2017 Assen World Superbike Saturday Press Releases

Press releases issued by the organizers and teams after WorldSBK race 1, and WorldSSP qualifying at Assen:

Rea takes the victory in Assen showdown

Drama, heartbreak and domination the theme on day two in The Netherlands

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) took a clear victory in Race 1 at the Acerbis Dutch Round on Saturday, after a long battle with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) ended in a frustrating DNF for the Welshman who pulled up at the end of the penultimate lap. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) crossed the line in second place, ahead of Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) who completed the rostrum places.

Rea had started in fourth place on the grid, having initially been on pole but being moved back three places to the head of row two due to a penalty, following a clash with Davies at the end of SP2. Davies then went on to lead for most of the race before Rea took over in the final stages and then the Ducati rider pulled off track due to a technical issue just before the start of the final lap.

Davies’ misfortune saw Sykes take a lonely second, the Yorkshireman crossing the finish line 4.5s behind Rea and 13 seconds in front of third placed Melandri. It was a good performance by Sykes considering his recent issues with a stomach illness.

Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) produced another solid result in fourth place on his Ducati Panigale R, his highest finish so far in 2017. An excellent ride by Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) to fifth on his return to action also gave him his best result of the season to date.

There were also season-best results for Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) in sixth and seventh respectively. Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Leandro Mercado (IODARacing) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) completed the top ten.

There was frustration for Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) who ran long on the first corner and then crashed out of his home race at turn 5 early on. That was before his teammate Alex Lowes went down at turn 10 midrace to make it a difficult day for Yamaha.

Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) were both unable to finish due to technical problems.

The WorldSBK riders will be back on track at Round 4 on Sunday for Race 2 at 1pm local time.

1st - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)

“I’m really happy, I’ve had so many questions over the weekend asking why I’ve won so many here and I don’t know why. It’s just a circuit I really like, it suits my riding style a bit and to make it happen here again is great."

2nd - Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)

"I am happy with today considering where I was on Tuesday afternoon, to be second here to Jonathan is not too bad - OK I was gifted it but I had some limitations today. I think tomorrow we need to improve, overall we're collecting as many points as we can and were close to a good set-up."

3rd - Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati)

"For sure the podium here was impossible to get until this morning and my speed this morning was not good enough for top five, but then in Superpole and the feeling was back, and then in the beginning of the lap my pace was ok but not enough to stay with the front guys. Fourth for me was ok here in Assen."

Rea Wins As Ninja ZX-10RR Goes 1-2

In the opening 21-lap Superbike World Championship race of the Assen weekend Jonathan Rea scored the win and his KRT team-mate Tom Sykes took second place, results which put them 1-2 at the head of the championship rankings.

In cool but dry and bright conditions Sykes from the front row and Rea from the second row both made clean starts, with fellow-championship challenger Chaz Davies doing most of the early front-running. Rea set a new lap record, over a second faster then the previous one, on lap three, with a 1’34.880 as he caught up to Davies.

The race was evidently going to be contested by three riders, as Davies and Rea headed up Sykes, who moved closer and further behind in his third position, only losing contact for the possible win in the latter stages.

Rea had passed Davies, only to be re-passed, close to the end, but on the approach to the last two laps Jonathan’s burst to the front would be a final one, as Davies was forced to slow and then stop at the trackside. Tom therefore took second place, with Marco Melandri taking over third spot in a dramatic final act to what had already been a dramatic day for the KRT squad in some regards.

In Superpole 2, held shortly before race one, Rea set a new track best for the Superbike class with a 1’33.505. Jonathan was demoted to fourth place on the grid after it was judged he had impeded the progress of a rival while he had been setting a fast lap. Jonathan remained on pole statistically but Tom took over pole position on the grid, with Jonathan finally starting from fourth spot in a race he would ultimately go on to win.

This 1-2 for the Ninja ZX-10RR ensures that Kawasaki still leads the manufacturers’ Championship, this time by 33 points after seven races.

Rea, in taking his sixth race win of 2017 secured his tenth win at Assen across his career, five of them on Kawasaki machinery.

