2019 Assen WorldSBK Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the organizers and some of the teams after the Sunday races at Assen:


#NLDWorldSBK - WorldSBK Race 1: 10 out of 10 for Bautista at the TT Circuit Assen

The Spanish rider became the first rider in WorldSBK history to win ten races at the start of the season!

Race 1 of the Motul Dutch Round at the TT Circuit Assen proved to be a thrilling encounter, as it got underway in bright sunshine at the legendary venue.

With the race firing into life, Alvaro Bautista took the advantage at Turn 1 and led the opening few laps of the race. It was a brilliant start by Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who was up to second position, demoting Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team), whilst Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was fourth. Rocketing through on the first lap from eighth, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing WorldSBK) was fifth by the end of the lap one, before getting his teammate for fourth at Turn 1 at the start of lap two.

As the race settled down, Michael van der Mark began to drop back, unable to fight off a rampant Jonathan Rea. Soon, the Dutchman had Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) for company, whilst out front, Alvaro Bautista was beginning to stretch Reiterberger. Rea was starting to close but not enough to get on terms with Reiterberger straight away.

Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) was in a battle with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), before starting to pull away in the middle of the race. Behind Sykes in the same battle were the leading Independent riders, consisting of Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing). The two riders swapped positions rather aggressively between Turns 1 and Turn 2. The Spaniard still able to stay ahead of the Turkish rider.

With five laps to go, ‘Pocket Rocket’ Leon Haslam had started to line up the rear end of Alex Lowes’ Yamaha, as the two continued to battle and fight. Despite trying to pull away, Haslam was able to remain with Lowes and eventually, with three laps to go, made the pass at the final chicane. However, a mistake by Haslam at Turn 7 allowed Lowes back ahead, making for a great last lap between the two.

However, at the front, it was business as usual for Alvaro Bautista, who made history to take the win at Assen and become the first rider to win the opening ten races of a WorldSBK season. Jonathan Rea finished second once again in another damage limitation ride, whereas it home-hero Michael van der Mark who completed the podium – his first of the season. Alex Lowes put in the ride of his life with a determined fourth position, ahead of WorldSBK returnee Leon Haslam.

A fine ride by Markus Reiterberger saw him take a stunning sixth position, whilst Chaz Davies was seventh, a further 1.8s behind the German revelation. It was a big battle on the final run to line between Jordi Torres and Toprak Razgatlioglu, with the Spaniard holding on for eighth position and Toprak in ninth. A dejected Tom Sykes could only manage tenth.

Outside of the top ten, Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) was in eleventh, with Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) recovering to 12th ahead of his teammate Sandro Cortese. Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) couldn’t replicate his Aragon success and was 14th, whilst Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) rounded out the points. Hector Barbera (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was two laps down in 16th.

Bautista’s win makes it the first for Ducati at TT Circuit Assen since Sylvain Guintoli in 2012, Race 1. He is also the first rider ever in WorldSBK history to take ten victories in the opening ten races.

There were no crashers in the race, but Italians Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team) and Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) retired.

P1 - Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing - Ducati)

"It’s been amazing, this weekend for us has been difficult. We didn’t have the best feeling on Friday, but yesterday I recovered my feeling with the bike. With this temperature, we struggled more with the cold conditions. Today I knew that it was a difficult race. I tried to push from the beginning, I did my maximum. I had Jonny very close behind me and had to push all race. I’m quite happy because in this race I had to push to the limit until the end, I’m happy with the performance at this track and in these conditions.

P2 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

I feel like qualifying really compromised my race. Coming from eighth I had to spend a lot of energy and also tyre trying to come through. When I got a free track, the gap with Álvaro was quite constant, but he kept going. His pace was relentless right to the end. Congratulations to him. We just fell short this morning, but let’s try again this afternoon.

P3 - Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)

I’m really happy to be back on the podium, especially at my home round. I must be happy with this podium but it was a really tough race. We chose the harder rear tyre because of the colder conditions. I struggled from the first lap, but we made it. I’m really happy to take my first podium here, hopefully in the afternoon we can make another step and fight with the front guys


#NLDWorldSBK - Day 3:

Unstoppable Bautista continues to make history winning again in Race 2 at the Cathedral of Speed

11 wins in a row for Bautista who continues to set new WorldSBK records, whilst van der Mark was second in front of a huge home crowd

Once more, WorldSBK went to war on the famous TT Circuit Assen layout, with ten riders in the leading group in the early stages. However, after an incredible start, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) couldn’t hold off Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) any longer, as the Spaniard battled through to take an 11th race win of the year!

A frantic first lap saw Jonathan Rea erupt through the grid from eighth and was already up to the lead by Turn 5, in what was an impressive opening few corners from the reigning four-time champion. Alvaro Bautista was placed in second but under some serious pressure from home-hero, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team). Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team) was also right in the mix during the opening laps, whilst Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) and Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) completed the top six.

The race unfolded, and Jonathan Rea was putting in a fantastic effort to defend from Bautista, standing the bike up on the apex of Turn 5 in order to back Bautista up into the chasing pack. Chaz Davies was able to climb up the order and got as high as third, whilst Michael van der Mark was being pushed back down the order, to fifth.

On lap six, Bautista, who had been continuously probing and searching for a way ahead of Rea, made his move at the fierce Turn 8, slamming his Ducati down the inside. The move rattled Rea, who needed to fight back straight away to get a hold of Bautista before he stretched away. The Northern Irishman was then passed by Chaz Davies at Turn 9 and Ducati were first and second at Assen.

Rea was soon back into the second place, getting ahead of Davies at the final chicane. Alex Lowes was still ahead of his teammate, but Leon Haslam was the rider who looked rather ominous, lapping quicker than the two Yamaha riders ahead. Just behind, it was another solid ride from Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) who was seventh for the majority of the race.

From the middle of the race, it was a phenomenal ride from Michael van der Mark, who was lapping far quicker than everyone ahead of him, including Bautista at one point. The Dutch rider was heroic, bridging a huge gap in short time to catch Jonathan Rea with just three laps remaining. At Turn 13, around the outside, a brave van der Mark roared ahead, with Rea now facing losing more points to Bautista. As Rea went backwards, it was his teammate Haslam who suffered a similar fate after looking so strong, sliding back behind the BMWs of Reiterberger and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team).

