Press releases from the World Superbike series organizer, and World Superbike and World Supersport teams, after Sunday's thrilling races at Assen:
- EUGENE LAVERTY WINS AT ASSEN AND MOVES UP IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS.
- SYLVAIN GUINTOLI STRENGTHENS HIS HOLD ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD.
- APRILIA INCREASES THE GAP IN THE MANUFACTURER CHAMPIONSHIP.
Assen (Holland), 28 April 2013 – It was a weekend of satisfaction for the Aprilia Racing Team on the legendary track at Assen in the fourth round of the World SBK season. At the end of the Dutch weekend the Aprilia riders lead the championship standings and the Italian brand increases the gap in the Manufacturer Championship.
Eugene Laverty, starting from the front row for the seventh consecutive time, triumphed in Race 2 after a nail biting duel with English rider Tom Sykes, earning Aprilia's first win on the Dutch circuit in World Superbike.
This win, combined with his fourth place finish in Race 1, takes the Irish rider to second place in the standings, just behind team mate Sylvain Guintoli.
The French rider, after taking a strong third place in Race 1, suffered from a poor feeling with the front end in the second race. This was a problem which, by Guintoli's own admittance as soon as he had taken off his helmet, kept him from "closing the door" on his rival's attacks on the third place position that he had boldly achieved six laps from the end, battling with Baz, Rea and Davies. The sixth place final result contributed in any case to strengthening his grip on the championship lead.
After riding to the foot of the podium in Race 1, Eugene Laverty took the track for the second race extremely focused and well motivated not to let Tom Sykes run away at the front and dominate as he had in the first race. Sykes and Laverty quickly pulled ahead of the pack, but the Irishman and his RSV4 never let up even a metre. The gap between the two was never more than a few tenths of a second and 4 laps from the end Laverty made his move and then fought off Sykes' final assault in the last turns before the finish.
With Laverty's victory the World SBK standings are now coated with Aprilia colours.
Thanks to his placings today Sylvain Guintoli widens the gap in front of his closest rivals and is now firmly in command of the Rider standings with 111 points. Eugene Laverty moves into second place with 83 points.
In the Manufacturer Championship Aprilia dominates at a distance of 131 points, widening the gap in front of BMW (99 points). They are followed by Kawasaki (94), Honda (70), Suzuki (52) and Ducati (40).
Eugene Laverty: “The little time we had with a dry track created a few problems in Race 1. In fact, before the second race we made some changes to the RSV4, which we usually don't do because of how risky that is. Actually the changes they made worked really well. I had the right feeling even though I didn't think I would be stay up with Sykes. But in the end I was able to keep up with his pace. In fact, his wash actually helped me out since there were some strong gusts of wind on the track. Four laps from the end I overtook Tom, even pulling away a few metres, but then the wind kept me from being too precise so he was able to cling back onto me. Winning today was important. We back in the fight for the championship and we were able to leave the troubles from Aragón behind us”.
Sylvain Guintoli: “It's too bad about the end of Race2. I enjoy a fight in the last laps but this time I just wasn't able to do it. In Race 1, on the other hand, Rea and I put on a good show and in the end Jonny got the best of me but I had fun. In the second race Tom and my team mate Laverty really had an unbeatable pace. Let's just say that the second race didn't go great, but I was able to increase my lead in the championship, widening the gap in front of my closest rivals, and that's important, especially considering the fact that the next round is Monza, a circuit where Aprilia has always been a strong player”.
Rea back on Assen podium
Jonathan Rea maintained his remarkable record of podium finishes at Assen in the Netherlands today, finishing second in race one of the third round 2013 World Superbike championship event.
It was the 30th World Superbike podium for the 26-year-old from Northern Ireland and his sixth at the 4.542km TT Circuit, having taken at lease one rostrum finish here in each of the last four years.
With Rea’s team-mate, Leon Haslam, watching the races from his hospital bed after breaking his left leg in a practice crash on Friday, Rea was the only Pata Honda rider contesting today’s two 22-lap races at Assen, which were won by Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty.
Rea finished fourth in race two, just four hundredths of a second from another podium finish, and moves up to fifth place in the overall standings. He will test with his team at Assen on Wednesday and Thursday this week (1-2 May) before heading to Monza in Italy for round four of the series on 10-12 May.
Jonathan Rea – 2nd and 4th
It was kind of typical Assen – we got on the podium, which was good! In race one I rode really good but just had nothing for Sykes. In race two I was feeling quite good in the beginning but it was a little bit my fault that we couldn’t be on the box. I lost too much ground in the early laps, making mistakes, and then got involved in a battle for third with two other guys. It was clear that I didn’t have the acceleration off the small corners and where I was really strong in race one, in the back section, in race two I had too much electronics interference. There was a little bit of inconsistency and we’d changed tyres, and it was clear that the tyre in race two was spinning more. I know we’ve got more power than this but it’s impossible to accelerate like the others so we need to find some kind of compromise in the early corner exit area to make the power more manageable. It’s lucky that we have a two-day test to do that on Wednesday and Thursday before we go on to Monza where speed’s very important. A two and a four this weekend is not a win like Assen should be for me, but we’ve got to be satisfied. We’ve come from a long way back and the championship position is looking a bit more healthy than it did after Aragon so I guess I’m satisfied with the weekend.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
I think we had a good day, as we have had in other years here at Assen. Jonathan got second in race one with a phenomenal passing manoeuvre which is one for the books, for sure. It’s great to get our first podium of the season here at our home round and it puts the sorrows of the last race, some early testing, electronics issues and everything behind us to some extent. It looks like we are on the right way now, but for race two we changed tyres. We hoped to be a little closer to the front but we had a big fight for third which we missed by a few thousandths of a second. A second and a fourth is really good and makes the whole team happy, but once again our best wishes go out to Leon who is having the operation on his leg today. We look forward to welcoming him back soon.