In the championship, before race two at Assen, Jonathan has 170 points and Tom is second overall with 111. Race two takes place on Sunday 30th April, with the 21-lap race scheduled for a 1pm start again.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “That one was really nice because the more wins you get on a certain track the more pressure you feel to repeat it. I am not sure why I click so well with Assen but it seems to be working. It seems like our bike was working very well in the faster sections of the track, and Chaz was fast out of T5 in acceleration. I could maintain the lap time as we were to-ing and fro-ing at certain parts of the track, but I was strong in the back section, where it counts for passes. I had good pace at the end and I wanted to go through then and make a gap. But every time I put my nose in front there was a big block pass into the last corner. It was, honestly, very unfortunate for Chaz at the end and it is never a good way to lose points. But it was important for me that that bad luck happened to him when he was behind me because at that point of the race I was trying to make my rhythm and go away.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “Obviously I did not feel 100% fit but that is no excuse. On the bike we just had some limitations for the set-up in this race. I think that tomorrow we can make a change in set-up and be stronger. Realistically we need to close in by about three seconds and I feel this is possible, taking all things into consideration. I was struggling at the end today not because the tyres had given their best or anything like that but, it was just that in two fast areas of the track I was struggling with feedback. In the beginning of the race I dropped back but I could keep up a good pace and got back up with the leaders again. Whatever I did, I just lost it again in the faster section of the track. That was just about confidence, so I feel we can improve.”

Third place for Melandri in Race 1 at Assen, Davies forced to retire while he was fighting for the win

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team stepped once again on the podium in Race 1 of the WorldSBK Championship at Assen thanks to Marco Melandri’s third-place finish. Chaz Davies, on the other hand, suffered a bitter ending to his quest as he was forced to retire during the second-to-last lap when he was in second position, and well within reach of another win, due to a technical problem.

Starting respectively in second and fifth position, both Davies and Melandri had a strong start off the blocks, settling in first and fourth place. Davies then dictated the pace at the top, followed by Rea and Sykes, while Melandri struggled a bit more and progressively lost contact with the leading group.

With three laps to go, Davies and Rea started yet another thrilling battle, with several lead changes, but the Welshman was eventually forced to retire during lap 20 due to an electrical problem. Melandri instead crossed the finish line in third position.

The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will resume action tomorrow at 09:30 (CET) for WUP. Race 2 is scheduled to start at 13:00. Due to the new grid regulations for Race 2, Melandri and Davies will start in 8th and 10th position respectively.

Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #33) – 3rd

“Until this morning, I wouldn’t have expected to finish on the podium. We struggled also in FP3, and even a top-five finish wouldn’t have been easy at that point, but the team did a great job and turned things around before Superpole, allowing me to regain the feeling with the bike. At the start of the race we were quite fast, but then our pace wasn’t strong enough to stay with the top three, so I opted not to take too many risks. I’m sorry for Chaz, he was really unlucky, but I'm also happy for our result. We’ll try to improve tomorrow. The conditions here were really different compared with the races held so far, the bike was moving a lot and we couldn’t find the necessary consistency with the front over the race distance, but we’ll analyze the data to make another step forward for Race 2.”

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – DNF

“It was a good race. I got into my rhythm at the front and the pace was strong, especially in the early laps. Still, we struggled a bit in a couple of areas and I didn’t want to make a mistake, so I tried to boil it down to a last-lap fight but unfortunately we were cut one lap short. It’s pretty disappointing because, even without knowing how it would have turned out, I think it would have been a spicy last lap to watch. That said, it was a good race until then. We need to make some small but important changes overnight and hopefully we’ll be able to battle for the win again tomorrow in Race 2 and make it one lap further.”

Ernesto Marinelli, WorldSBK Project Director

“We’re deeply sorry for what happened to Chaz while he was fighting for the win. He rode a great race, and we couldn’t have asked for more. It was a huge blow for all of us, but we want to react promptly in order to bounce back tomorrow in Race 2. On the other hand, we’re happy for Marco, who solved most of the issues he encountered during practice and stepped on the podium once again. We still have some details to iron out and, to this end, we’ll try to make the most of tomorrow’s warm-up session.”