With the last lap upon us, Bautista had secured enough of an advantage to secure another win, and despite a desperate attempt by Rea at Turn 10 to get ahead of van der Mark – where they collided – it wasn’t enough, with the crowd’s favourite battling hard to remain ahead. Bautista took the victory but on a run to the line, Rea got alongside van der Mark, but the Dutch star held on ahead of the reigning four-time WorldSBK Champion! Fourth position was secured by Alex Lowes ahead of Chaz Davies, whilst Markus Reiterberger held off Tom Sykes on a run to the line for his second consecutive sixth position.

In eighth position, Leon Haslam struggled home, some 20 seconds behind race winner Bautista. He was only just ahead of the two Independent Kawasaki riders of Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing), completing the top ten in that respective order.

Outside of the top ten, it was Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) in 11th and Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) in 12th, whilst Eugene Laverty (Team Goeleven) could only manage 13th. Marco Melandri completed a miserable weekend in 14th after a fierce battle with those ahead of him, whilst Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) was the last point-scorer. Hector Barbera (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 16th ahead of Alessandro Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team). Ryuichi Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) retired.

Bautista’s win is a new record in WorldSBK, having won the opening 11 WorldSBK races of a season. He gives Ducati their 352nd race win in WorldSBK and their 27th at the TT Circuit Assen. It is also Spain’s 48th win in the WorldSBK class. With his 11th win, it puts him level with Jonathan Rea in terms of consecutive race wins, something the reigning champion only achieved last year! It also puts him level with Ruben Xaus, Regis Laconi and Stephane Mertens with number of wins in their WorldSBK career.

P1 - Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing - Ducati)

"It has been a perfect weekend. We were struggling with the cold temperatures this morning but in Race 2 the situation improved as it the track temperature increased, and I felt much better on the bike. I was surprised when I saw Jonathan in front of me in the early stages of the race. He was starting the race from sixth on the grid, and he came back really strong, and he did a good start. I saw that my race pace was faster than his, so I passed him and pushed to the limit to put some ground between us. I enjoying the race! I am so happy to have won 11th races in a row this season".

P2 - Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team)

"It has been a different race compared to the first one. I did a good start, and I felt quite comfortable on the bike. I was in the front group, and when we started to battle, I lost so many positions. I had to stay calm, which was difficult but slowly and lap by lap I overtook some riders and catch up with Johnny. He was struggling a bit, and I was planning to overtake him in the last sector. But then I passed him and tried to push as much as I could, but I couldn't get away. We even touched but we had such a nice battle, so I am delighted to be on the podium again and had finished second".

P3 - Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

"My team and I put so much effort into the weekend, so I can't say that we are disappointed for missing the second position. They gave me a great bike, and I got the full potential! Unfortunately, we just decided to go with a harder tyre again. For me, it was working good, and I was going really fast, but in the last few laps, I ran out of grip. Van Der Mark could pass me on the faster section. The grip was just a little bit better, but I didn't want to make a mistake. We touched at Turn 10, and luckily we both stayed upright. Now we move on to Imola! Thanks to all my team and the Dutch fans who came this weekend to see us".


Two more wins at Assen for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati rider, Álvaro Bautista, who equals Rea’s record of eleven victories in a row. Chaz Davies seventh and fifth in the two races

Today was another memorable day for the championship leader Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati), who added another two victories to his start-of-season winning streak. With success in both races, the 34-year-old from Talavera de la Reina took his number of wins to eleven, equalling Jonathan Rea’s record set in the second half of last season.

While in the first race Bautista, who started from pole, took control right from the start, powering away to win over the Kawasaki rider with a margin of 3 seconds, in Race 2 he had to fight until the mid-point against a fierce group of contenders made up of the two Kawasaki men, the pair of Yamaha riders and his team-mate Chaz Davies. After passing leader Rea on lap 6, Álvaro fired in an impressive series of sub-1m35s laps, setting a new circuit record on the way, and he crossed the line almost five seconds ahead of home rider Van der Mark (Yamaha).

Chaz Davies brought home a seventh place in Race 1 and a fifth place in Race 2. Starting from seventh on the grid, the 32-year-old Welshman was not able to get in amongst the fight for the podium in the first race, because of a contact at the first turn, and he had to settle for the same position at the flag. In the second race, after an excellent start, he passed four rivals in the first six laps to slot in behind Bautista in second place. Unfortunately, at around the half-way point, he lost a bit of ground and ended the race in fifth place.

With eleven wins to his name, Bautista remains firmly in control of the championship standings on 236 points, 53 ahead of Rea, while Davies has moved up to sixth place with 76 points. The next World Superbike round, Ducati’s home event, will take place in three weeks’ time at the Autodromo di Imola, from 10 to 12 May.

Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19) – 1st / 1st

“I’m very happy because I won two races at a circuit which was maybe not very favourable for us, and where the Kawasakis had always won in the past. The weekend didn’t get off to the best start on Friday, but in any case we managed to be consistent and competitive. Today we did two full-distance 21-lap races and I can tell you that I used up all my energy, but my training helped me a lot. In the first race in the morning there were very cold conditions, but I tried to get a good start and set my own pace right from the start. I was able to open up a bit of a gap on my rivals and manage the situation well to go on to win Race 1. In Race 2 to be honest I didn’t expect to see Rea ahead of me at Turn 4 because he was on the third row, but he made an incredible start. In the early laps I was taking it easy, trying to stay up and study him well but I could see that his pace was a bit slow so I decided to pass him. I always tried to give my all, in fact we also improved on the circuit record, so it was another wonderful weekend.”

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 7th / 5th

“Jumping onto the podium at Aragón was great then coming here and not getting a podium could be a bit of a disappointment, but I felt like I put together a decent second race. The first race was tough, I had a bit of contact with Johnny in the first corner, got pushed out and just didn’t make any progression in the race. The second race was good, I got a decent start and got up to second for a lap but then just struggled a bit with the balance of the bike after six or seven laps and in the longer corners in particular. We need to look at that and become more comfortable in these areas. It would have been nice to stay in the fight close to the podium, but it just goes to show that we have some work to do to improve in every track.”