CAMIER 7TH IN ASSEN WSB COMEBACK
Team Suzuki Press Office - April 28.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki's Leon Camier completed an amazing return from the serious knee injury he suffered two weeks ago to record two top-nine finishes at today's eni FIM Superbike World Championship races at Assen.
Camier saved the best until the second race where he got a great start from 18th on the grid to be up in 11th by the end of lap one. He continued to progress through the field as he chased team-mate Jules Cluzel, before the pair got involved in a inter-team battle through the mid-part of the race. Camier and Cluzel swapped places a number of times as they jostled for seventh position, before Camier got the better of his team-mate and held on to that place for the remainder of the race. Unfortunately for Cluzel he couldn't challenge the Englishman again, because an electronic throttle system problem caused him to retire on lap-16.
Camier had already shown huge determination in race one, as he got a good start and was in 12th by the end of the first lap. He again made his way through the field before getting involved with ex-World Champion Carlos Checa. The FIXI Suzuki racer on his Yoshimura-powered machine, made a brave and fast pass on the inside of the Spaniard through a left-hand turn - with his injured knee firmly placed on the asphalt. Camier then held his position for the rest of the race and brought his bike home in ninth.
Cluzel had mixed emotions this afternoon as he also looked like securing a pair of top-eight finishes before fate dealt its hand in race two. Cluzel produced an impressive ride in race one to take eighth place at the flag. He made a good start from 10th on the grid and consolidated his position with some consistent laps which saw him running at a strong pace. In race two he again looked strong as he battled with Camier, but his weekend drew to a premature close when his bike stopped out on track and he was unable to continue.
Both of today's races were held in bright sunshine with track temperatures rising to 23°C, a big difference from the two practice days. Tom Sykes on a Kawasaki was very commanding in race one as he won by almost nine seconds. Race two saw Aprilia's Eugene Laverty take the spoils and his team-mate Sylvain Guintoli kept his championship lead after he took a third and sixth places.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now return to the workshop in England before heading to Monza in Italy for the fourth round of the season on Sunday May 12th.
"I am really happy considering the way everything has gone this weekend. In the first race we changed the set-up dramatically from the warm-up and took a gamble, but then in the second race we changed it a lot again, but this time we made it feel more like the bike I am used to. I felt like I had the pace to run towards the front and I was making some big passes in race two and then got caught up with Jules and he really battled me. I got frustrated because I thought I could have got to the front group, but we lost out a bit and then I was in a sort of a race of my own. If I could have got to the group ahead I think I would have been comfortable and probably got a good result. Overall I am happy, even though at the end of the race my leg and body felt as if they were in bits; I was just pleased to finish both races."
"I am happy with the first race because we had a plan and tried to improve and understand the bike setting for me better. We tried to work more on the bike this afternoon and made some changes, but for me these didn't work and made things feel worse, so I tried to do my best to finish well. I was in eighth, but we had an electronic problem and had to stop. This is a bad thing because this is not my favourite track and we had a problem that meant we couldn't finish, but at the end we know it was possible to score two top-eight finishes. This is racing though and I will try my best at the next race."
Paul Denning - Team Manager:
"The whole FIXI Crescent Suzuki team is very proud of Leon today. Seventh and ninth are not his target results, but when we consider where he was two weeks ago and the physical condition of his leg, just to sit on the bike was impressive and race to that level was really quite amazing! Added to the injury was some very bad luck in missing the whole of the only dry qualifying session, and therefore missing the extra laps and set-up time in Superpole, which meant he had to start at the back of the grid. Today's result augers well for when he is fully fit and we can have a proper weekend, get the bike right for the races; and allow him to challenge the front group.
"Jules has done a very impressive job; this track is physically very difficult on a Superbike and we honestly struggled to get the bike stable and predictable enough for him over the course of Saturday. The team managed to improve the bike a little for race-day and Jules didn't deserve the failure - his first DNF of the season. We are getting closer to finding a base for him; we have to remember this is only his third Superbike event and his expectation is very high, so we will be doing everything we can to give him a bike that he can perform on well in Monza."
BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team - WSBK - Assen - Races
The BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team concludes a dramatic and difficult Sunday at the “TT Circuit” in Assen (NED). Factory rider Chaz Davies (GBR) finished seventh and fifth after crashing in this morning’s warm-up. His BMW S 1000 RR was so badly damaged that the team had to prepare the rolling chassis for the races. His teammate Marco Melandri (ITA) had even more bad luck: a technical issue stopped him in the warm-up lap for race one. In race two, the Italian finished eighth. The winners at the third round of the 2013 FIM Superbike World Championship were Tom Sykes (GBR) and Eugene Laverty (IRL). In the Riders' classification, Chaz, Laverty and Sykes are on equal points behind leader Sylvain Guintoli (FRA), all having 83 points in their tally. Due to the race results, Chaz is classified third behind Laverty. Marco sits in eighth with 51 points. In the Manufacturers' classification, BMW lies in second with 99 points.
After Chaz’s crash in the morning, the squad did not have much time to build up the rolling chassis. Chaz's crew was supported by Marco’s crew, who stood in to help as soon as they had completed the race preparation on Marco’s RR. With their joint efforts and well organised work they succeeded in getting the #19 RR ready for race one, though Chaz had to start from the last row. With the first race getting underway, drama continued for the team. In the warm-up lap, Marco was stopped by a part failure in the final drive and was forced to roll off the track and onto the grass. The race was over for him before it actually began. It is as yet unclear what caused the failure. The part is currently at the supplier for analysis. Chaz meanwhile started his catch-up, charging his way forward through the field. After lap one he was already in 11th and gained more positions as the race unfolded. He crossed the line in seventh, collecting important points. In race two, both riders made a good start, with Marco improving from eighth to fifth and Chaz from 13th to ninth. But Marco was struggling to keep this position and dropped back. After nine laps, he was back in 11th while Chaz continued his way forward, being sixth at that time. On the last lap, Chaz gained another position, crossing the line in fifth. Marco also worked his way back forward and finished the race in eighth.
