2014 Assen World Superbike Preview Press Releases

Press release previews from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's races at Assen:

Assen welcomes WSBK for Round 3

Barcelona (Spain), Tuesday 22 April 2014 - Since 1992 the TT Circuit Assen has been part of the World Superbike calendar and it is currently the second most visited venue in the history of the series after Phillip Island. Also known as the Circuit van Drenthe, it is one of the oldest permanent racetracks in Europe. Since the opening in 1926 it has been subject to several modifications, with the current layout featuring six left handers, eleven right handers and a 300m long start/finish straight.

After raising the bar in the second round of the season, the Kawasaki Racing Team hopes to keep the momentum going. The dominant performance by KRT duo Tom Sykes and Loris Baz at Aragon had a significant impact on the points situation, leaving only Aprilia Racing Team’s Sylvain Guintoli within close range. The Frenchman is 11 points shy of the man in the lead Tom Sykes, whilst other works Aprilia rider Melandri lies fourth in the standings with a 26 point gap. The Italian rider is followed closely by Pata Honda’s Jonathan Rea (27) and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty (29).

Rea approaches the team’s home round with renewed confidence after the solid results achieved so far aboard his CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. The Ulsterman is the current WSBK active rider with the most wins at Assen – four, including a double taken in 2010.

Laverty climbed on the top step of the podium at Assen for the first time last year, as he got the better of race 1 winner Sykes after a masterful display of riding and determination. He and his team mate Alex Lowes are hoping to make the most of a more suitable track for their GSX-R machines, likewise Ducati Superbike Team duo Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, who did not fulfil their own expectations last time out at Aragon.

MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport and Team Hero EBR continue their learning curve within the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, aiming to narrow the gap to the other manufacturers during the third round of the season.

Leon Camier will again replace injured Sylvain Barrier for the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team. The Brit crossed the line in the first race at MotorLand Aragon as the best placed EVO rider (12th overall) and finished behind David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) in race 2.

Following a positive debut in Spain, Bimota Alstare pairing of Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon will get in the mix again to challenge the rest the EVO field.

Standings (Round 2 of 13): 1. Sykes 75; 2. Baz 71; 3. Guintoli 64; 4. Melandri 49; 5. Rea 48; 6. Laverty 46; 7. Giugliano 43; 8. Davies 30; 9. Haslam 25; 10. Elias 23; 11. Salom 22; 12. Canepa 16; 13. Lowes 9; 14. Foret 9; 15. Camier 8; 16. Morais 7; 17. Allerton 6; 18. Guarnoni 4; 19. Corti 3; 20. Scassa 2. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 81; 2. Aprilia 71; 3. Suzuki 49; 4. Honda 48; 5. Ducati 48; 6. BMW 14; 7. MV Agusta 3.

World Supersport

The Assen TT Circuit has witnessed many spectacular battles for the win in the Supersport World Championship, the last of which happened in 2013, when reigning Champion Sam Lowes edged out Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) at the finish line for only 38 thousandths of a second.

After the DNF in the opening race at Phillip Island, three time WSS Champion was back on top of the podium at Aragon. Sofuoglu found himself in the lead after the collision occurred to Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) and Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC – Yakhnich Motorsport), eventually crossing the line the race winner ahead of Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki).

Local rider van der Mark is looking forward to a strong performance in front of his home crowd, hoping as well to achieve his first race win in the Supersport World Championship.

Coghlan, who was able to claim a fifth place in Spain despite the unfortunate crash, currently heads a tight title race that sees Marino just two points behind in second, whilst Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda), Sofuoglu and Cluzel are six points shy of the leader.

Standings (Round 2 of 12): 1. Coghlan 31; 2. Marino 29; 3. De Rosa 26; 4. Sofuoglu 25; 5. Cluzel 25; 6. Vd Mark 20; 7. Tamburini 20; 8. Zanetti 13; 9. Gamarino 13; 10. Wahr 10; 11. Gowland 9; 12. Rolfo 9; 13. Leonov 8; 14. Russo 8; 15. Menghi 8; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 38; 2. Honda 36; 3. MV Agusta 33; 4. Yamaha 31; 5. Triumph 9.