Serafino Foti (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Team Manager)

“We’re clearly very happy because this weekend at Assen was another extraordinary one. Álvaro equalled Rea’s record of wins in a row, demonstrating once more his strength and talent even on a circuit with different characteristics to the previous ones. Even though we’ve won all the races so far, the championship is still long so we must remain focussed and continue working. As for Chaz, we’ve also seen some progress here, this weekend he fought hard to bring home the best result possible. We know his true potential and we’ll continue to work hard to put him in the condition to fight for the podium all the time. I want to thank all the guys in the team and everyone back in the factory for their commitment and the great job they’re doing.”


Van Der Mark Does the Double Dutch at Home in Assen

race2

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK rider, Michael van der Mark, ended his 2019 podium drought emphatically today in Assen, finishing third in the rescheduled WorldSBK Race 1 this morning and then going one better to thrill his home crowd with second place in Race 2 this afternoon. Alex Lowes was also one of the main protagonists in both races today, picking up two fourth place finishes and only narrowly missing out on joining his Pata Yamaha teammate on the podium in Race 2. It proved a tough weekend in the Netherlands for the GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK pairing of Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri, who finished outside the top ten in both races today.

Van der Mark lined up in second position on the grid for WorldSBK Race 1, which was rescheduled at 11.00 this morning after being postponed from yesterday due to adverse weather conditions. The Pata Yamaha rider got a good start but an out of the seat moment in the final chicane at the end of the opening lap dropped him back into the clutches of Jonathan Rea, who passed him for third on the entry to turn one. At half race distance van der Mark caught and passed Markus Reiterberger to secure third place, which he held to the line to claim his first podium finish of the 2019 season. Lowes crossed the line just behind his Pata Yamaha teammate in fourth place, after finally getting the better of a fairing bashing battle with Leon Haslam on the very last lap.

Melandri, hampered by his starting position after a difficult Superpole session yesterday, managed to hold off his GRT Yamaha teammate, Cortese, to finish in the points in 12th position. Cortese, struggling with pain in his shoulder following his big crash in Superpole yesterday, still managed to pick up points in 13th place.

Race 2, held in slightly warmer conditions this afternoon, proved a thriller for the Dutch fans who’d braved the unseasonably cold weather all weekend. While Alvaro Bautista managed to once again pull a gap at the front in the early stages of the race, the battle for the remaining podium positions, in which both van der Mark and Lowes were heavily involved in from the start, proved a frantic one.

Just before half race distance, with Bautista out front and Rea chasing to close the gap in second, Lowes swept past van der Mark to take third place, only to have to relinquish the position four laps later when his front tyre started to go off and he almost lost the front on two occasions. The 28-year-old Briton had a comfortable gap back to his closest pursuer, so backed off to ensure he finished fourth and picked up valuable championship points.

With a clear track in front of him, van der Mark set about chasing down Rea. With just three laps to go the Pata Yamaha rider made his move, riding around the outside of the reigning world champion at the kink at Hoge Heide, one of the fastest corners on the track, to take second place. Rea fought back on the final lap, but van der Mark closed the door on his rival and then out dragged him to the line to claim his best result of the season so far.

Race 2 proved another tough outing for Cortese and Melandri, but this time it was the German who took the advantage to add to his championship points tally with an 11th place finish, while Melandri picked up two points in 14th position.

Michael van der Mark

Michael van der Mark: Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P3 and P2

"Today was proper old school Superbike, with two long races in one day. This morning we had to go with the harder rear tyre because the track was quite cold. It made the bike difficult to ride because the rear was spinning quite a lot and there wasn't so much feeling, but we knew this would be the case and it was definitely the right choice for the race. In the second race the temperature had risen enough to go with the soft option rear, but the pace at the start of the race wasn't as high as I'd expected. I could see Johnny in front of me, but I was battling with a few riders and trying not to lose position, so I couldn't chase earlier in the race. I tried to stay calm and, once clear of the battles, I managed to close the gap to Johnny and was planning to make the move with two laps to go. But then the opportunity came to go around the outside of him in a fifth gear corner a lap early, so I took it. After that we had a good battle, I think we touched at least once around the back part of the circuit, but we were both struggling for grip at that point. The team did a great job with the bike this weekend, so thanks to them, and a big thank you to the Dutch fans for their support, in what were very cold conditions for anyone sat in the grandstands. I'm happy we could repay them with two podiums today."

Alex Lowes

Pata Yamaha WorldSBK – P4 and P4

"I didn't feel so strong in the colder conditions of the first race this morning, but it was good to get into a bit of a battle with Leon in the race and even better to beat him to fourth place on the last lap. I felt a lot stronger in the second race, when the slight increase in temperature meant we could run the soft rear tyre. I got up into third after passing Michael and I felt quite good, but then when he came back past me there were a couple of sections where he was a bit stronger than me and I couldn't quite stay with him. I have to be happy with two fourth places, as this was the best we could do here today, so I'll take the points and start looking now towards the next race in Imola. Congratulations to Michael and the team, as it was great to see a double podium again today. There's a fantastic atmosphere in the team and we're making steps forward every week, which is good to see and great to be a part of."

Sandro Cortese

GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – P13 and P11

"It was a tough weekend after the big crash in Superpole yesterday. The torn collarbone ligaments meant I was in a lot of pain on the bike and I was lucky that Race 1 was postponed from yesterday to today, as this gave me chance to rest a little bit more. The first race was really tough; I had a lot of pain and had to change my riding style to compensate but, by the time I'd figured out how to ride the race was almost over and the pain came back. In Race 2 we worked a little on the bike and made a big step, which allowed me to fight in the top ten and eventually finish 11th. So, not many points today, but I'm happy with how, in this short time, the team managed to adapt the bike well. We know what we need to focus on for Imola, which is a short track where acceleration is important and demands a very different set-up compared to here. For me the focus is now on rest and recuperation so that I'm fit and ready for Imola."