In the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup race, Sylvain Barrier finished second on the podium on his DDC-equipped BMW HP4 of the BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK Team. In a dramatic finish, the Frenchman was beaten by winner Eddi La Marra (ITA) by only 0.023 seconds. In the overall classification, Sylvain extended his lead to nine points, having collected 45 points in total at the first two rounds of the season. His team mate Greg Gildenhuys (RSA) had to retire early in the race due to a technical issue.
Result Race 1: 7th / Gap to 1st: 0:22.570 min / Fastest Lap Race 1: 1:36.867 min (lap 3)
Result Race 2: 5th / Gap to 1st: 0:07.359 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.541 min (lap 3)
“The day started very badly with the crash in the morning. The track temperature was still very low and I lost the front. I did not think that the crash was that big but the bike must have tumbled quite a lot and it was really badly damaged. It was frustrating to destroy a bike like that in the warm-up. A big credit to the team who did an amazing job building up a brand new bike for the race. As it was a new bike I did not expect big things. I was just hoping to get some points so to finish seventh was a reason to be happy.
“To finish in the top 5 in the second race was not a great result but I got the maximum of what was possible and it was limiting the damage. I got the best possible result in both races. Again, I owe everybody in the team a big thank you for today, for pulling together and enabling me to race. We still have some work to do. I know where we are losing riding against the other guys. In some places the bike is working well, in other places I feel that we need to improve. Now I am looking forward to Monza.”
Result Race 1: DNF
Result Race 2: 8th / Gap to 1st: 0:27.267 min / Fastest Lap Race 2: 1:36.642 min (lap 2)
“It was an awful weekend and today, it was an unlucky day. In race one I did not even start, while in race 2 it seemed that a sensor failed so the bike could not work with the right electronic strategies. I had to slow down for a couple of laps to understand what was going on and what the problem was. Once I understood how to manage the situation I returned to my race pace and completed the race. Now we need to understand what does not work and to solve the problem. My aim is to rediscover the riding pleasure, to fight for the podium and to win again.”
Serafino Foti (Sport Director BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK Team):
“We had a difficult and troubled weekend. Marco, after the technical issue he experienced in race one, again had difficulties in race two. Unfortunately, something did not work. He did not find the right feeling with his bike and we could not enable him to overcome these difficulties and ride properly. We are already planning some meetings in the next days to analyse the situation in order to allow him a consistent top performance from the next race in Monza onwards. Chaz fell this morning during warm-up but he took part in both races, thanks to the efforts of his and of Marco’s crew who worked together. I want to thank all the guys for this excellent job. Chaz did not get the final results he was aiming for but he collected some important points.
“In the Superstock class, Sylvain finished second today. Unfortunately he did not win and he was not happy. But to achieve this result against such strong competitors is very positive. We were very satisfied and we want to win again in Monza.”
Stephan Fischer (Technical Director BMW Motorrad Motorsport):
“It was a difficult weekend for us. On Chaz’s side we had his retirement in Superpole and with Marco we were struggling to find the right set-up. This was topped this morning by Chaz’s crash during warm-up. Building up the new bike worked great because everybody pulled together and helped. A big thanks to the whole squad. Unfortunately the time was not enough to be ready in time to go to the grid normally. So Chaz had to start from the last row and we must pay him a compliment. He made a great start and over the course of the race, he showed a consistently good performance. His bike and the set-up worked well, his lap times were competitive and under other circumstances, they would have been good for a top result.
"Marco had bad luck this weekend, too. It took us quite long to find the right set-up for the difficult conditions on this racetrack. Before the race we were headed in the right direction and his lap times during warm-up made us hope for a strong result. What followed, was the retirement in race one. This failure was probably something that happens to you once in a lifetime. However, we still have to examine accurately the reason for the failure. In race two he unfortunately struggled with issues again. But this is racing: you have highs and you have lows. Now we have to analyse our lows precisely and use our findings take the right steps. We will try to do our homework properly in order to head to Monza well prepared.”
Van der Mark salvages fourth at home
Pata Honda’s Dutch rider Michael van der Mark delivered another impressive ride in this afternoon’s third-round World Supersport race in his home race at Assen in the Netherlands.
The 20-year-old flyer endured set-up issues in preparing for today’s 20-lap race at the historic 4.542km Assen circuit and was able to qualify no higher than 11th. A poor opening lap dropped van der Mark down to 14th in the early stages but he fought back through the pack to take fourth and retain second place overall in the series.
His Pata Honda team-mate, Lorenzo Zanetti, got a good start to the race from his starting position on the fifth row of the grid and was running as high as seventh before slipping back to finish in 10th place.
Michael van der Mark – 4th
It was a difficult race because although the start was not too bad I got a few problems at the first corner and in the first few laps I lost too much time. I made some mistakes and had some difficulties with the bike. But after five or six laps I found a way to ride the bike and I kept pushing but there were a lot of guys in front of me by then. I had to overtake them all and the bike was really fast so this made it a little bit more easy. I had some problems with some other riders but when I found my rhythm I was faster than the others and I tried to pass them. I think fourth was the best we could do, even though the team worked really hard all weekend. In the race we didn’t really have the set-up that we wanted but we can be happy with this result. We wanted top five and we got it, but we had to come from a long way back!