Superstock 1000

The FIM Superstock 1000 Cup riders are heading to the Assen TT Circuit for the second round of the season. Barni Racing Team’s Leandro Mercado dominated the first racing weekend of 2014 at MotorLand Aragon by achieving both pole position and race win, as well as recording the fastest lap of the race.

The Argentinean rider hopes for a repeat performance on the Dutch track, on which he was fourth last year, given also that in 2013 two of the three podium positions were taken by Barni Racing riders, with La Marra winner and Canepa third placed.

Mercado’s team mate Ondrej Jezek is keen on turning the page on an unlucky opening race and likewise EAB Racing Team’s Fabio Massei he hopes to show his abilities on the full race distance. Second place at Aragon Lorenzo Savadori (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) is aiming to give Mercado a harder time at Assen, whilst Kyle Smith (Agro-on Wil Racedays Honda) would love nothing more than another podium finish after his positive STK1000 debut race in Spain.

Standings (Round 1 of 7): 1. Mercado 25; 2. Savadori 20; 3. Smith 16; 4. Bergman 13; 5. D'Annunzio 11; 6. Lussiana 10; 7. Grotzkyj G. 9; 8. McFadden 8; 9. Valk 7; 10. Lanusse 6; 11. Day 5; 12. Castellarin 4; 13. Pagaud 3; 14. Suchet 2; 15. Schacht 1. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 25; 2. Kawasaki 20; 3. Honda 16; 4. BMW 11.

Superstock 600

Marco Faccani and Andrea Tucci started off well their rookie campaign in the FIM Europe Superstock 600 Championship by scoring a sensational one-two in the opening race of the season at MotorLand Aragon.

The San Carlo Team Italia duo, representing the Italian Motorcycling Federation in the series, are looking strong for the second event of the season at Assen, home round for Aragon’s third place finisher Wayne Tessels (Wayne Racing Team Suzuki).

The 20 year old Dutchman, who is currently contesting his second year in the series, fiercely challenged Tucci for the second place in Spain. Finland’s Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing Yamaha) was also in contention for the top 3 and part of the spectacular eight way battle at the front that characterised the early stages of the race.

Standings (Round 1 of 7): 1. Faccani 25; 2. Tucci 20; 3. Tessels 16; 4. Tuuli 13; 5. Mikhalchik 11; 6. Salvadori 10; 7. Casalotti 9; 8. Duwelz 8; 9. Manfredi 7; 10. Nestorovic 6; 11. Lewis 5; 12. Marchal 4; 13. Canducci 3; 14. Zeelen 2; 15. Lahti 1.

European Junior Cup

Spaniard Marc Miralles (Honda Spain) leads the points situation in the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda following the race win scored at Aragon over compatriots Javier Orellana (Europe Food SL) and Mika Perez (Cuna de Campeones). The EJC riders are preparing for another thrilling battle at the TT Circuit Assen, with Dutch full timer Max Van Schoonhoven (vanSchoonhovenracing) hoping to shine in front of his home crowd. The Netherlands will also be represented by wildcard riders Ricardo Brink (RT Racing Support) and Jamie Van Sikkelerus (Vakgarage Akersloot).

Standings (Round 1 of 8): 1. Miralles 25; 2. Orellana 20; 3. Perez 16; 4. Fernandez 13; 5. Fernandez 11; 6. Licciardi 10; 7. Soomer 9; 8. Grassia 8; 9. Hubner 7; 10. Harland 6; 11. London 5; 12. Geissler 4; 13. Wisdom 3; 14. Patterson 2; 15. Zhu 1.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki looks for a return to form at ‘The Cathedral of Speed’

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki returns to the iconic Assen TT Circuit in The Netherlands this week for the third round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship hoping to strengthen its current third place in the manufacturer standings.