Marco Melandri

GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK – P12 and P14

"The races were, if I'm honest, very difficult. Again, I had the same problem I've had since the start, with the bike almost impossible to get stopped on the brakes and difficult to turn. I can't use my normal riding style because, with any lean angle, the bike is quite aggressive over the bumps. Where normally I am quite fast is currently the weakest point we have, so it's not easy. The team is working hard but I think the cold and the characteristics of the Assen track have made a hard job even harder this weekend. We will see. We have three weeks now before Imola; different track, different weather, which will be a bit better but, well, it's not easy at the moment."

Andrea Dosoli

Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager

"The weather here in Assen made for a tough weekend, but the teams did a fantastic job to adapt to the changing conditions. The two Pata Yamaha riders have impressed this weekend with Alex bouncing back from two crashes on what was a difficult Friday to finish fourth in both races and showing his maturity by accepting that this was the best result possible in the conditions today. As the only Dutch rider in WorldSBK, Michael is under a lot of pressure to perform at his home race. With the support of the team he has managed that pressure exceptionally well and he certainly gave his home crowd something to cheer about with his double podium here today. The way in which he raced to third and second places today was impressive; he is one of the best riders I have seen at this track for quite a few years. We were expecting a reaction from Michael after the first three rounds without a podium finish, but this reaction here in Assen exceeded our expectations, so congratulations to him and his team. Sandro's results were compromised by the big crash in Superpole, but he managed the situation and the pain really well today, to come away with two points scoring finishes despite the injury. Unfortunately, we are not currently able to give Marco the feeling he is looking for with the R1, but we are confident that this situation will change in the coming races and he will be back at the front again, as he was in Australia. Finally, congratulations to the Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha team for their one-two with Federico and Randy in today's Supersport race. Congratulations also to Thomas Gradinger on his podium finish, his first in WorldSSP and also the first for an Austrian rider."


Two Race Sunday Gives Rea Two Podiums

After the postponement of the first planned race from Saturday to Sunday, both of Assen’s 21-lap races took place today, with Kawasaki Racing Team rider Jonathan Rea scoring first a second and then a third place finish. His team-mate Leon Haslam rode to fifth in race one and then a more difficult eighth in race two.

Under sunny skies, but in bitterly cold conditions, the first race took place at 11am, with Rea starting from eighth on the grid and Haslam fifth. Rea would work his way into third place after two laps, then second place from lap eight to the end. Haslam fought hard with Alex Lowes to finish fifth in the opening race.

In the second race Rea hit the front very early and led for the first five laps, as a battling bunch of seven riders began to form. With Haslam fourth in the first few laps he looked set for another good result, but a fading front tyre saw him drop back to finish eighth.

Today Kawasaki overtook Honda as the second most successful manufacturer in WorldSBK history in terms of podium finishes, with a new total of 393.

After Assen Rea is still a clear second in the championship points table, having finished second ten times in 11 races, and third in the remaining one today. He sits 53 points from Alvaro Bautista’s lead with his total of 183, while Leon’s Assen results keep him fifth overall, with 93 points.

The next round of the championship will take place at the parkland circuit of Imola, in Italy, between the 10th and the 12th of May.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I felt good in the fight and my team gave me a good bike to fight with and keep the gap quite stable for a while. I enjoyed today and it was like good old Superbike, two long races in one day. I feel like the only difference today was that I had a shorter time to take lunch and prepare for race two. But it was not anything extraordinary. I really feel like we maximised our potential with the bike this weekend. I felt good with the bike and we were stronger in some sectors and weaker in others compared to Alvaro. Even in the cold conditions I felt like the grip level was really, really good but at the end when the tyres were dropping, I lost a lot of grip. The bike became more physical to ride. Apart from that I was very impressed with the potential of the tyres and I was able to run quite consistently in the start to middle of the second race. I am pretty content.”

Leon Haslam, stated: “In both races, with about eight laps to go in race one, the front tyre grip just went and it was even worse in race two, with about 11 or 12 to go. I was happy to keep the bike upright and not lose the front. I feel we easily had the pace for podiums but we didn’t, so we have to reassess the problems.”

In a competitive day for the Independent Riders Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) and Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) each scored the same total of championship points in Assen – 14 – but the best single performance came from Jordi, who was eighth in race one, with Toprak only 0.049 seconds behind in ninth, despite the painful effects of a heavy fall on Saturday.

In race two Razgatlioglu edged out Torres for ninth place by just over half a second. With Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) injured at Motorland Aragon last weekend the team’s replacement rider for Assen, Hector Barbera, was 16th after having to pit in race one. He placed 16th again in race two, ahead of one other rider.


BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team at Assen: two top-six finishes for Markus Reiterberger on the new BMW S 1000 RR.

Markus Reiterberger sixth in both races in the FIM Superbike World Championship.

Tom Sykes finishes tenth and seventh.

Most successful race weekend of the current WorldSBK season for the new RR.

Assen. The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team scored more points with the new BMW S 1000 RR at Assen (NED) than any other race weekend so far in this season’s FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Markus Reiterberger (GER) finished sixth in the two races, which were both held on Sunday. Team-mate Tom Sykes (GBR) came home tenth and seventh. The duo’s haul for the weekend was 35 points – their biggest score so far. The TT Circuit Assen hosted round four of the 2019 WorldSBK season.

Race one, which was postponed due to snow on Saturday, was held on Sunday morning. It was followed in the afternoon by race two. Reiterberger started both races from third on the grid with Sykes in sixth.

Reiterberger climbed into second place thanks to an outstanding start in race one. For seven laps, he was hot on the heels of leader Alvaro Bautista (ESP / Ducati) before dropping a few positions. Despite that, Reiterberger still came home sixth to claim his best result of the season so far. Sykes was running eighth going into the final lap, but unfortunately conceded two places late on. In race two, Reiterberger initially dropped back to seventh, but was always in touch with the leading group. Sykes fell to ninth place after the start, but soon climbed into eighth place behind Reiterberger. Both riders passed Leon Haslam (GBR / Kawasaki) in the final stages of the race. Reiterberger crossed the finish line in sixth place again, followed just 0.014 seconds later by Sykes in seventh.