Lorenzo Zanetti – 10th
I had a good start and finished the first lap in seventh place, which was not so bad from 14th on the grid. For the first 10 or 11 laps, when the tyre was new, everything was OK and I had a good rhythm. But when the tyre started to go down, I had the same problems as at Aragon – the chassis lost a little bit of balance and it becomes difficult to stop the bike. I lost a few place after this and finished in 10th which is not bad because top ten is OK. But I want better results than this, also for the team. We have a two-day test this week so we will try to find a setting for Monza, which is my home race. I like the track there and for sure I will try to have a good race there.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
After the disappointing set-up problems we had on Friday and Saturday we managed to make some good results. Lorenzo got a really, really good start and was up near the front before the tyres started to wear and he dropped back. We have to figure some things out for him when we test here in a few days. With Michael the start was the opposite and he got a bit locked up and lost some places. As the race progressed he caught more and more riders and brought it home in fourth. After the qualifying problems and his resulting grid position, that felt a bit like a podium so we’re quite happy. There’s work to do though, so this upcoming test is important.
7th For Kennedy At Assen
Fresh from his best ever World Supersport qualifying performance yesterday Rivamoto’s Jack Kennedy achieved a solid points finish in the World Supersport championship after a determined ride to 7th at the flag elevated the young Irishman to equal 7th overall in the world championship standings.
3rd at the end of the opening lap, Jack put up a tremendous fight to stay in touch with the leading pack but by lap 11 he began to lose touch as he struggled with grip.
With the top 3 positions seemingly settled Jack rode sensibly despite a small tyre problem to end the 21 lap encounter in a credible 7th place after coming under fierce attack from Michael VD Mark, Florian Marino and Roberto Rolfo in the closing stages.
Jack Kennedy – 7th position: ” I had a great first half of the race but I lost touch with Foret when the grip went away. I tried to put consistent laps in but could see the gap decreasing to the bunch behind me. I dug in but couldn’t do anything about it. We have grabbed more points and more info for this learning curve that we are on. I am happy with my pace and just need to find the whatever it takes to maintain it. A really great job by the team this weekend and I’m looking forward to Monza.”
Jeremy McWilliams – Team Manager: “We are all delighted with the results this weekend. I can understand Jack’s frustration after showing incredible speed throughout weekend. We always knew the pace was there but we need to work on getting the best out of the bike and rider for the full race distance. We are learning all the time so we will go to Monza happy and proud of our achievements so far this season.”
Nemeth Crashes Out Of Supersport Race In The Netherlands
Hungarian Balazs Nemeth crashed out of today’s World Supersport race at the historic Assen circuit meaning that after three races in this year’s championship the ComPlus SMS Honda rider is yet to score a point.
The weekend had started much more positively with the hard charging Nemeth running comfortably inside the top ten.
Today’s result is disappointing for Balazs and the team who will now regroup ready for the fourth round of the championship in Monza which takes place in a fortnight.
Disaster For Davies In Assen
The 3rd round of the World Supersport championship was one to forget for PTR Honda’s Matt Davies.
After looking strong on the opening day of practice, the young Aussie destroyed a bike on Saturday and was lucky to be able to start today’s race in Assen at all.
Having started from 31st Matt was a little too keen to get going and unfortunately incurred a jump start penalty which effectively ended any chance of a points finish.
Both Matt and his experience PTR Honda will now put this weekend behind them and start afresh at Monza for round 4 in two weeks time.
PTR looks forward to Monza
PTR HONDA came away from the third round of the World Supersport Championship at Assen in Holland with no points after its most experienced riders failed to start the race due to injuries sustained in crashes yesterday.
Front-runner Sheridan Morais could not start due to a shoulder injury sustained in a crash caused by a cold tyre. Luca Marconi crashed late in yesterday's qualifying and ruled himself out of racing after struggling with his vision in morning warm up.
That left the three rookies in the team: Nacho Calero, David Linortner and Matt Davies, with a lot of expectation on their shoulders. After crashing yesterday and only just getting a qualifying lap, Davies then jump started the race and then retired as his learning curve continues.
Calero, who consistently was one of the fastest down the straight on his PTR Honda, finished 21st. Linortner had climbed as high as 19th at one point but ended 22nd as his lap times at the end of the race tailed off. Both riders are showing progression every race.
The next round of the World Supersport Championship is at Monza in Italy on May 12th, where PTR is expecting Morais and Marconi to return stronger than before and more determined than ever to score their best ever results.
Simon Buckmaster, PTR Honda Team Manager: "It has been a very tough weekend with the obvious disappointment of Sheridan not being able to start due to injuries from practice.
"Nacho continues to learn in the very tough arena of the WSS Championship. For David and Matt with limited track time due to their crashes, it was always going to be difficult. David with his first finish of the year will surely move forward from this point.
"Obviously we are not used to being in this position but we are a strong team, have every faith in our riders and we will move back to where we should be at Monza."
Gyorfi Just Misses First Points Of Year At Cathedral Of Speed
H Moto’s Alen Gyorfi just missed out on his first championship points of the year in the FIM Stock 1000cc Cup at Assen today, a great result in only his second race aboard his new BMW machine.
Having started the season without any pre-season testing in Aragon a fortnight ago, the Hungarian and his team are pleased to be making such progress so early in the season.
A reasonable start saw Alen mid pack and as the race progressed Alen fought hard eventually finishing the 13 lap race at the Cathedral of Speed in 19th place. Further encouragement for the team is that Alen’s lap time towards the end of the race was as fast as those riders who finished inside the top 12.
The H-Moto team have a test planned prior to round 3 of the championship which takes place at Monza, Italy in two weeks time.
Lap One Crash For Lewis At Assen
The leader of the PATA European Junior Cup after the opening round in Aragon, Jake Lewis saw his challenge for glory come to an abrupt end on the opening lap of today’s second round in Assen after a lap one tumble saw him unable to add to his Aragon points tally.