Eugene Laverty is hoping to capitalise on the progress made so far with the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R after his gripping comeback performance last time out at Motorland Aragon in Spain; clinching fifth and sixth places after early-lap incidents relegated him to the mid-pack in both races. Laverty has a strong history at the Dutch track, with a front row start and race two win on his last visit and a podium spot the year before, and the Irishman is confident he can run at the front astride his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki.

Alex Lowes has equally strong memories of the circuit known as ‘The Cathedral’ having taken both pole position and a dramatic race one victory here last year on his way to clinching the British Superbike Championship. Lowes is looking forward to strengthening his rookie campaign as part of the British-based World Superbike team with his first visit to a circuit he knows well, and continuing his education aboard the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

With historical links dating back to the first Dutch Tourist Trophy in 1925, the remodelled and renamed Assen TT Circuit has been a favourite on the World Superbike calendar since 1992. Located just outside the Drenthe province’s capital city, to the northeast of The Netherlands, Assen’s iconic track was further redesigned in 2006. Now measuring 4,542m, the famously fast and flowing circuit has 17 high-speed and heavily-cambered corners – six left-hand and eleven rights– providing some of the most exciting racing at world-class level and attracting a strong and passionate crowd year-on-year.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki will take to the track on Friday morning for the first of three timed-for-qualifying free practice sessions ahead of Saturday afternoon’s Superpole shoot-out. Sunday’s two races will run at 10:30hrs local time (09:30BST) and 13:10hrs local time (12:10BST).

Eugene Laverty:

“I knew that Aragon was going to be a difficult circuit for us but I'm confident that the next three circuits will suit the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R better. Assen is a fantastic track and very enjoyable to ride. My aim is to climb back onto that rostrum again as soon as possible and I feel optimistic ahead of Assen. We're working hard to improve our package and we certainly gained more knowledge about the GSX-R at the previous round. If there's one positive to be taken from a difficult weekend then it's the vital lessons learned.”

Alex Lowes:

“I’m really looking forward to Assen this weekend. It’s the first track on the World Superbike calendar that I have raced at previously so it will give me a great opportunity to get to grips with the Suzuki GSX-R at a circuit I know well. I’ve been training hard as usual and I’m feeling good, so I’m raring to go for the third round.”

Pata Honda looks for another step at Assen

Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam are eager to take another step forward with the development of their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines this weekend (25-27 April) as the World Superbike championship heads to Assen in the Netherlands for round three of the 2014 series.

Both British riders, who took part in their Ten Kate team's workshop and dealership 'Pitstop Day' last Saturday, have enjoyed success at the 4.542km Dutch circuit in the past – Haslam with three podium finishes, including a double in 2009 during his previous stint on Honda machinery.

Rea has taken four World Superbike victories at Assen since 2010, together with a further two podium finishes. The 27-year-old has been on the rostrum at least once in each of the last four seasons.

The Pata Honda team heads to its home race at Assen – the circuit is just 70km from the team’s base in Nieuwleusen – in positive mood. Both Rea and Haslam enjoyed developments in the performance of their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines last time out at Aragon in Spain two weeks ago.

Improvements to both chassis settings and throttle opening, together with refinements to the Fireblade's traction control allowed Rea to take his 34th career WSBK podium in race one at Aragon. He followed that up with a fifth place in race two, while his Pata Honda team-mate Haslam scored two top ten finishes.

Jonathan Rea

I’m really looking forward to riding at Assen this weekend because it’s a circuit that I really enjoy. There are lots of passing places and there’s usually a fast group at the front, which I hope to be a part of. I’ve spent quite a bit of time there with my team over the years, and done quite a few laps developing the bike, so I hope we can get it dialled in quite quickly this weekend. Of course, a lot of that will depend on the weather because, although we’re at the end of April, it can still be unpredictable, so we’ll have to work on both wet and dry settings so we can aim for two good results. We’ve had a solid start to the season, with top five finishes and a podium at Aragon, so we’ll try to carry that momentum into the Assen weekend. There’s always a fantastic atmosphere there as it’s the team’s home race and we had another amazing Pitstop Day at the workshop last Saturday with a record crowd. It’s a perfect way to set up for the weekend.