Quotes after the races at Assen.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “We can be very happy with the race weekend at Assen. We are continuing to move in the right direction and are closing in on the front-runners. Markus, in particular, took a very big step forward. With third place on the grid and two top-six finishes, he has shown that he is feeling more and more comfortable on the RR. Tom’s results do not reflect his performance. In Superpole, the red flag cost him a place towards the very front of the grid. The two races were not easy for him, starting from sixth place. I am sure, under different circumstances, that his results could have been better. After back-to-back races in Aragón and Assen, we now have a four-week break before the next round at Imola. We will use that time to work on more updates for our new BMW S 1000 RR, to ensure that we continue to move forward.”

Shaun Muir, Team Principal BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: “It’s been a very positive weekend for Markus and after quite a difficult Aragón round, he has turned things around here at Assen. He really deserves his two sixth-place race finishes and his third position for both starts. The hard work paid off and he finally found a good direction to carry forward with; hopefully this is transferable to Imola and he can pick up where he’s left off here at Assen. So: well done, Markus. Tom’s a little bit frustrated. The red flag in Superpole put him on the second row while it could have been a front row start. He had two average starts in the races and it took him too long to get back into a strong position again, so both races where difficult for him. Race one in particular, because he overrode the front, lost all the grip of the front tyre and so the lap times got slower and he ended up going backwards. In the second race he tried a SC0 rear tyre which he didn’t get working hard enough, he came strong in the race too late but he managed to pick off Leon Haslam to get seventh at the flag and almost beat his team-mate. We will take the positives from Assen, four strong points scoring positions overall and we are looking forward to Imola.”

Markus Reiterberger: “I am really happy. The weekend at Assen was great and a big thank you goes to my team for their hard work. We have taken another step and I felt really good on the RR all weekend. I got off to a great start in the opening race and was able to match the pace at the front of the field for the first few laps. After seven or eight laps, however, I had a few issues with the grip on the rear tyre – there was quite a lot of movement entering and exiting the corners. I took wider lines and consequently made two mistakes, and at one point I was forced off while overtaking. Despite that, however, I was able to finish in the top six. The second race also went well. We made a few changes to the balance of the bike. Unfortunately, my start was not so good in race two and we lost a few positions. I was able to maintain the same level for a relatively long time. In the end, I fancied myself to finish fifth, but I lost a lot of time behind (Leon) Haslam. That allowed (Chaz) Davies to escape in fifth place. We can now recharge our batteries a bit and prepare for the next races. We are heading in the right direction and will continue to work on further improving the chassis.”

Tom Sykes: “Everyone has seen the potential of the BMW S 1000 RR is high considering how early the project is. Although the positions weren’t what I was hoping for today, on the positive side we have gained a lot of information. I was able to see where I am losing out and during the race that confirmed it. We will try to improve now where we are missing out and moving forward we know that we will progress on this in the next race. Markus rode really well today; I knew he would be strong from his race here last year on the Superstock bike. One of the positives we can take forward is that in general the RR is heading in the right direction. We have been consistently around five seconds from P2 in most races so given my experience and the level of the whole BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team, I think we will get to where we need to be through the season.”


Leon Camier 11th and 12th at Assen, Ryuichi Kiyonari in the points in Race1

A completely dry, albeit still fairly cold day at Assen allowed the WorldSBK riders to stick to the revised Sunday race schedule which saw Race 1 kicking off at 11am, in place of the Superpole Race, and Race 2 at 2pm.

Leon Camier scored an eleventh-place finish in Race1 before crossing the line twelfth in Race 2, putting up a good fight against Laverty and Melandri for most of the time.

A recovering Ryuichi Kiyonari bravely finished Race 1 inside the points zone in 15th place before retiring five laps before the end of Race 2 as he was experiencing some set-up issues.

Leon Camier 2

11th (Race 1) 12th (Race 2)

“For sure we want to do better, and we will keep working with that target in mind but all in all I honestly enjoyed the races today. I feel we were able to get the most from the package we have, which is good. We managed to win the battle with the guys we were competing against, Eugene (Laverty) and Marco (Melandri), guys who have won a lot of races. We’ll keep a constructive mentality and see what Imola will bring us.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari 23

15th (Race 1) Retired (Race 2)

“I’m very happy I was able to get back on track today though I was still a bit sore from yesterday’s crash. Actually in Race 1 I had fairly good feeling with my bike but unfortunately in the second race I had a few problems with some vibrations towards the end and I had to retire”.


EUGENE TAKES POINTS IN A HARD WEEKEND!

After a Saturday tormented by the crazy weather conditions, which forced the whole program to be postponed to Sunday, today the races were regularly held in cold but nice atmospheric conditions.

As decided yesterday, today the large Dutch spectators saw two full rounds, covering 21 laps!

This morning in the Warm Up the riders went on to the track with only 2 degrees of temperature in the air and on the asphalt! Eugene tried a new set-up configuration, aimed at changing the weight balance.

Although the time signed was not significant, the sensations were positive, and it was decided to continue on the same road for Race 1, too.

Warm Up: P 17 1.37.672 + 2.256

11.00 am the first race starts; Laverty immediately finds himself rather in difficulty, in the long corners and he loses a lot of time especially in the first laps.

He still ends in 14th position; managing to beat an aggressive Kiyonari.

Race 1:

P 1 A. Bautista 33'30.479

P 2 J. Rea + 3.130

P 3 M. Van Der Mark + 4.934

...

P 14 E. Laverty + 46.018

In Race 2 our technicians try to make a further change, in an attempt to increase Eugene's feeling. With the asphalt temperature rising to 17.0 ° C the V4-R by Go Eleven seems to work better and Laverty manages to fight for all 21 laps with Marco Melandri and Leon Camier.

The battle inflames towards the end of the race, several overtaking animate the contest, several times our rider goes to guide the group, and at the end he closes the door to Melandri winning the sprint on the guy from Ravenna and finishing in 13th position.