The crash comes a bitter disappointment for the likeable Kiwi who returns to the EJC after a season in Superstock 600cc.
Despite today’s none finish, Jake still holds 2nd overall in the championship standings.
Bad Bo Takes EJC Win At Historic Assen
Local wildcard rider ‘bad’ Bo Bendsneijder took a popular victory in the second round of the PATA European Junior Cup powered by Honda at Assen this afternoon.
As in Aragon, the leading positions changed too quickly to keep track of, with Bendsneijder, who had started from Pole, fending off a number of attacks from Guillaume Raymond, Adrien Pittet, Michael Canducci and Kevin Manfredi who all took turns to lead on the final lap.
In the run to the flag it was Augusto Fernandez who proved the biggest challenger as both he and Bendsneijder appeared to cross the line side by side. The photo finish gave the victory to Bo with Fernandez an impressive second. Italian Michael Canducci claimed his second podium placing in as many races with 3rd while Peter Sebastyen from Hungary rode well to take 4th at the flag from Kevin Manfredi and Pole Sitter Guillaume Raymond from France.
Adrien Pittet was 7th, Robin Anne 8th, Javier Orellana 9th and Illan Fernandez who set the fastest lap of the race finishing in tenth position. Ilya Mykhalchyk was 11th less than two seconds from the victory while Riccardo Filippini was a lonely 12th. Josh Harland was the top British finisher in 14th ahead of compatriot James Flitcroft. Spain’s Miguel Aranda completed the points finishers.
Round one winner Jake Lewis was an early faller as was Jesper Hubner both unhurt and ready to battle again in Monza.
Sabrina Paiuta and Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro suffered technical issues while Andrea Zanella retired with a handful of laps remaining.
With the new CBR500cc machines supplied by Honda making this class one of the most wide open championships within the World Superbike paddock in 2013, the high speed circuit of Monza for round 3 will be a race not to be missed.
1st: Bo Bendsneijder
2nd: Augusto Fernandez
3rd: Michael Canducci
1st: Michael Canducci – 32 points
2nd: Jake Lewis – 25 points
3rd: Bo Bendsneijder – 25 points
4th: Guillaume Raymond – 23 points
5th: Peter Sebastyen – 21 points
6th: Augusto Fernandez – 20 points
Results World Superbike-Supersport, Assen, The Netherlands
HONDA RACING INFORMATION
FIM SUPERBIKE / SUPERSPORT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
ROUND 03 SUNDAY APRIL 28 ASSEN, NETHERLANDS
Weather: Dry and sunny
Temperature: Ambient 12/15 degrees C / Track 15/23 degrees C
PODIUM FOR REA IN RACE ONE BUT BAD LUCK FOR HASLAM
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) made real progress at his team’s home round of Assen in the third round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, scoring a second place in race one and was only just off the podium in the second race in fourth place. He is now up to fifth in the overall rankings after his first podium of the year on his CBR1000RR.
In contrast Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) was ruled out of the event early after falling at turn seven on Friday in wet conditions, suffering serious breaks to his left tibia and fibula that will require surgery. After some consultation with doctors in the Netherlands Leon elected to go home to the UK to have a pin inserted in his leg, in order to speed up his recovery process.
Rea, who had qualified in second position, had found his electronics package much improved throughout this event and that allowed him to be a force at the front on raceday. Assen is no longer his team’s designated test track and with the first day of practice dominated by cold and wet weather, he and his team had in effect one day to make final race preparations. Now that the round has been run at Assen, Rea and his team will test at the circuit on Wednesday and Thursday to make further machine improvements in readiness for the next round at Monza on May 12.
In the first 22-lap race he got away behind flag-to-flag leader Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) but ended up in an almost race-long battle with Aprilia riders Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty. In race two Jonathan changed rear tyre options and that had an eventual effect on his fourth place result, despite finishing only 5.8 seconds from the win itself.
In the championship Rea is fifth overall on 63 points and Haslam is now 13th, with 29. The fourth round of the season takes place at Monza, Italy, on May 12.
LOCAL RIDER VAN DER MARK RECOVERS BRILLIANTLY TO TAKE FOURTH
The Assen round of the 2013 FIM Supersport World Championship was a home event for Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) and despite ending his first lap only 11th he battled back to score fourth place and end his day as top Honda rider. Van der Mark had been 11th on the grid but at one stage in the race he was down in 14th place. Michael’s magic race performance kept him second in the overall standings.
The race itself was won by Sam Lowes (Yamaha) from Kawasaki pairing Kenan Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret, with Foret still the championship points leader.
After a wet Friday and a cold Saturday raceday was dry and sunny, a factor which helped Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) take a top ten finish at his team’s home circuit, despite experiencing some tyre issues after mid race distance.
Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda) was in line for a top four race finish, to replicate his qualifying position, until he was overhauled on lap 18 of 21. Having only one day of set-up had taken its toll on the rookie’s race settings and he had to concede places to riders who had more tyre life left at the very end. He finished seventh in the race and is now eighth overall.
Some tough luck for other Honda riders meant that Zanetti in tenth was the last Honda points scorer. Gabor Talmacsi (PRORACE Honda) was 16th, Raffaele De Rosa (Team Lorini Honda) 17th and Alex Schacht (Racing Team Toth Honda) was 19th.
Fancied Honda runners Luca Marconi (PTR Honda) and Sheridan Morais (PTR Honda) could not race after suffering practice crashes. Alex Baldolini (Team Lorini Honda) entered the pits to retire while Balazs Nemeth (Complus SMS Racing Honda) had a fast crash. Aussie Matt Davies (Team Honda PTR) jump-started and was later forced to retire.