Milwaukee Aprilia score double points finish in Race 1 at Assen

TT Circuit Assen 29 / 04 / 2017

Milwaukee Aprilia demonstrated on Saturday the progress they have made after strong showings in Superpole and Race 1 at Assen

After the team's best Superpole session of the year saw them start in 3rd and 6th place respectively, Lorenzo and Eugene made quick getaways from the grid at a sunny TT Circuit Assen.

Battling with the Ducati of Xavi Fores and Yamaha of Alex Lowes for much of the race, both riders showed their mettle as they lapped consistently and forced some impressive passes on their competitors. Although they had to manage separate technical issues towards the end of the race, Lorenzo and Eugene brought their RSV4 RFs home in 5th and 8th positions to rack up yet another double points finish for Milwaukee Aprilia.

In what has so far proved to be a highly competitive WorldSBK season the team are looking to further demonstrate their progress in 2017. With a first and second row start for the riders on Sunday, the team are hopeful of another strong showing at the high-end of the points.

The action continues at #DutchWorldSBK with Race 2 at 13:00 (local time) at TT Circuit Assen

Keep up with Milwaukee Aprilia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as they contest the 2017 WorldSBK Championship.

Mick Shanley, Team Manager

We had a positive day today at Milwaukee Aprilia, and we’ve clearly made steps forward since the previous round and test at Aragon which have allowed us to be more competitive here.

Qualifying 3rd and 6th [Lorenzo and Eugene respectively] was a big improvement. We struggled a little to fully deliver on those positions in the race, but both riders finished well within the points which was encouraging.

There’s a few issues with tyre wear we need to manage tonight so that we can be stronger in Race 2, but with another first and second row start tomorrow there are lots of positives for the team to take from today.

Lorenzo Savadori #32

Grid: P3 Race: P5, 11 points

It was a good race for us today, and good for me because I haven’t raced since Thailand last month. I was happy with the qualifying we did, and the front row was a good place to be.

I pushed hard at the beginning of the race and made a good gap to the guys behind me, but then I started to have problems with rear grip and lost some positions. I still made some quick laps though and 5th was a good finish.

I need to look at the data with my crew chief and engineers tonight to see where we can improve. There is another warm up session tomorrow though so we still have time to test and find some speed, because for sure we can be quicker.

Eugene Laverty #50

Grid: P6 Race: P8, 8 points

So far it’s been a really positive weekend, much better than the previous three rounds. Practice went well and qualifying on the second row was a big boost for us after we’d worked so hard.

In the race I was able to have some good battles with the guys around me, and the bike was performing pretty well for me. It was a shame that the front tyre went off towards the end though, and we had a mechanical issue which held us back.

The feeling on the bike is much better now, but we need to get on top of the front tyre issues we had because things like that can hurt us in the race. We still have a top five finish in our sights and that’s really where we should be right now.

Top-6 result for Stefan Bradl in race one at Assen

Dutch Round

TT Circuit Assen, Netherlands

The opening race for the Dutch Round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship was contested at the TT Circuit in Assen, with Stefan Bradl crossing the line in sixth position at the end of a thrilling and eventful 21-lap encounter. Stefan will start tomorrow’s second race from the front row of the grid, third spot. His Red Bull Honda World Superbike team mate Nicky Hayden was 14th at the chequered flag after a solid performance in the central part of the race.

Bradl got a great launch from 16th place on the grid and was already up to ninth place after few corners into the race. The 27-year-old German put up a great battle on board his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machine as he stayed in contention for a top-8 result up to the latter stages of the encounter, while keeping a consistent pace around the 4.542 Km fast-flowing venue. In the last two laps, Bradl moved up two more positions to score his so-far personal best result in the Superbike World Championship.

After a great start from tenth place, Nicky was forced wide following a coming together of two of his opponents at turn one and lost a handful of places. As the race progressed, the 35-year-old from Kentucky was able to make up some ground: he ran as high as tenth before having to reduce his pace in the final laps, when the grip level of his softer rear tyre decreased. Hayden will start race two from the thirteenth spot of the grid.