Race 2:

P 1 A. Bautista 33'28.682

P 2 M. Van Der Mark + 4.688

P 3 J. Rea + 4.706

....

P 13 E. Laverty + 36.359

Denis Sacchetti:

"The climatic conditions that we found here in Assen certainly did not help us, this track has very different characteristics from those faced so far and the work done has been so much, even if limited by the cold and the incredible snowfall. None of us he expected that Eugene's feelings could be so different from one race to another, now it will be important to analyze all the data to get ready for Imola. Our work group is strong and united, so we are positive for the continuation of the championship, the potential of the V4-R is very high, and the margin for improvement is still a lot. Sometimes it is necessary to take a step back to make two steps forward. "

The results of the Dutch Round have not respected our potential, now it's time to collect all the data and return to the attack as early as the next stop, Imola, 10-12 May!

Eugene Laverty:

"14th and 13th positions were far from my expectations coming into this weekend. Assen is a circuit that I love but I really struggled in both races. We improved the agility of the bike for race 2 but still I still missed a bit of rear grip compared to my rivals. It seems that we suffer more in the cold conditions so I’m looking forward to seeing some sunshine next time out in Italy.”


A challenging race day for Delbianco at Assen

Assen (The Netherlands), Sunday 14 April 2019

The fourth Superbike world championship round has concluded for the Althea MIE Racing Team and rider Alessandro Delbianco at the historic TT circuit of Assen in The Netherlands.

The Superpole race was today replaced by a full 21-lap race, postponed from yesterday due to bad weather. Race 1 therefore got underway at 11am local time, in sunny but cold conditions. Delbianco, fifteenth on the grid, lost a couple of positions through the opening stages. Despite striving to get into a good rhythm, the rider chosen to return to the pits on lap ten.

Later in the afternoon, but in similar conditions, race 2 got underway, Delbianco lying sixteenth on the opening lap. Retaining that position through the first few laps, the Italian then lost two positions during the central phase of the race. Doing his best to remain focused and determined to complete the race, the young rider crossed the line in seventeenth place.

Four rounds into the 2019 championship and Delbianco lies 18th in the standings, having scored three points to date.

“In race 1 we stopped because I got a few things wrong and preferred to focus on race 2. In the second race, I did my best, but in trying to stick with the group ahead of me, I had to really force my rhythm, riding almost like I did in qualifying over the first half of the race, a pace that I wasn’t able to maintain all the way to the line. We will now focus our attention on the next round at Imola.”


WorldSSP: Federico Caricasulo wins incredible last lap battle in WorldSSP race

After finishing on the podium in every race so far in the 2019 WorldSSP season, Caricasulo took his first win of the season in style

The FIM Supersport World Championship was a yet another fair-bashing, head-to-head squabble, with nothing but pure action prevailing throughout the 18-lap encounter. In a group of six riders, it would be Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) who would take his first win of the season, to claw back points on his championship-leading teammate!

It was a frantic opening lap that saw Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) lead into Turn 1, whilst Randy Krummenacher slotted into second position. It was a rapid start for Austrian rider Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) who was up to a mighty third position, whereas the same could not be said for Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), who dropped down as far as eighth on the opening lap from second position on the grid. Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) maintained his starting position on the opening lap, with fourth position ahead of Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) in fifth.

Krummenacher took the lead of the race at the end of the opening lap, whilst title rival Jules Cluzel had pushed his way through the field to be fantastic second by Turn 6. It was a good opening few laps of the race for the (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) pairing of Lucas Mahias Hikari Okubo, running well within what started out as a leading group of nine riders.

The group then fragmented, with top five escaping and initially leaving Lucas Mahias behind. However, it was a strong mid-race that brought Mahias back into the fight, bridging a big gap and setting the fastest lap of the race at the same time. Federico Caricasulo had begun his fight back and was already up to second, courtesy of mistakes of other riders. Raffaele De Rosa was also putting hard moves on riders, with a bold move at Turn 1 for third position, shoving Cluzel off line and back to sixth. Momentarily, this allowed Krummenacher and Caricasulo to escape.

However, just half a lap later, De Rosa crashed out at Turn 9, under pressure from Thomas Gradinger and trying to get back in the fight for the lead. The Italian was OK, remounted but returned his MV Agusta to the pits for a second non-score of the WorldSSP season. Now with the leading group down to five riders, the gloves were starting to come off!

The final lap soon beckoned and having stalked teammate Krummenacher for the majority of the second half of the race, Caricasulo put in a classy, sophisticated pass at Turn 8 to lead the race for the first time with just half a lap left to go. Krummenacher rode closely for the remaining few corners but wasn’t able to get back ahead!

Caricasulo took the victory ahead of his teammate, whilst Thomas Gradinger made history for Austria as he gave the nation their first WorldSSP podium. Jules Cluzel was off the podium for the second consecutive race in fourth, whilst Lucas Mahias took his best finish in 2019 with fifth, a little over a second back of winner, Federico Caricasulo.

Corentin Perolari (GMT94 YAMAHA) was a strong sixth position, holding off Hikari Okubo and Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing). Rounding out the top ten, Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) was ninth and put on a fantastic display in front of his massive home crowd, whereas completing the top ten was Jules Danilo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), who finished as top Honda, following a late crash for Estonian, Hannes Soomer.

P1 - Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)

"I am pleased with this victory because I used to struggle a lot on this race track. But during the practices, we worked so hard to get our bike ready for the race. We achieved this goal; today the feeling with my Yamaha was perfect. I tried to stay calm and wait until the last moment. I knew I was fast in one sector, so I pushed hard there, and I was able to win".


Caricasulo Races to First Win of 2019 in Assen WorldSSP Thriller

Race

Federico Caricasulo took his first race win of the 2019 season in Assen today, after a titanic battle with his Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha teammate Randy Krummenacher, who followed the Italian across the line in second. Kallio Racing Yamaha's Thomas Gradinger finished third to claim his first podium finish since stepping up to the WorldSSP class full-time in 2018.