Leon Haslam

We’ve had a really good week in Holland. Me and Johnny got some cycling in and we had a great Pitstop Day last weekend, which was as busy as I’ve seen it. I can’t wait to get to Assen – I love riding there and we’ve made some good progress with the bike recently. We had some issues setting up the bike in Aragon but that was more us than the bike, I think, and we got some OK results, even though I don’t like that place really. Hopefully, we can move things on again at Assen, which I really do like riding. We haven’t really tested the new bike in any wet weather yet but, looking at the forecast, we might get a chance to this weekend. The injury that I picked up in the practice crash last year was a bit of a freak really, so my confidence hasn’t been affected – even in t he wet. I’m not going to be running any marathons, but I can now ride the bike how I want to and there are no physical problems.

Pieter Breddels

The forecast is not looking so good for the weekend at Assen, but Jonathan certainly had a good feeling with the bike during some wet weather we had at the recent Jerez test. The whole team made a good step forward at Aragon and we certainly have some plans to help to get Leon back to the front, which is where he deserves to be. He likes Assen, too, and it’s traditionally been a good circuit for the Fireblade. We are all really looking forward to the team’s home race, so bring it on – rain or shine!

The Ducati Superbike Team ready to face its next challenge in The Netherlands

Borgo Panigale (Italy), Tuesday 22 April 2014 – the historic TT Circuit of Assen is the next destination for the World Superbikes, and the Ducati Superbike Team is more than ready for the challenge that the Dutch circuit presents.

The TT circuit is one of the ‘temples’ of motorcycle racing and has hosted international competitions since 1925. The Assen track, located in the Drenthe province of The Netherlands, has featured on the Superbike calendar every year since 1992.

Rider Davide Giugliano scored his first ever Superbike podium at the TT circuit, when he finished race 1 in second place in 2012. Chaz Davies’ best result so far was a fifth place finish obtained during the 2013 race weekend. 2011 brought success for both riders, with Davies winning his Supersport race at the Dutch track, while Giugliano scored the win in the Superstock 1000 category.

At this year’s most recent Superbike round, which took place just over a week ago at Motorland Aragón in Spain, Davies closed the day’s first race in fourth place, before scoring the fastest lap of race 2 while Giugliano finished eighth in Race 1, and concluded the day’s second race seventh.

The two Ducati factory riders thus head into this third round of the championship, taking place from 25 to 27 April, in seventh (Giugliano) and eighth (Davies) position in the general standings.

Quotes ahead of the event:

Davide Giugliano – Ducati Superbike Team #34

“Assen is a fantastic circuit that is also very unique. It’s always great to ride there and I have particularly good memories of the place as I took my first Superstock podium there and then also my first Superbike podium, two years ago. Seeing as we’re coming from Aragón where we proved to be fast despite the fact that it’s not an easy track for us, I hope that in Assen we are able to put everything that we have together in order to score some good results.”

Chaz Davies – Ducati Superbike Team #7

“I enjoy racing at Assen despite the fact that I haven’t had the strongest race results there with the Superbikes yet. It should suit the Ducati fairly well though, and I’m quite confident. If we work hard during the sessions we should be in a position to fight for good results on race day. The weather in Assen usually plays a part too, so we’ll have to see what conditions are like and then work to adapt my 1199 Panigale to the track accordingly.”

Van der Mark fired up for home race

The Pata Honda team is preparing for its home race at Assen this weekend (25-27 April) for round three of the 2014 World Supersport championship.

The 4.542km Assen circuit is just 70km north of the team’s Nieuwleusen base in the north of Holland and is one that the team knows well. Assen also marks the home round of Michael van der Mark.

The team’s 21-year-old Dutch rider was born in Gouda near Rotterdam and is in his second season on the Pata Honda CBR600RR. Van der Mark finished second in the last race at Aragon in Spain after a no-score in the opening round, and he finished fourth in the World Supersport race at Assen last year.