HONDA RIDER COMMENTS:
Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: 2nd / 4th Championship position: 5th
“It is so nice to be back up on the podium again. It was a bit frustrating in race one because we had absolutely nothing for Tom today, he was on a different planet but I have to be happy with the way I rode. When you put 100% effort in and get a result like this it is always satisfying. It was good fun riding with Sylvain at the end and it was close and safe and we both ended up on the podium. I felt I could battle with Tom and Eugene in the second race but I outbraked myself a few times in the first two or three laps. When I got my rhythm back Giugliano balked me and then I only had the pace for third. I was strong in the section, coming back to the paddock area in race one but in race two our rear tyre was spinning much more. It was cutting too much power so I lost out in acceleration in those areas. The bike felt pretty good in the other areas. For engine braking into the corners and in throttle pick up I feel we are as good as any of the others. We just need to work on pure acceleration when I get onto the throttle. I am just happy to be on the podium today and to have scored good points.”
Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike Team)
Race result: DNS/ DNS Championship position: 13th
“When I can come back all depends on when I get the operation to pin my leg. I am confident the strength would be there and then it is a case of getting over the trauma. I normally heal pretty fast. I remember the crash and it just low sided as the back came around as I entered turn seven. Then the footpeg went through my leathers on the right leg and then I got my left leg caught in the bike as I tried to kick it off me. It flipped and I think that is when I got the injury.”
Michael van Der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
Race result: 4th Championship position: 2nd
“In the beginning it was so difficult because even though we made a change to the set-up of the bike this morning we did not have the grip we wanted but after a few laps I changed my riding style and managed to pass a few people. I kept pushing towards the front and I am extremely happy to be fourth. The team worked really hard all weekend so it was a shame that we could not find a perfect set-up but we must be happy with a fourth place. I just wanted to take out everything about riding at my home race from my mind and I think what we did was the most we could do on this weekend.”
Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport Team)
Race result: 10th Championship position: 7th
“I had a good start and I think I was seventh. In the first seven or eight laps, when the tyre was new, I had a good feeling and good rhythm. But when the tyre performance down a little bit it was the same thing I experienced at Aragon. The brake points become longer and it becomes difficult to stop the bike. In the race, when fighting other riders, this makes it too difficult. The other riders can pass under brakes, so we have to work on that. But finishing inside the top ten shows my potential and the team.”
Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda)
Race result: 7th Championship position: 8th
“My race came down to set-up and tyre life in the end. I made a good enough start and then got to third then sat behind Fabien Foret, I felt comfortable in there behind him but then started to lose grip so I could not keep the traction level against him. I started to have a bit of a lonely race in fourth but then I saw on my pit board the gap to the guys behind me getting smaller and smaller which is the last thing you want to see. I tried to dig as deep as I could just to stay ahead with some consistent laps, but they kept closing. I had nothing left to fight with but we got more good information from race so I hope we can move forward with this.”
Race result: 16th, Championship position: N/A
"I am very disappointed and we are just trying to understand what is going on with the settings. In Australia I was really happy until the crash and I recovered very fast, but the bike was not so good. We need to go back to the same setup as last year to see what is going on because finishing 16th is not my real level of performance. It feels like the bike does not ‘listen’ to me.”
Sykes and Laverty take one win each at Assen
Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 28 April 2013 – The eni FIM Superbike World Championship has put in today another great show as riders from four of the five classes battled out for the best positioning in the respective races in front of an enthusiastic crowd (that reached a total of 52.000 spectators over the whole weekend). Blue skies characterised the last day on track for the joy of all riders, starting from Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who was able to set a new lap record for the Superbike class in race 1 and to win by domination ahead of Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) – previous lap record holder from 2010 – and Eugene Laverty.
The Irishman, together with his Aprilia Racing Team crew, found the right set-up adjustments to match Sykes’ pace in Race 2 and thanks to a last-lap manoeuvre was able to snatch victory from today’s pole-sitter.
Tom Sykes got the 6th race win of his career - the 1st of 2013 after a lonely race at the front, thanks to an incredible pace that allowed him to pull away from the chasing pack in the early laps. The 27 year old from Huddersfield has given Kawasaki the first victory after 7 long years: last time out was Chris Walker, in 2006, to win Race 1 on the iconic Dutch circuit.
Tom Sykes: “The bike was working well and was very consistent today. Race one was great for us and we did all we could. To be honest I surprised myself a little but the Ninja ZX-10R is working great. That first race was nice and believe me, to see that pit board gap get bigger every lap is magical for a rider. When Eugene came past me in race two I realised it was much easier to follow than to lead round here and it was just unfortunate that exiting the final chicane on the last lap I hit the kerb on the inside when I was trying to pass him, and I was out of the seat.”
Jonathan Rea finished with a solid 2nd place after a successful overtaking manoeuvre on Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) at Turn 13. Second works Aprilia rider Eugene Laverty was part of the 3-way battle for 2nd place but had some hard time in the last part of the race.
Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) was 5th at the chequered flag ahead of Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia), who was very competitive in the early laps but couldn't keep the pace of the leaders as the race progressed.
BMW’s unlucky race saw Chaz Davies lining-up on the last row of the grid after the warm-up crash that forced his crew to a quick rebuild of his BMW S 1000 RR. The Welshman made his way up to a 7th place finish after a good start. An unfortunate Marco Melandri - who was supported today by six-time World Motocross Champion and close friend Tony Cairoli - suffered a technical problem on his bike during the warm-up lap and was forced to pull in before the start of the race.
Race 1 results: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 22 Laps/99.924 km in 35'35.042 average 168.487 kph; 2. Rea (Honda) 8.786; 3. Guintoli (Aprilia) 8.792; 4. Laverty (Aprilia) 9.225; 5. Baz (Kawasaki) 14.231; 6. Giugliano (Aprilia) 16.150; 7. Davies (BMW) 22.570; 8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 24.751; 9. Camier (Suzuki) 30.311; 10. Checa (Ducati) 35.277; 11. Neukirchner (Ducati) 44.355; 12. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 52.580; 13. Badovini (Ducati) 59.736; 14. Clementi (BMW) 1'02.010; 15. Aitchison (Ducati) 1'21.861; 16. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'25.717; 17. Iannuzzo (BMW) 1'42.710; RT. Melandri (BMW).