It was Krummenacher that made the early running, having started the race from pole position, battling at the front of the race with Raffaele De Rosa while Caricasulo was busy fighting his way back to the front group, after a measured start on the harder option front tyre saw him drop back from second on the grid to eighth place on the opening lap.

By half race distance it was Krummenacher who led the way, with Caricasulo closing fast after passing De Rosa for second place eight laps into the race. It was Krummenacher who led over the line to start the final lap, with his teammate glued to his rear wheel and Gradinger sitting comfortably in third place behind the Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha teammates.

Caricasulo waited until the entry to turn eight before making his move, up the inside of Krummenacher on the brakes and then defending the lead to the line to take his first WorldSSP race win of the 2019 season. Krummenacher followed his teammate home in second and Gradinger crossed the line in third to claim his first WorldSSP podium finish and the first for an Austrian in the class.

GMT94 Yamaha’s Jules Cluzel managed to squeeze his way past Lucas Mahias with two laps to go to secure fourth position but wasn’t able to close on the leading trio quickly enough to mount a last lap challenge for the podium. Corentin Perolari equalled his best result of the season so far in sixth, two places ahead of Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Isaac Viñales who finished in eighth place today.

Loris Cresson added to his championship points tally for the season with a solid ride to 13th place aboard his Kallio Racing Yamaha R6.

Today’s result means that Krummenacher leads the championship with 90 points, 17 more than Caricasulo who now sits second with 73 points. Cluzel lies third with 69 points and Gradinger’s podium finish today means he now has 40 points and moves up from sixth to fourth in the championship standings.

Federico Caricasulo

Evan Bros. Bardahl Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P1

"I'm really happy to win, especially here in Assen, which is not one of my favourite tracks. I worked hard all weekend with the team to make sure I had the best bike possible today and, in the race, I tried to ride more with my head than my heart. I took it fairly easy from the start, as I was running the harder option front tyre and knew it would take time to get up to temperature, but the pace was there from the start and I was able to work my way up to the leading group quite quickly. It's a great feeling to win my first race of the season and the first with this team and I want to thank everyone in the team for such a fantastic job."

Thomas Gradinger

Kallio Racing Yamaha Supported WorldSSP – P3

"I am so happy! In Aragon we showed we could be in the fight for the podium, but just missed out in the end, so it's like a dream to come to the very next race and actually finish on the podium for the first time. It was a really tough race, especially at the start, but I managed to work my way up to the leading group and into third place with six laps to go. Once there I just tried to defend the position to the very last lap and it was amazing to cross the line in third place to finish on the podium finally. Big thanks to me team, my crew and my family, who have worked so hard for me. It's just amazing."


Assen Sees Mahias Fifth And Okubo Seventh

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Lucas Mahias was a strong fifth at Assen today, having started the race eighth, while his team-mate Hikari Okubo was also in contention with the leading group for some time, eventually finishing seventh.

The Assen WorldSSP race was a generally positive experience for the entire Kawasaki Puccetti Racing team, with both riders part of the extended leading group for significant parts of the race at this classically sculpted 4.542km circuit.

After snow fell on Saturday it was still cold on raceday, but also dry and sunny, making for consistent track conditions for Mahias to show his aggression and race craft. Gaining and losing on the leading group in different areas of the circuit, Lucas would eventually finish fifth, but only 1.277 seconds from the race winner.

Hikari battled with his team-mate for a while and only just dropped of as the laps unfolded, after experiencing chatter from the front end. He ended up as the middle rider in a three man fight for sixth, having recovered better pace late in the race.

For Okubo seventh today leaves him fifth in the points, with Mahias rising to seventh overall. Hikari has 37 points and Lucas 32.

After Assen the championship returns to action at Imola in Italy. Raceday for the WorldSSP riders will be Sunday the 12th of May.

Lucas Mahias stated: “The feeling from this race is that one thing is good and one thing not so good. I am happy because I followed the leading group closely and the gap to first position is very small. But I am a little bit disappointed because it is difficult in some places on the track. When I exit turn four, I lose on that sector and then I have to push very hard in the third and fourth sectors to come back. I finished every lap just behind, lap after lap. So I realised that it would be impossible to win, but I continued to push in case I could get onto the podium somehow. I am happy because the feeling on the bike is really great and the chassis is perfect. I got a good feeling back at this race and that is very good for the future. Thanks to the team because race-after-race they improve the set-up.”

Hikari Okubo, stated: “After the start I had a good feeling with my bike but after eight or nine laps I had a problem braking, with some chatter. After that it was not possible to get back to the top group after the chatter appeared. I had to adjust my riding style and it was so difficult to make this adjustment so quickly, but in the last few laps I found a good lap time again. If no problem today it was possible to get to the front group again. I never had a championship point from this track before, so I am thinking positively about my seventh position at Assen.”

Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) was a delighted ninth at his home circuit, easily his best result so far, leaving him 14th in the championship points. Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was 11th despite suffering from a flu, and sits 17th overall in the points.

Another local rider Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) was 14th, scoring two points. Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) fell after a clash with Hartog and no scored. He still leads the FIM Europe Supersport standings.


KRUMMENACHER, FIM SUPERSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER, FINISHES SECOND AT ASSEN

Assen (The Netherlands) 14 April 2019

Round four of the FIM Supersport world championship sees Randy Krummenacher take to the podium once again. The Swiss rider, having scored pole position yesterday, made a good start to today’s race before moving into the lead and holding that position for a large part of the race. He was unable to hold off team-mate Federico Caricasulo on the final lap though, the Italian passing him to take the win. Krummenacher retains the championship lead with 90 points, followed by Federico Caricasulo and Frenchman Jules Cluzel, 17 and 21 points behind respectively. Krummenacher’s domination continues, the rider having scores two wins and two second-place finishes in four races, confirming his consistency and intention to fight for the world title.

The Team Bardahl Evan Bros rider, clearly pleased with today’s result, now looks ahead with confidence to the next race, at Imola, set to take place over the weekend of 10-12 May. In the meantime, the rider prepares for a test and the role of back-up rider for the factory YART Yamaha Team at the Le Mans 24 Hours, taking place next weekend.