His Pata Honda team-mate, Italian rider Lorenzo Zanetti, is also in his second year with the team and took an impressive fourth place at Aragon despite an injured finger, sustained in a qualifying crash at the first round in Australia.

Zanetti has adapted well to Honda’s CBR machine and worked hard in its development during winter testing. The 26-year-old is determined to convert his consistent top five finishes into podiums.

Michael van der Mark

Although it’s a big race for both me and the team, the approach is just the same. There’s only one thing to do, and that is to go as fast as possible! Of course, there is some more activity – it’s a busier event for me and my crew, but I have to put those things to one side and concentrate on the job. I was very happy to score some points in Aragon after crashing at Phillip Island, so I come to Assen with the confidence that gives. The CBR felt really good in Spain and we have been able to improve it a lot. The team has so much experience at Assen, I’m sure the bike will be ready to go like me on Friday morning.

Lorenzo Zanetti

Assen is a special race because it is my second home race. It is my team's home round so there is always a lot of pressure there but that is also OK because I like to ride with pressure. Assen is a very special track but last year I did not finish so well, I think in tenth place, but this year I have more confidence on the bike and the team has worked hard all winter. We had a good result in Aragon and I want to fight for a good position all weekend in Assen and go for a podium. My finger injury has not yet had time to come back to 100% and in Aragon it was painful when I was riding the bike. The season is very competitive and there are many riders and bikes in it this year, which is good for the spectators. Also for us, because when you are fighting with a lot of riders it is exciting.

Pieter Breddels

Of course, it’s an important race for us as a team and it’s always nice for friends and family to come and see what we get up to the rest of the year! For Michael, too, it’ll be a weekend that’s busier than normal but we’ll give him a bike to do the job. He had a good result at Aragon and we need to maintain that momentum now. In spite of his injury, Lorenzo also performed well in Spain and I believe he can fight for podium positions regularly.



Noale, 23 April 2013 - The World Championship for factory derivative bikes will take on the TT Circuit at Assen this weekend, an historic track that hosts the third round of WSBK 2014. The setting of epic battles as well as a Mecca for thousands of fans who flock to the track throughout the weekend, the University of motorcycling has always provided a great show with races that have often come down to the wire under the chequered flag. There is also another unknown factor, the weather, which seems destined to play a key role again this year.

For the Aprilia Racing riders the third round of the season represents an important crossroads. After the excellent start in Australia with a win and two podiums, Aragon was the scene of some ups and downs which had some positive aspects in the second race where Melandri battled for victory down to the last turn: Assen will therefore be fundamental in confirming the competitiveness of Melandri and Guintoli.

At Aragon Marco Melandri, in his first year astride the RSV4, showed that he has the grit and tenacity he needs to ride to the top step of the podium. On a technical and flowing track like the Dutch one the Italian rider's experience could well make the difference.

Marco Melandri: "Assen is a unique track and coming here after a round like Aragon really motivates me and makes me want to get even better. I hope the weather isn't too unpredictable and I hope to qualify well because overtaking at Assen is not a simple matter. In any case my Aprilia RSV4 will be up to the task and I can't wait to get back on the track".

For Sylvain Guintoli Assen is a special track where he took his first championship podium (in the 250 class with Aprilia) in 2003. After his placings in Aragon, which keep him on the respectable end of the standings but which did not satisfy the French rider, a podium finish will be Sylvain's minimum objective at Assen.

Sylvain Guintoli: "We had a tough time in Aragon but it's in those moments that you fight and learn to get better. The next track is a special place for me. I had my first world stage podium in 250 with Aprilia back in 2003 and my first WSBK victory two years ago. I’m looking forward to racing in Assen, a great track that produces great racing”.

Team Althea Racing – Assen Superbike preview

The third official World Superbike Championship races will be held at the Dutch TT-Assen circuit in The Netherlands, from April 25-27, 2014. The legendary Circuit van Drenthe is a motorsport race track built in 1955 and is considered "the Cathedral" of motorcycling by the fans. It has a capacity of 100,000 spectators, including 60,000 seats. The current track has a length of 4,542 meters and the longest straight is 560 meters.