Race two will get underway tomorrow at 13:00 local time (GMT +2) after the traditional 15-minute warm up scheduled at 9:30.

Stefan Bradl 6


I’m quite happy with today’s race: it was an important result for me, the team and everyone involved. It all came quite unexpectedly if I’m honest, especially after all the difficulties we’ve had this weekend. Superpole was a bit of a drama so we had to line up 16th on the grid, which obviously didn’t help, but I had a great start and in the first two-three laps I was pushing very hard. I was able to put a bit of a gap between myself and the guys behind me, which helped me to manage the tyres a bit better. I was feeling comfortable out there with the spare bike, which is a good sign, and then towards the end it was all about tyre life, so I was happy that I could keep sixth place up to the line. It’s good to be starting from the front row tomorrow and I hope this will play in our favour for race two.

Nicky Hayden 69


We set up some decent times in qualifying and were able to advance through Superpole 1. It was somehow a useful session after missing FP2 yesterday, because it gave us some extra track-time with race tyres. I made a very good start to the race: I’m not sure what happened to Michael (van der Mark), though, but he picked me up and that cost me a lot of positions. I got a few back and I was slowly coming through, but in the end I really had to close the gas, because I really wanted to get to the finish line today. I think we have the potential to go for a much better result tomorrow, so luckily we have another race coming up.

Pieter Breddels

Stefan had a great start to the race from 16th and he rode incredibly well. Sixth is a good result and, although he obviously like to be closer to the front, it’s nevertheless a good sign, especially if we consider how’s the weekend been for him prior to the race. We chose to go with the softer rear-tyre option with Nicky, but unfortunately it didn’t pay off: not only he couldn’t find a quicker pace during the race, but he was also left with very little grip at the end. We will make some changes to the rear suspension of Nicky’s bike with the goal to find some more drive out of corners. With Stefan, we won’t make any radical change, because he felt good on the spare bike and we want to build up from there.

Bad luck strikes Torres and the Althea BMW team in SBK race 1 at Assen

Assen (The Netherlands), Saturday 29 April 2017

The first Superbike race of the Dutch weekend proved tough for the Althea BMW Racing team today at Assen. While Raffaele De Rosa closed thirteenth, Jordi Torres was unable to conclude the race due to a flat tyre.

In STK1000 qualifying, Marco Faccani earned himself fifth position on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Superpole 1: De Rosa was out on track for SP1, lapping first with the race tyre and then with the qualifier. His best lap, set in a time of 1’36.489 in the final seconds, saw him close in eighth position, which translated into a sixth row start for the races.

Superpole 2: In a very hard-fought second SP session, Torres put together a string of fast laps, the best of which was a 1’35.283 with which he scored ninth place on the race grid.

SBK – Race 1: Torres, ninth on the grid, was lapping in tenth place through the first laps. Having passed Bradl on lap eight, the Spaniard then went on to battle with the German and with Savadori, positioning seventh on lap thirteen. Once past Laverty in the final stages, Jordi was on course to cross the line in sixth place today but a flat tyre a few laps from the end unfortunately prevented him from concluding the race.

De Rosa, having made up several positions off the line, was oscillating between thirteenth and fifteenth place for most of the race. The Italian continued to push all the way to the line but, a few seconds from those immediately ahead of him, he had to settle for final thirteenth position.

STK1000 Qualifying: Faccani started the session in the best possible way, moving almost immediately into first position. Continuing to run close to the front throughout the entire session, Marco proved very consistent. A red flag 6 minutes from the end didn’t really affect his performance, and he qualified in fifth position (1’37.262) for tomorrow’s race.

Jordi Torres

“We were very unlucky in the race. In the Superpole we set a good time, though we’re still quite a way from the leaders, and our race pace seemed good through the practices. In the race, I made a good start but, not entirely sure about the tyre, I held back a little to conserve it. Despite this I made good progress and was lying sixth, but then a few laps from the end the rear tyre started to vibrate too much. The problem got worse and I realised I had a puncture, so I had to stop. A pity, because I had been lapping well and could have scored a good result today. We’ll see whether to use a different tyre for tomorrow’s race.”