#RK21: “Second is an excellent result and I’m pleased because I came to Assen with a 14-point lead over second and I go home with a 17-point lead. It was a very hard-fought race, I held the lead until the last lap when Federico Caricasulo got past me. I didn’t have any more to give. The points from this race mean I hold on to the championship lead and this is important. The goal is the title and I’ll do all I can, together with the team, to secure it. Now we look ahead to Imola and hope to solidify our position.

Tomorrow, together with my family, I’ll head to France to carry out a test and then be a reserve rider for Team YART Yamaha at the Le Mans 24 Hours. I’ve never run that kind of race but I’m interested and new challenges really inspire me. Thanks to Team Yart for giving me the opportunity and thanks to Team Bardahl Evan Bros for giving me a bike that allows me to do what I’m doing.”


WorldSSP300: Gonzalez takes second consecutive victory at Assen

19 riders covered by just 2.3s as WorldSSP300 provides another jaw-dropping battle

WorldSSP300 once again put on a phenomenal show to complete has been an incredible Motul Dutch Round for the World Supersport 300 championship. 19 riders battled hard to see who would take the victory in front of a packed Assen crowd, which eventually saw Manuel Gonzalez take a second career win!

Pole position was taken by Galang Hendra Pratama (Semakin Di Depan Biblion Motoxracing), who got an incredible start and led by Turn 1. However, despite the big initial gap, the race was far from over, as Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) pushed through to lead, whilst Hugo De Cancellis (Team Trasimeno) also came through the field. Teammate Omar Bonoli was also a prominent figure in the leading group, along with Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300), Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) and Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki).

As the leaders swapped and changed in frantic fashion throughout the race, there were some massive accidents. Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) crashed at the ferocious Turn 7, with his bike taking a huge beating on Lap 3. Also crashing in front of him at the same corner and on the same lap, were Kevin Arduini (2R Racing Team) and his teammate, Jack Hyde.

In a race which saw riders drop back and then surge forwards, one of the most notable improvers was Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project), who qualified in 28th place but was up in the lead on the final lap, having to fend off the likes of Ana Carrasco and Manuel Gonzalez!

It was chaos at the final chicane, as all 19 riders looked to try and make up as many positions as possible. Contact between Jan-Ole Jahnig (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team) and Manuel Gonzalez forced the Spaniard off track at the final chicane, but he crossed the line in first! Scott Deroue was in third place as the chasing pack crossed the line, with 2.3s covering the top 19!

After a small pause as race direction looked at the results, Gonzalez maintained his victory whilst Jahnig was forced to drop a place for exceeding track limits! Deroue took second in front of his home fans, whilst Jahnig was third and achieved his first podium! Nick Kalinin was fourth whilst Hugo De Cancellis was fifth.

P1 - Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team)

"It was an incredible race! It was tough for me to overtake especially in the corners, but in the straight, I had more advantage! The last lap was amazing. I kept trying and finally got at the front and took the victory once again. Thanks to my team for all the work they have done. It was a perfect weekend!"


Gonzalez Wins Again As Deroue Podiums At Home

The usual mind-bendingly close and exciting WorldSSP300 championship race at Assen saw a leading bunch of 19 riders cross the line almost as one, with Spain’s Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGo Team) taking his second win in succession, doubling up on his recent success at home in Motorland Aragon.

After the results of the race were revised from those first flashed up on the TV screens, Gonzales was finally confirmed as the winner, from another Ninja 400 rider - local man Scott Deroue (Kawasaki Motoport).

Deroue had finished the Motorland race third, moving up by one place at his local track after an astounding contest in the highly oversubscribed WorldSSP300 grid. Scott was eighth at the end of the penultimate lap, making his push at just the right time to be in contention for the win.

Reigning World Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec) led the race with just a few corners to go but was swamped by other riders desperate to get on the podium. She finished eighth, but still only 0.780 seconds from the winner Gonzalez.

It was a good day for Kawasaki riders in general again, with young Ukrainian rider Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM) the third Ninja rider in the top four. Bruno Ieraci (Kawasaki GP Project) was seventh, one place and 0.192 seconds ahead of Carrasco.

Local rider Robert Schotman (Motoport Kawasaki) was 12th today, but as an indication of how close and competitive this class is in 2019, Robert was only 1.180 seconds back from the winner. The top 19 riders were covered by just 2.305 seconds at the chequered flag.

Once again 50 riders tried to make sure they could qualify for the race today, but after snow, sleet and a wet tack surface cancelled the ‘Last Chance’ race on Saturday afternoon, all of the 34 riders who started the race today came direct from the ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups in qualifying and Superpole.

In the championship standings, after round two, Gonzalez leads with a perfect 50 points, Deroue is second with 36, and Hugo De Cancellis is third with 31. Schotman is 10th and Carrasco 11th.

The third of nine rounds this season will be at Imola, In Italy, with raceday on Sunday the 12th of May.

Manuel Gonzalez, stated: “Again victory, but it was so difficult. Last week it was in the last corner and here again in the last corner. We did really good work in all the practice and qualifying sessions. The bike was very good but it was difficult for me to overtake in the corners. In the straights I could manage to pass and in the last sector I wanted to be first! So thanks to the team for all the work they have done.”

Scott Deroue, stated: “It is always special to be at home and take a podium in front of your friends, family and sponsors. Last year we were strong in Imola as well but in the last lap we crashed. In the other races we were strong so I think the rest of the season we can do the same, and that is my goal. Aragon and Assen are really slipstream races but in Imola and Donington, for example, it is more about pace and corners. There are not so many straights. So I am really looking forward to the other races to see how fast we are there.”

Ana Carrasco, stated: “We are all very close this year but the race was very similar to last year, only we have been a bit unlucky in the last lap. I felt strong and I thought passing the leader in the slipstream would be enough to allow me to enter the last corner first, but in this class you never know! So finally we finished eighth but I felt very happy with my performance and I also felt very strong. I think I was the strongest in the group so that is really good; it gives me some confidence for the next one. The result is not what I wanted but we did a good job, so we will wait for Imola.”


Source: 
Round Number: 
4
2019

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