World Supersport gave us the fight we were hoping for and the drama we have come to expect.
Kyle Smith battered his way to the lead at the beginning of the race, but it didn't take long for the battle of Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel to get to the front, giving us the four-way group of Jules Cluzel, Kenan Sofuoglu, PJ Jacobsen and Kyle Smith, with the back two trading places throughout the race and Sofuoglu taking the lead at the exact halfway point of the race, passing Cluzel at the chicane at the end of lap nine.
Sofuoglu and Cluzel traded fastest laps as they left the battle behind them at lap record pace. At one point, Kenan Sofuoglu looked back to see Cluzel waving hello to him. Two laps from the end, Cluzel passed Sofuoglu round the outside of the entrance of the chicane in a move that looked like it shouldn't have been possible, but Sofuoglu took the lead back by turn one. The race was then set up to come down to the chicane at the last lap.
As they entered the chicane for the last time, Cluzel took the lead into the entrance. Sofuoglu had the outside line on the left hander and he leant on Cluzel, pushing him into the corner, forcing him to have "coupé le gaz" or close the throttle. Cluzel went wide and across the dirt, losing touch with Sofuoglu and falling into the clutches of a surprised Smith who saw that second place was suddenly possible.
Kenan Sofuoglu won the race, but with a black mark of " 54 under investigation" and a livid Jules Cluzel on the cool-down lap, referring to Sofuoglu's actions as "crazy like Kenan", a sentiment that has been shared by many riders in the past. Sofuoglu's reaction was that there was a door open and Cluzel was only upset because he lost the race.
Cluzel managed to hold off Smith to the line, holding off the Englishman to the last step of the podium.
Once again, Assen provided entertainment at the Geert Timmer chicane and the weather held off long enough for us to slake our thirst.
|1||54||K. SOFUOGLU||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1'38.296||250,3|
|2||16||J. CLUZEL||MV Agusta F3 675||0.879||1'38.184||252,1|
|3||111||K. SMITH||Honda CBR600RR||0.908||1'38.392||262,5|
|4||99||P. JACOBSEN||Kawasaki ZX-6R||3.413||1'38.568||263,2|
|5||44||R. ROLFO||Honda CBR600RR||13.968||1'39.291||261,9|
|6||87||L. ZANETTI||MV Agusta F3 675||15.093||1'39.235||253,3|
|7||14||L. MAHIAS||Kawasaki ZX-6R||18.921||1'39.340||261,9|
|8||5||M. FACCANI||Kawasaki ZX-6R||22.948||1'39.492||252,7|
|9||25||A. BALDOLINI||MV Agusta F3 675||27.274||1'39.496||257,5|
|10||84||R. RUSSO||Honda CBR600RR||27.354||1'39.273||249,7|
|11||36||M. CARDENAS||Honda CBR600RR||27.488||1'39.270||250,3|
|12||61||F. MENGHI||Yamaha YZF R6||32.056||1'39.820||256,3|
|13||6||D. SCHMITTER||Kawasaki ZX-6R||44.517||1'39.952||257,5|
|14||4||G. REA||Honda CBR600RR||47.587||1'39.641||250,9|
|15||69||L. MORCIANO||Honda CBR600RR||1'01.998||1'41.507||258,1|
|16||74||K. CLARKE||Honda CBR600RR||1'02.051||1'40.669||248,6|
|17||10||N. CALERO||Honda CBR600RR||1'15.837||1'41.426||240,8|
|18||34||E. ITURRIOZ||Kawasaki ZX-6R||1 Lap||1'43.512||237,1|
|19||9||R. WILAIROT||Honda CBR600RR||2 Laps||1'39.391||253,9|