total of 132 points, with double second place rider at Assen Max Biaggi (Aprilia) going second on 89. Marco Melandri (Yamaha) crashed out of race two, and is now on a total of 85 points, only six ahead of Rea's 79.
Castrol Honda rider Ruben Xaus was an eighth place finisher in race one, using the softest rear tyre choice, but he could not make it work in the slightly warmer conditions of race two and he finished 14th, scoring two more championship points. Ruben is now 14th in the official standings, although 11th to 14th all share a total of 26 points.
FORET BATTLES HARD TO SCORE SECOND IN A SHORTENED WSS RACE
Originally scheduled for 21 laps, the third round of the FIM Supersport Championship eventually had to be restarted twice after red flag incidents and was eventually run as a complete contest at the third attempt, but over only 16 laps. Full points were awarded as Chaz Davies (Yamaha) took a clear win after Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) was knocked off by a following rider, under braking, on lap eight. Florian had been vying for a podium, but an impressive charge to second from the much injured Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) still gave the Dutch team reasons to cheer at their home race. He had been fourth on the grid.
Fourth, and within touching distance of Broc Parkes (Kawasaki) and the final podium spot was Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda). He remains the top placed Honda rider in fourth, but is now much closer to the championship lead. Luca Scassa (Yamaha), who tangled with Marino today, has 50 points, Parkes has 47, Davies 45 and Harms 34. Foret moved up to sixth thanks to his 20 points from today's race.
James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) was seventh, but Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda) moved up to eighth in the final revised race classification when Roberto Tamburini (Yamaha) was disqualified. Vladimir Ivanov (Step Racing Team Honda) was therefore ninth, not his original tenth, while Balazs Nemeth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) moved up to tenth, Imre Toth (Team Hungary Toth Honda) to 11th. Pawel Szkopek (Bogdanka PTR Honda), Bastien Chesaux (MACH - Moto Academy Swiss Honda) and Robert Muresan (PTR Romania Honda) all scored points today. Gino Rea (Step Racing Team Honda) fell while in a potential podium place, but recovered to finish 16th.
Front row qualifier Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) crashed on lap six of the first attempt at running the full race, having just moved into second place. His highsided at the Ossebroeken right-hander led to a short concussion and a broken left collarbone for the young English rider and he was taken to hospital for scans to be carried out. Alexander Lundh (Cresto Guide Racing Team Honda) was involved in a two rider fall on the exit of the final chicane that caused the second red flag and his subsequent broken left wrist meant he could not make the restart.
Honda rider comments:
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda)
Race result: 1st / 3rd Championship position: 4th
"We worked hard over the weekend as a whole team, trying to sort the settings of the bike out. In the background we were always thinking about set-up for the race so that paid off in the cold temperatures of race one, but we have not had the warmer conditions of race two all weekend so we were slightly underprepared. We could have made a gamble with the softer A tyre, but to be honest I do not think it would have worked for us, so we stayed on the harder C. The question mark was the front tyre in race two as it was way too soft and moving around too much. But a first and a third, I feel like we are back where we belong. It's nice to see the guys in the team smiling. Two podiums and good points in the bag and now we are going into some circuits where we should be able to claw back some more points."
Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda)
Race result: 8th / 14th Championship position: 14thth
"I had no choice with the rear tyre as I had to use the softer one. I had too many problems with the harder ones. In race two the sun was shining, but right at the start the temperatures came down and the tyre started spinning and just wore out. I was just happy to be able to do the lap times I did at the end of the race and get a couple of points. We made two good finishes and race one was definitely better. We are on 26 points, close to the top ten, so one good result and we can climb up."
Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
Race result: 2nd – Championship position: 6th
"I am very pleased to take second place and get 20 points after the problems we had in the first two meetings. A few laps from the end I had some issues with the rear tyre so I had to slow down and protect my position. It was a good weekend for us, particularly as I am still not 100% back to full fitness, so to great to be on the podium and take home good points."
Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Team Honda)
Race result: 4th. Championship position: 4th
"Near to the podium again, but it was much better than Donington. I had more power inside and I was much closer to third. We missed some engine power because the rider who got third pulled away from me exiting the corners and I had so many metres to make up for under braking, one or two more than I needed to get past him. I am satisfied with the overall performance. I did not make any mistakes and had good rhythm. We are still top Honda team in the points and closer to the leader now."
James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda)
Race result: 7th. Championship position: 8th
"Every time the race got red flagged it went in our favour because we could make some small changes to the bike, get further up the grid and then gain a few positions at the start. The race was going really well until half distance. I had a bit of a problem with the front all weekend and in the end the front tyre was gone. Other than that, the bike had a podium potential. I'm a bit disappointed but we'll get the bike up there where it needs to be at Monza."
Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda)
Race result: 8th. Championship position: 13th
"That was a hard race and I am pleased to have finished where I did. It is never easy to keep concentration when there are three starts. This is my best result of the season and for me it has been a positive weekend as we have made set-up improvements on my Parkalgar Honda. I am looking forward to Monza and starting that race with what we have found here, I want to keep this positive momentum and keep improving."
Vladimir Ivanov (Step Racing Team Honda)
Race result: 9th. Championship position: 17th
"I got a top ten and my first points and I am happy for this because the last two races I have not finished. So this is a positive result. I wanted to be faster in my pace and in that race I should have been a better position. I think maybe not a top five yet, but I should be in a higher position."
Gino Rea (Step Racing Team Honda)
Race result: DNF. Championship position: 10th
"I lost the front into the left hander before the double right. I was struggling a little into the corners because we have a clutch in the bike that we do not usually use and I was trying to control it on the lever. It was a bit inconsistent and when I fell I had no chance of saving it. I am taking only positives away from here because we obviously have the speed to run up front, the chassis is getting there and now we just have to complete the package."
Florian Marino (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda)
Race result: DNF. Championship position: 9th
"Nothing I could do about the crash today, I just hot hit from behind. I am disappointed, but I have seen that we have the potential to fight for the podium and I think this is good for our minds. Now we take all the positive things to Monza and try to do my best and fight like we did this week as well."
Muresan in the points after Tamburini disqualification
PTR ROMANIA HONDA'S Robert Muresan has scored a single point in the World Supersport race result for Assen after Yamaha's Roberto Tamburini was disqualified for an underweight bike.
It means that he has scored a point on his first finish for the new Romanian team that is supported by Asirom, Ursus and the Romanian Tourist Board.
Praia classified eighth after Tamburini disqualification
PARKALGAR HONDA'S Miguel Praia has been moved from ninth to eighth in the World Supersport race result for Assen after Yamaha's Roberto Tamburini was disqualified for an underweight bike.
It means that Miguel moves from 15th to 13th in the Championship on 13-points.