A close battle between race 1 winner Tom Sykes and Eugene Laverty, who pulled away at the front in the early laps. Sykes stayed on the lead until lap 19, when Laverty decided to take the plunge and made a move on the Brit at Turn 6. Sykes managed to stay with the Irishman until the end and tried his final shot at the win at Turn 16, with the two riders crossing the line side by side. A 0.089 seconds margin allowed Eugene Laverty to score his 5th career win, the 2nd this year after Phillip Island Race 2.
Eugene Laverty: “The little time we had with a dry track created a few problems in Race 1. In fact, before the second race we made some changes to the RSV4, which we usually don't do because of how risky that is. Actually the changes made worked really well. Despite feeling very comfortable on the bike I didn't think I would have stayed with Sykes. But in the end I was able to keep up with his pace. Four laps from the end I overtook Tom, even pulling away a few metres, but then the wind kept me from being precise so he was able to cling back onto me. Winning today was important. We back in the fight for the championship and we were able to leave the troubles from Aragón behind us.”
Loris Baz successfully defended his 3rd place over Jonathan Rea, who ended on a positive note a difficult round for the Pata Honda Team. A below-par race for Chaz Davies and Sylvain Guintoli, 5th and 6th respectively at the chequered flag.
Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) rode bravely from last place on the grid to a 7th place finish, while his team mate Jules Cluzel was forced to pull in during lap 16 due to a technical problem. Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet) had a perfect start of the race but struggled to keep the pace, eventually finishing 8th ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) and Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare). An unfortunate Davide Giugliano crashed out of Turn 2 during lap 6, while he was in 3rd place. The Italian rider was OK straight after the crash unlike his Aprilia RSV4 that went on fire.
Race 2 results: 1. Laverty (Aprilia) 22 Laps/99.924 km in 35'36.814 average 168.347 kph; 2. Sykes (Kawasaki) 0.089; 3. Baz (Kawasaki) 5.848; 4. Rea (Honda) 5.890; 5. Davies (BMW) 7.359; 6. Guintoli (Aprilia) 7.404; 7. Camier (Suzuki) 21.095; 8. Melandri (BMW) 27.267; 9. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 30.233; 10. Checa (Ducati) 32.401; 11. Badovini (Ducati) 39.924; 12. Neukirchner (Ducati) 43.904; 13. Clementi (BMW) 1'00.169; 14. Sandi (Kawasaki) 1'01.853; 15. Aitchison (Ducati) 1'02.664; RT. Cluzel (Suzuki); RT. Giugliano (Aprilia); RT. Iannuzzo (BMW).
Standings (round 3 of 15): 1. Guintoli 111; 2. Laverty 83; 3. Davies 83; 4. Sykes 83; 5. Rea 63; 6. Baz 58; 7. Fabrizio 53; 8. Melandri 51; 9. Cluzel 41; 10. Giugliano 33; 11. Camier 30; 12. Checa 29; 13. Haslam 29; 14. Neukirchner 29; 15. Badovini 20; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Aprilia 131; 2. BMW 99; 3. Kawasaki 94; 4. Honda 70; 5. Suzuki 52; 6. Ducati 40.
World Supersport - Lowes out-brakes Sofuoglu for the win
After the disappointment of the Aragon round, Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha) and reigning Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) were back at the front for a two-way fight for race win at TT Circuit of Assen. The two riders shared the lead over the course of the 21 laps, but it wasn’t until the last lap that the final battle took place: Sofuoglu overpowered Lowes on the straight that leads to Turn 6, but couldn't do much when Lowes got along the inside of him - entering the last chicane - to cross the line in 1st place.
Championship leader Fabien Foret (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) got an important 3rd place finish despite the 7.2 seconds gap from the lead at the chequered flag. The Frenchman looked strong halfway through the race, closing the gap with the front runners before eventually falling back. Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) got a terrible start of the race from the 11th grid slot, but was able to make his way through the field to a final 4th.
Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki), substitute for injured David Salom, rode a great race finish 5th ahead of Roberto Rolfo (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse), who got his best finish so far in 2013, and Jack Kennedy (Rivamoto Honda), early protagonist of the race before losing a lot of ground.
Race results: 1. Lowes (Yamaha) 21 Laps/95.382 km in 34'51.011 average 164.215 kph; 2. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 0.026; 3. Foret (Kawasaki) 7.228; 4. Vd Mark (Honda) 18.927; 5. Marino (Kawasaki) 19.004; 6. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 19.179; 7. Kennedy (Honda) 19.774; 8. Coghlan (Kawasaki) 22.501; 9. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 28.453; 10. Zanetti (Honda) 29.027; 11. Iddon (MV Agusta) 29.420; 12. Leonov (Yamaha) 34.503; 13. Roccoli (Yamaha) 35.421; 14. Russo (Kawasaki) 35.486; 15. Ivanov (Kawasaki) 37.003; etc.
Standings (round 3 of 14): 1. Foret 54; 2. Vd Mark 49; 3. Lowes 45; 4. Sofuoglu 45; 5. Antonelli 29; 6. Scassa 26; 7. Zanetti 24; 8. Kennedy 24; 9. Rolfo 17; 10. Roccoli 14; 11. Russo 13; 12. Leonov 12; 13. Marino 11; 14. Salom 11; 15. Coghlan 11. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 70; 2. Yamaha 53; 3. Honda 49; 4. MV Agusta 17; 5. Suzuki 4.