Raffaele De Rosa

“Considering that this was my first race in several months, I started with the intention of completing as many miles as possible, or rather crossing the finish line. I’m pleased because I was a little more constant than I was in the practices. We’ve scored a few points, which is OK for my first race. The positive thing is that I’ve improved my feeling and my level of confidence in preparation for tomorrow’s race. Step by step I hope to improve, starting from the very next race…”

Marco Faccani

“I finished fifth in the end. I made a good start and was in the top three for most of the session. I’m pleased, even if perhaps I had the potential to be on the front row, I just wasn’t able to exploit the last tyre. Anyway, we’ve done a great job and I thank the team for their work so far. I think can fight for the podium tomorrow, perhaps something more, we’ll see…”

Disappointing Double DNF Ends Race One in Assen for Pata Yamaha


It was a disappointing end to the first day of racing for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team in Assen today. The first race of the Dutch round of the 2017 FIM Superbike World Championship came to an early end for both Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes, with both unable to continue having crashed on laps three and fourteen respectively.

Local hero van der Mark had a less than perfect start to his home race. Having qualified in eighth on the grid in Superpole 2, The Dutchman was unfortunate to make contact with his teammate into turn one on the opening lap, running wide and dropping to the back of the pack. A quick recovery saw him making impressive progress through to 14th position on the first timed lap and climbing, before a highside on lap three brought an abrupt end to his race. Disappointed but uninjured, van der Mark will be focused and back on track tomorrow for race two.

Teammate Lowes was equally unfortunate. The young Brit made a strong start from his 12th place on the grid on row four. Despite accidental contact with van der Mark going into the first turn, Lowes was able to keep position and keep climbing through the pack to eighth. With an impressive race pace he had climbed to pass Eugene Laverty for sixth by lap 11, settling into his ride until unfortunately losing the front to crash at turn 10 on lap 14. Lowes will head to the grid tomorrow for race two as equally determined as his Dutch teammate to make up for today’s unfortunate double DNF.

Michael van der Mark - DNF

“This morning in free practice I had a good pace and did a long run, I felt so much better on the bike and had a good feeling. The pace was not as fast as the podium guys but after them we are the only ones with a strong pace so I knew it would be good for the race. Superpole was good, I did my fastest lap ever at Assen but I think we just missed some acceleration a little bit between the corners. For the race, I’ve struggled a bit with my starts all weekend, so we need to find a solution for this tomorrow. At the first corner I had nowhere to go with Alex and Nicky in front of me so I went straight off track. The first lap I made up a lot of places and the second also I had quite a good pace. Unfortunately from the first lap I could feel I was struggling with grip on corner entry and exit, then I think I forgot that in my hurry to get to the front and lost the rear and had a highside. I’m really disappointed; it’s frustrating because I think we could have been in the top five for sure. Tomorrow is a new day, the weather is looking even better than today, even warmer which will be good for us so I hope the home fans will support me tomorrow again.”

Alex Lowes - DNF

“We’ve struggled setting the bike up this weekend, and made quite a big change for race one. The change was actually good, with more positives than negatives. Unfortunately the negative point was that we had more front tyre wear than we expected. I didn't have too many slides until I crashed, I really wish I’d had more warnings and not finished in that way! I felt like I rode quite well before the crash, so something to take on to tomorrow to do better. I want to say a special thanks to the guys on Michael’s side of the garage who helped to fix my bike last night, and also to my crew who stayed up and burnt the midnight oil to get the R1 ready for me.”

Paul Denning

“Pata Yamaha's challenging weekend at Assen continues! We can only work as hard as possible and study as hard as possible to improve tomorrow and put today's result behind us. The difficult start with contact between the two riders affected Michael's race. He needed to push hard to regain lost ground and unfortunately lost the bike before the harder rear tyre option chosen was able to get up to full working temperature. Michael makes very few mistakes but it does happen in racing, it was just unfortunate to be at his home race. I’m sure that once he is over his disappointment of race one he will come out guns blazing to set things right in race two.

