With a damp track, all but a handful of riders would start with wet weather tyres for the twenty-one lap flag-to-flag race.
Tom Sykes led the messy clump of riders feeling their way round a wet track without giving quarter. Chaz Davies, Jonathan Rea, Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden all jostled for position behind Sykes and were joined by a hard-charging Xavi Fores who scythed through the field to take third place through the chicane at the end of the first lap. Rea, having dropped back to sixth after an error, tried to work his way back up but started the third lap still in sixth place while Sykes was eking out a gap of almost a second in the lead.
Chaz Davies then overcooked a corner, dropping to fifth and handing second place to Xavi Fores. Rea capitalised and swapped places with the Ducati a couple of times but behind him, Josh Brookes was closing up and setting the fastest lap in seventh place.
At the start of lap four, the Hondas of van der Mark and Hayden passed Fores's customer Ducati and, after a little in-fighting, van der Mark caught Sykes's Kawasaki, setting the fastest lap in the process. Davies started suffering from grip issues and started lap five in eighth place behind Lorenzo Savadori on the Ioda Racing Aprilia. Tom Sykes was overtaken by three bikes in succession, conceding the lead to Michael van der Mark and Josh Brookes set the fastest lap again, taking the lead from van der Mark in the process.
Lap six and tyres were starting to get chewed up by the drying track while the intermediates were already too spent to take advantage of the conditions. Nobody had the right tyres any more. Josh Brookes led Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden with the Kawsakis of Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes battling behind them. Xavi Fores ducked into the pits for new tyres.
The flag to flag regulations in World Superbike have a minimum time for safety that must be spent changing tyres. At Assen, this time is sixty ones seconds, and with the top teams being very good at this sort of thing, that would be plenty of time for the teams to change tyres and not lose any time. Nobody would be gaining an advantage in the pits.
Jonathan Rea and Michael van der Mark fought hard behind Josh Brookes and Nicky Hayden and spent the entirety of the chicane side by side, neither conceding ground, but it was clear that this pace couldn't be kept up on wet weather tyres and, at the end of lap eight, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes both pitted in, Rea from third place and Sykes from ninth.
Josh Brookes didn't get the memo about grip fading and set the fastest lap again. Brookes, Hayden and van der Mark had a gap to Chaz Davies in fourth, but van der Mark conceded third place to the Welshman, pitting in for a tyre change at the end of lap nine. Savadori followed him a lap later.
Josh Brookes led Nicky Hayden and Chaz Davies, none of whom wanted to pit in while the track was clear of rivals, but by lap eleven, Jonathan Rea on the slick rear and Tom Sykes on the intermediate, were lapping five seconds a lap quicker than the leaders. At the end of lap twelve, Brookes, Davies and Hayden all made the decision to change their tyres.
Lucas Mahias, the mad Frenchman on the Pedercini Kawasaki, was now the leader, with Pawel Szkopek on the Team Toth Yamaha behind him.
Team Toth were in second place. Behind Pedercini Racing.
Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes were visibly faster than any bike near and they made quick work of Szkopek and closed the seven second gap to Mahias before the lap was out. Szkopek pitted in. Josh Brookes, out on new tyres, unfortunately crashed and ended his race.
Lucas Mahias led over the line at the start of lap fourteen, but then the factory Kawasakis on decent tyres left him for dust. Mathias, having had his fun at the front then pitted in for new tyres.
As the dust settled and everyone had the tyres they'd finish on, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes had a healthy lead over local man Michael van der Mark who himself was almost ten seconds clear of a lonely Lorenzo Savadori behind him. Third and fourth places were determined and only the order at the front was to be decided.
Tom Sykes, when pitting in, asked for a slick tyre, but his team didn't make out his request and instead fitted an intermediate and this would be the decider. Both Kawasaki riders were closely matched, but Rea was able to manage the power out of corners much better and this proved over the last four laps, to be worth a tenth or two at a time and Jonathan Rea took a hard-fought but comfortable victory over a second clear of his teammate Tom Sykes. Michael van der Mark took an emotionally charged third place in front of a jubilant Dutch crowd and Lorenzo Savadori finished with his best ever result in fourth place. Chaz Davies and Nicky Hayden rounded out the top six.
Jonathan Rea extends his championship lead with a double win at Assen and is now forty-five points clear of Chaz Davies and fifty-nine ahead of Tom Sykes.
|1||1||J. REA||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'37.706||285,4|
|2||66||T. SYKES||Kawasaki ZX-10R||2.442||1'38.213||285,8|
|3||60||M. VAN DER MARK||Honda CBR1000RR SP||15.189||1'39.216||282,0|
|4||32||L. SAVADORI||Aprilia RSV4 RF||25.507||1'39.142||280,5|
|5||7||C. DAVIES||Ducati Panigale R||30.853||1'38.597||283,9|
|6||69||N. HAYDEN||Honda CBR1000RR SP||36.458||1'39.068||282,0|
|7||22||A. LOWES||Yamaha YZF R1||39.263||1'39.547||281,6|
|8||34||D. GIUGLIANO||Ducati Panigale R||46.789||1'39.555||277,3|
|9||2||L. CAMIER||MV Agusta 1000 F4||1'05.023||1'37.974||278,7|
|10||12||X. FORÉS||Ducati Panigale R||1'05.468||1'40.254||278,0|
|11||50||S. GUINTOLI||Yamaha YZF R1||1'24.948||1'43.760||280,5|
|12||40||R. RAMOS||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1'35.035||1'40.073||274,8|
|13||44||L. MAHIAS||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1 Lap||1'39.970||276,2|
|14||17||K. ABRAHAM||BMW S1000 RR||1 Lap||1'40.537||279,4|
|15||81||J. TORRES||BMW S1000 RR||1 Lap||1'39.224||280,5|
|16||21||M. REITERBERGER||BMW S1000 RR||1 Lap||1'45.584||272,4|
|17||94||M. LUSSIANA||BMW S1000 RR||1 Lap||1'45.929||272,7|
|18||119||P. SZKOPEK||Yamaha YZF R1||1 Lap||1'45.215||265,3|
|RET||25||J. BROOKES||BMW S1000 RR||9 Laps|
|RET||151||M. BAIOCCO||Ducati Panigale R||11 Laps|