2018 Assen World Superbike Race One Results: Assen Gives Good Racing

Twenty one laps of the historic Assen circuit and the weather was warm, but not as warm as yesterday, meaning nobody had detailed tyre data for long runs in these conditions. 

Xavi Fores was quickest off the line, ahead of Jonathan Rea, with Alex Lowes in third place, reversing the front row into the first turn. Rea took the lead by turn five with Lowes taking second from Fores, ahead of Michael van der Mark and Marco Melandri.

On lap two, Chaz Davies charged through to sixth place and at the end of the lap, Jonathan Rea set the fastest lap only to have it broken three times immediately, by Alex Lowes, Xavi Fores and finally Michael van der Mark.

Van der Mark slotted cleanly into third place at turn four, pushing Fores back to fourth where he was immediately set upon by a host of riders. Jonathan Rea, leading the race, was quicker in the first half of the lap but van der Mark was quicker in the last sector, catching and passing his teammate Alex Lowes in the section that leads on to the straight, the Geert Timmer chicane. This is the favourite passing place for most riders, with many races being decided at this point of the track in almost every class that gets to race here. 

On the fourth lap, Chaz Davies took fifth place from Marco Melandri, with Tom Sykes in seventh at the back of the first group. As it looked like Jonathan Rea would get a bit of a gap to break away from the field, Michael van der Mark was able again to close up through the GT chicane. On lap seven, it looked like Melandri was dropping off the pace, but a lap later, he recovered and the leading group of seven riders remained as one. 

Lap eight opened with Michael van der Mark getting alongside Jonathan Rea heading to turn one, but Rea was stronger on the brakes and the pair remained in the same positions. As Xavi Fores looked to pass Alex Lowes to try to take third place from him, he left enough room for Chas Davies to snatch fourth place from him. At the end of the lap, van der Mark made the best of his strengths and cleanly made his move for the front, much to the pleasure of his fellow countrymen in the stands, passing Jonathan Rea into and out of the Geert Timmer chicane. Chaz Davies took third from Lowes shortly after and Xavi Fores pushed Lowes even further back, taking fourth place from him at turn eight. 

Lap ten was a reversal of fortunes as Michael van der Mark led for most of the lap only to lose the lead at the GT chicane into the grandstand area. Van der Mark looked like he was struggling to change direction as stably as he wanted, but it didn't seem to slow him down. Davies took second place from him on lap eleven, but he took it back into turn one of lap twelve. Davies and van der Mark swapped places again, with Davies taking second place at Ruskenhoek. Alex Lowes started to drop back through the pack, ending his hopes for a good result.

The pace slowed a little as the tyres started to wear and the riders adjusted to the track conditions but Chaz Davies wasn't losing as much pace as Jonathan Rea, and he tried to use his superior corner speed to take the lead, but Rea used his position to retain the lead. Marco Melandri dropped off the front five, behind Rea, Davies, van der Mark, Fores and Sykes, with his Ducati showing the familiar wobbles we've seen since the beginning of the year. 

The leading three of Rea, Davies and van der Mark broke free from Fores and Sykes but Sykes took fourth place and, as Michael van der Mark rode a perfect run through the last chicane to drive past Chaz Davies down the straight and take second place into turn one, Sykes pushed hard to get back on to the back of the front three to make it a four way battle for the podium as the laps started to run out.

On the last lap, Jonathan Rea held off Michael van der Mark while Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes duked it out right to the last chicane where Davies held third place in spite of Sykes's stabbing for gaps. 

Jonathan Rea won, equalling the number of victories at Assen by Carl Fogarty, ahead of local Yamaha rider Michael van der Mark with Rea's championship rival Chaz Davies in third place. Rea extends his championship lead to twenty one points.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 0.981
3 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 1.282
4 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10RR 1.413
5 12 X. FORES Ducati Panigale R 8.625
6 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale R 14.903
7 76 L. BAZ BMW S 1000 RR 17.301
8 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 21.482
9 81 J. TORRES MV Agusta 1000 F4 21.938
10 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 24.939
11 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 27.049
12 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 33.226
13 34 D. GIUGLIANO Aprilia RSV4 RF 35.630
14 99 P. JACOBSEN Honda CBR1000RR 38.480
15 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 38.604
16 68 Y. HERNANDEZ Kawasaki ZX-10RR 44.690
17 37 O. JEZEK Yamaha YZF R1 51.135
RET 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale R 5
Round Number: 
4
2018
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