Alex has had one of the toughest weekends so far of his World Superbike career, but with the help of the team and a significantly different direction for Race 1 the R1 setting was better and he was making good progress. It’s disappointing that we lost a big bag full of points. We suffered worse front tyre wear than during the practice sessions, but this can happen when we’ve lost a lot of track time on Friday. The direction is right, we just need to learn from race one and take a step forward tomorrow.”

WorldSSP: Sofuoglu dominates field to take stunning pole position

Victory is the only thing on the Turks mind at TT Circuit Assen

WorldSSP title holder Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) notched his first pole of 2017 on Saturday at the Acerbis Dutch Round with a 1’37.805 best lap, to put him ahead of PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Michael Canducci (3570 Puccetti Racing FMI) on the first row.

Sofuoglu will be looking to take full advantage of his top spot on the grid as he looks for his first points of the year in Sunday’s race, with injury having hampered him earlier in the season – followed by a crash in Aragon.

Turkish rider Sofuoglu qualified a significant 0.674s margin ahead of Jacobsen in Tissot Superpole 2 at Assen, with Canducci just behind the American in third.

Row two will comprise championship standings leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), his fellow Frenchman Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and South African rider Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing).

Lining up on the third row are British pair Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing) and Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) – the latter of those two having won the 2016 Assen race – ahead of Italy’s Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team).

Two more Britons will feature on the fourth row, Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) in tenth and 12th respectively. They sandwich 11th placed qualifier Hannes Soomer (WILSport Racedays) who made it through from SP1. Soomer was the highest qualifier of the FIM Europe Supersport Cup class riders.

Also graduating from the earlier Tissot Superpole 1 shootout was Stapleford, who was 0.057s quicker than Soomer in that session.

The fourth WorldSSP race of the year takes place at 11.30am local time on Sunday morning at the Acerbis Dutch Round - and could produce a fourth different winner of the year so far, with victories already in 2017 for Roberto Rolfo (Team Factory Vamag), Caricasulo and Mahias.

Pole Position - Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)

“I am very, very happy with that. Yesterday in qualifying I spent all my time working for race simulations and long runs on the track. For Superpole I thought I could do a 1’37 and a track record. When we took to the track in Superpole 2 we put in a soft tyre and set a new track record. I am happy for this and for the pole win because the season started in a very difficult way for me. Now it is coming good – but most important is tomorrow and to try and get 25 points for winning the race.”

New Assen Track Best Lap For Sofuoglu In Superpole

Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) scored a new track best lap in the WorldSSP class at Assen, with a 1’37.805 in Superpole 2 to earn himself the best possible starting position for Sunday’s race. His team-mate Kyle Ryde was tenth, while Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI Kawasaki) took an impressive front row starting position with the third best time of the day.

In setting his new track best pace and winning Superpole Sofuoglu posted a lap time 0.674 seconds faster than his nearest competitor. The Turkish star will be making only his second race start of the season tomorrow, after suffering a hand injury in training.

Kenan’s latest pole position success gives him a career total of 31 Superpoles, extending his own existing record tally.

Ryde worked through his set-up options on Friday and again this morning in FP3, before approaching Superpole 2 in eighth position. He left Superpole 2 in tenth place, for a third row start in tomorrow’s 18-lap race.

Kenan Sofuoglu, stated: “I am very, very happy with that. Yesterday in qualifying I spent all my time working for race simulations and long runs on the track. For Superpole I thought I could do a 1’37 and a track record. When we took to the track in Superpole 2 we put in a soft tyre and set a new track record. I am happy for this and for the pole win because the season started in a very difficult way for me. Now it is coming good – but most important is tomorrow and to try and get 25 points for winning the race.”

Kyle Ryde, stated: “Not a bad day. I tried a few things that did not pay off but I know which tyres to use for the race tomorrow. I also made a little mistake on my best lap so I know I have a bit more to go. I hope I can stay with the leading group off the start and then I will be alright for tomorrow.”

Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) placed 12th in Superpole, Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Jenik Against Cancer Kawasaki) 15th at his local round, and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) was inside the top 20, in 19th place.

Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) is 22nd, Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) is 23rd and another regular rider, Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) completed the top 25 places in a field of 32 riders.