A final lap thrilling battle saw Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team Ducati) getting a close victory on the finish line by just 0.023 seconds over defending Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet).
The two riders had an incredible last lap, that started with La Marra closing the small gap to the front and waiting for the right time to overtake: the Italian rider made a successful move at Turn 13 but Barrier was ready to counter-attack entering the last chicane. Because of his last attempt for the win, the Frenchman was forced to take a different line on the kerb and couldn't get up to speed on the exit, so the two rode side by side to the chequered flag, followed by 3rd place Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Ducati).
That's the 2nd career win for La Marra, 2012 STK1000 runner-up, who is now second in the standings behind Championship leader Barrier and tied up in points with team mate Canepa. Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) got the better in the end of Jeremy Guarnoni to eventually finish 4th ahead of the MRS Kawasaki rider.
Race results: 1. La Marra (Ducati) 13 Laps/59.046 km in 21'35.907 average 164.028 kph; 2. Barrier (BMW) 0.023; 3. Canepa (Ducati) 0.106; 4. Mercado (Kawasaki) 5.638; 5. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 5.768; 6. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 9.387; 7. Jezek (Ducati) 15.320; 8. Savadori (Kawasaki) 15.745; 9. Bergman (Kawasaki) 20.564; 10. Bussolotti (BMW) 21.238; 11. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 32.883; 12. Walraven (Suzuki) 38.314; 13. Moser (Ducati) 43.213; 14. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 49.582; 15. Suchet (Honda) 53.599; etc.
Standings (round 2 of 10): 1. Barrier 45; 2. La Marra 36; 3. Canepa 36; 4. Mercado 29; 5. Guarnoni 24; 6. Lanusse 20; 7. Jezek 18; 8. Bussolotti 14; 9. Savadori 8; 10. Bergman 7; 11. Ferrer 7; 12. Gildenhuys 6; 13. Andreozzi 6; 14. Lussiana 5; 15. McFadden 5. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 45; 2. BMW 45; 3. Kawasaki 29; 4. Honda 6; 5. Suzuki 5.
European Junior Cup
Local wildcard rider Bo Bendsneijder took a popular victory in the second round of the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda at Assen this afternoon.
As in Aragon, the leading positions changed too quickly to keep track of, with Bendsneijder, who had started 2nd place on the grid, fending off a number of attacks from Guillaume Raymond (Activbike), Adrien Pittet (Swisscare), Michael Canducci (Colors Experience) and Kevin Manfredi (Newton Trasformatori) who all took turns to lead on the final lap.
In the run to the flag it was Augusto Fernandez (DS Junior Team) who proved the biggest challenger as both he and Bendsneijder appeared to cross the line side by side. The photo finish gave the victory to the Dutch rider with Fernandez an impressive second. Italian Michael Canducci claimed his second podium placing in as many races with 3rd while Peter Sebastyen (World Management) from Hungary rode well to take 4th at the flag from Kevin Manfredi and pole-sitter Guillaume Raymond.
Race results: 1. Bendsneijder 10 Laps/45.420 km in 19'55.516 average 136.771 kph; 2. Fernandez 0.006; 3. Canducci 0.710; 4. Sebestyen 0.745; 5. Manfredi 0.907; 6. Raymond 0.979; 7. Pittet 1.199; 8. Anne 1.470; 9. Orellana 1.517; 10. Fernandez 1.660; 11. Mykhalchyk 1.866; 12. Filippini 7.168; 13. Harland 17.343; 14. Flitcroft 21.072; 15. Aranda 21.153; etc.
Standings (round 2 of 8): 1. Canducci 32; 2. Bendsneijder 25; 3. Lewis 25; 4. Raymond 23; 5. Sebestyen 21; 6. Fernandez 20; 7. Arenas 20; 8. Manfredi 18; 9. Fernandez 17; 10. Anne 13; 11. Mykhalchyk 11; 12. Levy 10; 13. Pittet 9; 14. Rusmiputro 9; 15. Orellana 9.
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship will be back in action for Round 4 on May 10-12 at the iconic Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale.
Dutch wildcard snatches dramatic Assen win
Local wildcard rider Bo Bendsneijder took a popular but narrow win in the second round of the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda Racing, at Assen in the Netherlands this afternoon. The Dutch rider’s margin of victory over second-placed Augusto Fernandez from Spain was just 0.006s.
As in the opening round at Aragon in Spain two weeks ago, when the winning margin was just 0.003s, the leading positions changed constantly, with Bendsneijder fending off a number of attacks from Guillaume Raymond, Adrien Pittet, Michael Canducci and Kevin Manfredi who all took turns to lead on the final lap.
In the run to the flag it was Fernandez who proved the biggest challenger as both he and Bendsneijder appeared to cross the line side by side, with the first six riders covered by less than a second.
Behind the first two, Italian Michael Canducci claimed his second podium placing in as many races with third, while Peter Sebastyen from Hungary rode well to take fourth at the flag from Italian Manfredi and pole-sitter Raymond from France.
Adrien Pittet was seventh, Robin Anne eighth, Javier Orellana ninth and Illan Fernandez who set the fastest lap of the race finishing in tenth position. Ilya Mykhalchyk was 11th, less than two seconds from the victory while Riccardo Filippini was a lonely 12th.
Josh Harland was the top British finisher in 14th ahead of compatriot James Flitcroft while Spain’s Miguel Aranda completed the points finishers. Round one winner Jake Lewis from New Zealand was an early faller as was Jesper Hubner, both unhurt and ready to battle again in Monza. Sabrina Paiuta and Ali Adriansyah Rusmiputro suffered technical issues while Andrea Zanella retired with a handful of laps remaining.
With Honda’s new CBR500R machines making the Pata European Junior Cup one of the most wide open championships within the World Superbike paddock in 2013, round three at the high speed circuit of Monza will be a race not to be missed.