The first two rounds of the Superbike World championship have proved very positive for the Althea Racing team. The team’s rider, Niccolò Canepa, who has dominated in qualifying while suffering a few problems in the races, lies in second position in the Evo standings, just six points from leader Salom. A good result, considering that Aragon is certainly not a favourable track for the Ducati 1199 Panigale. Team Althea Racing is ready for the third round at Assen and aims to confirm its position at the head of its category.

Niccolò Canepa: “We’re finally racing at a track that is better suited to our bike. I really like the Assen track and have great memories of the place, having made my debut in an international race there in 2005. I’m very motivated because we went really well at Motorland Aragon and were able to find that constancy that was missing in Australia. The unknown will be, as ever, the weather. The Ducati generally goes well in wet conditions, although I haven’t yet had chance to test my Panigale Evo in the rain.”

World Supersport Returns to Assen with Yamaha on Top

The World Supersport Championship moves to The Netherlands this week and heads to the iconic TT Circuit Assen for round three of the 2014 championship.

DMC-Panavto Yamaha rider Kev Coghlan arrives at ‘The Cathedral’ leading the standings with a total of 31 points after the first two rounds. The Yamaha YZF-R6 began the season as it finished the last, fighting the front, with Coghlan taking the first podium of the year with second at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia.

The 25yr old Scottish rider then moved to round two in Aragon and had looked threatening to take his first race win of the year from pole position until a collision with following rider Jules Cluzel lost valuable time. Coghlan was able to remount and continue and took fifth, saving enough points to take the lead in the championship ahead of this weekend’s action.

First used in 1926 as a road course, the TT Assen circuit is one of the oldest tracks in Europe. It has undergone many changes in its history, the current modern track layout featuring six left-handers, eleven right-handers and a 300m long start/finish straight.

The DMC Panavto Yamaha team is using the YZF-R6 for the first time in the World Supersport Championship this year but is no stranger to the brand as Panavto is the official distributor for Yamaha in the Ukraine.

Superstock 600 - San Carlo Team Italia hits the famous Assen TT Circuit for the second round of the season

Marco Faccani and Andrea Tucci in Holland after the sensational debut in Aragon

After kicking off the 2014 season with a first and second place in Spain by Marco Faccani and Andrea Tucci respectively, San Carlo Team Italia is ready to face the second round of the European Superstock 600 championship in Assen.

Marco Faccani, after taking pole position, fastest lap and victory in the season opener, will take to the track in Holland as the championship leader and is eager to repeat the feat on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R #5.

Andrea Tucci, on the other hand, was second in Alcañiz after a sensational race, during which he showed his talent and grit with a strong comeback and a series of overtakes that certainly did not go by unnoticed.

Cristiano Migliorati (Sporting Director - San Carlo Team Italia STK600)

"We will obviously head to Assen to keep up the momentum after the sensational debut in Aragon. But, we will tackle the week-end with the usual humble approach. It won't certainly be easy to score another one-two finish. Marco and Andrea don't know the track, and they will try to shake off this disadvantage from the very first free practice session on Friday. Moreover, Team Italia has not a favorable record at the TT Circuit, but everyone on the team is determined to turn the tide with a strong finish during the race on Saturday".

Supersport World Championship

Besides the second round of the European Stock 600 championship, the TT Circuit in Assen will host the third round of the 2014 Supersport World Championship. Doubling its commitment with the addition of Alessandro Nocco next to Roberto Tamburini, San Carlo Puccetti Racing aims at giving further continuity to the results obtained so far in the season. Tamburini was seventh during the race in Aragon and occupies the same position in the rankings. For him, the goal is to conquer points and get closer to the first group. After his maiden race in the category in Spain, European Stock 600 runner-up Nocco will have one more chance to improve his feeling with the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and further his growth in the world stage.

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