Cluzel ready for action at Assen

Posted on 29th April 2017

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda’s Jules Cluzel will start Round 4 of the 2017 World Supersport Championship at Assen from the second row of the grid in 5th position following Superpole 2 today.

In sunny but cool conditions at the historic Dutch circuit the 28-year-old took a big step forward posting a time of 1’38.602, 1.2s faster than yesterday. He said: “I am happy with today we improved in every session. Step by step we are getting stronger and closer to the leader. Even if Kenan has a gap we get closer so that’s the target. Yesterday I was 7th, this morning 6th and this afternoon 5th so I think it should be possible to fight for the podium. It looks like we can do it and we will have to see how the race goes because we are a big group and it will be a hard fight for sure. We need to be strong, concentrate and be ready for the fight.”

Despite still suffering the effects of his crash in FP1 on Friday, Japan’s Hikari Okubo improved in SP1 to qualify 17th on the grid.

Robin Mulhauser also improved his lap time in Superpole 1 putting him in 20th position but due to a penalty he received in FP1 he is demoted three places on the grid to start the race in 23rd spot. Also victim of the same penalty is teammate Hiromichi Kunikawa who qualified 30th but will start the race from 32nd.

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “Jules made a big step today. We’ve worked hard this weekend and we’ve improved a lot. We now need to make it more comfortable to do this lap time and then we will be in a good position to challenge for the podium.

Hikari did a good job to improve his lap time with his injured ankle. He is a fighting rider and I’m sure he will challenge for good points in the race tomorrow.

It is going to be hard for Robin from 23rd but he needs to stay calm and fight to get into the points in the race.

A really good improvement from Hiromichi. He has gone 1.7s faster than his best yesterday and he continues to improve and learn the tracks. It’s a building experience for him and we are working to improve again for the race tomorrow and get a good strong finish. Overall a good job and we are pleased. It’s going to be another exciting race and once again we will be challenging for the podium with Jules.”

GRT Yamaha Pick Up the Pace in Assen World Supersport Superpole


It was an encouraging day for the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSPP Team in Assen as Lucas Mahias carried his form from free practice into SP2, the French rider qualifying in fourth for Sunday’s race. Teammate Federico Caricasulo will also be in the mix after securing ninth on the grid for what should be a closely fought round four of the 2017 FIM World Supersport Championship.

Championship leader Mahias was quickest out of the blocks in SP2, setting a 1.38.633s lap to leap into second after his first run. The race winner last time out in Aragon then managed to improve to a 1’38.389s, looking good for a provisional front row start until the dying moments of the session when a flurry of hot laps relegated him to fourth. Mahias will start Sunday’s 18-lap race from the head of the second row, confident he can fight for the podium to extend his 5-point championship lead.

Caricasulo found himself in fifth after the first run, having set a 1’39.223s lap on his second flyer despite not having a great feeling with the rear tyre. On his second run and with just moments to go he improved to a 1’39.148s, that was good enough to secure ninth on the grid. The Italian is feeling confident with his Yamaha YZF-R6 and will be looking to fight for the podium when the lights go out on Sunday.

Lucas Mahias - 4th, 1'38.589

“I am very happy, it was a very good qualification. I am not on the front row, but it is good because the gap to the others riders is small. For the moment I am happy with the bike, because yesterday I wasn't very confident, so thank you to my mechanics as they have worked hard to make the bike very good today. I am very confident for the race, the win will be difficult because Kenan is very fast and comfortable around here, but for the podium it is very possible.”

Federico Caricasulo - 9th, 1'39.148

“In my first exit I didn't have a good feeling with the tyre and with my second tyre I made some mistakes and missed out on a good time. Tomorrow if my shoulder is okay I think I can do a good race. The bike is working really well and I think we have the pace to fight with the front group.”

Filippo Conti

“We are very happy for Lucas because we missed third place by a very small margin, and more importantly he has a good feeling with the bike. He is very satisfied and feels he is capable of a good performance and a good result. For Federico we had a very good qualifying strategy. Unfortunately he had some problems with the first tyre, which was very slippery. His second tyre was much better, but he didn’t have enough time to gain confidence with it and so missed the opportunity to secure the lap time he was capable of. We will work on some changes for tomorrow morning’s Warm Up to improve the feeling with the front and believe we have two riders capable of fighting for the podium. I want to say thank you to the team for working hard as always this weekend to give our riders bikes they can feel confident on.”

WorldSSP300: Sanchez takes debut pole position in closing minutes of Superpole

Drama ensured for the WorldSSP300 racing action

In a stunning closing minutes of WorldSSP300 Superpole, Borja Sanchez (Halcourier Racing) secured pole position ahead of home hero Scott Deroue (MTM HS Kawasaki) in an overcast World Supersport 300 session.

Wildcard rider Finn de Bruin (Pearle Gebben Racing) swiftly moved through from the opening Superpole session of the day, ahead of Giuseppe De Gruttola (SK Racing) who also secured automatic promotion into the fight for pole position. With the top six split by over a second, the WorldSSP300 series continues to provide edge of your seat action for fans around the circuit and behind the TV screens.

As the sun broke through for SP2, the hotly contested session was underway as the WorldSSP300 riders took to the fight for only the second ever Superpole session. De Gruttola had a strong start and was up and battling for the lead, but ultimately it was Spanish rider Borja Sanchez who took pole position in the closing minutes, with a lap time of 1.53.814.

Despite riding with an ankle sprain, Scott Deroue – the race one winner- as able to secure a front row start for the second time, this time in front of his home fans. Paolo Grassia (3570 Made in CIV) secured his first front row finish of the season, just over half a second behind the pole position man.

Pole Position - Borja Sanchez (Halcouier Racing)

"It's my first pole position in the world championship and I am really happy, I want to say thanks to my team for doing a great job and I am very happy around the circuit, it feels very good."

Marino Returns to Assen in Style with STK1000 Pole


Pata Yamaha Official STK 1000 Team's Florian Marino returned to Assen in style today to claim his first pole position of the 2017 FIM Superstock European Championship. His teammate Roberto Tamburini made it two Yamaha YZF-R1Ms on the front row as he also impressed to start Sunday's race from third on the grid.

Qualifying at the TT Circuit Assen last season saw Marino crash heavily, breaking his right leg. Despite this, he has shown no fear on his return and wasted no time getting down to business in Qualifying. He immediately jumped to the top of the timesheets with a 1'37.144s lap on his first flying run. The French rider continued to set the pace during the session and was still occupying first position with a 1'37.103s when a Red Flag came out with six laps to go. The best was still yet to come, when the session re-commenced Marino smashed the previous pole record at Assen with a stunning 1'36.775s to secure first place on the grid for Sunday's race. He was the only rider to break to the 1'37 barrier during the session.

Tamburini was not to be outdone and immediately settled into a rhythm on his Yamaha YZF-R1M, almost matching his teammate's pace. When the session was red flagged the Italian was fourth fastest, with a 1'37.456s lap. Once Qualifying resumed he immediately improved his time to a 1.37.126s to secure third on the grid and join his teammate on the front row. Tamburini was just 0.351s off the pole time of Marino and with good race pace both riders are feeling confident of fighting for the win on Sunday.

Florian Marino 1st - 1'36.775

Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team

“Today the team gave me what I asked for yesterday, we made a good step on the bike that allowed me to ride more like I want. The lap times show that I was able to ride faster and enjoy the bike more. Thanks to the team for their work. For me it was a good revenge after the accident last year. If you said to me last year I would not have believed I would have been able to come back here and start the race on pole. It’s great and I enjoyed the lap time, although we still have some work to do for the race tomorrow.”

Roberto Tamburini 3rd - 1'37.126

Pata Yamaha Official STK1000 Team

“Today's qualifying practice wasn’t so bad, we still need to improve some parts of the bike tomorrow morning in warm up, but overall I'm happy. I feel confident with my R1, it was very important to start on the first row tomorrow, and I think tomorrow morning in Warm Up we must improve some parts of the set up to be more competitive. At the moment we are quite strong to fight at the front. It will be a tough race because some of the riders are very strong but we are confident and I think it will be a good race. One of the areas we are looking to improve is the stability under braking to allow us to be faster through the corner.”

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