2018 Assen World Superbike Race Two Results: A Stark Reminder

The second World Superbike race of the weekend was twenty one laps on a warm day as the track was warmed up to 30ºC.

The reverse grid put Tom Sykes on pole position ahead of Xavi Fores and Marco Melandri and the leading three entered the first turn in that order. Jonathan Rea and Michael van der Mark once again looked at making the reverse grid a mockery, with van der Mark getting to fourth place and Rea in sixth behind Tati Mercado. Chaz Davies wasn't as lucky, meeting Rea and van der mark at the exit of turn one and having to make an off-track excursion to stay on his bike. Davies recovered in tenth place. 

By the end of the first lap, Tom Sykes already had almost a second of a lead from Xavi Fores who himself was over a second clear of the scrap for third between Michael van der Mark and Jonathan Rea. Marco Melandri started the second lap in seventh place after a fight in the Geert Timmer chicane didn't go his way. The second lap extended Sykes's lead as he set the fastest lap while Chaz Davies gained three places as Melandri lost another four. 

Tom Sykes set the fastest lap again, extending his lead to a second and a half over Xavi Fores while his teammate Jonathan Rea, lapping similar lap times as he took third place behind Michael van der Mark and, a few laps later, as Sykes kept increasing his lead, Rea caught second-placed Fores, and on lap six, Rea passed Fores. Making the most of the green kerbs, Rea passed Fores into turn fourteen and at the Geert Timmer chicane, van der Mark took third from Fores. 

At the start of lap seven, Tom Sykes had a three and a half second lead from Jonathan Rea, Michael van der Mark and Xavi Fores and this pace and positioning continued for six laps, up to the point Rea made a mistake at the chicane and van der Mark used a clean run to exit the chicane with enough speed to cleanly take second place into the first turn. On lap fourteen, van der Mark and Rea swapped second place several times apiece, while Alex Lowes's misfortunes continued with min crashing out and recovering in last place; he would have to fight for just two points at the end of the race. 

On lap fifteen of twenty one, Tom Sykes recorded a 1'35.999, his slowest lap of the race at that point and the last of his 1'35 laps as he commanded a six second lead from Jonathan Rea. As the laps ticked down, Michael van der Mark lost Rea's clean air and settled into third place, almost three seconds clear of Xavi Fores who himself was over three seconds ahead of Chaz Davies. Davies started to lose pace, over a second a lap slower than Fores, but as he had eight and a half seconds to lose before having to worry about Jordi Torres leading the five-way fight for sixth, he was safe even as he kept trying to look at his rear tyre. 

Tom Sykes reminded us what he was like when he was confident and in the lead, demonstrating that his hot-lapping skills were still there and that when left alone, he was unbeatable on his day. The first dominant victory of the year for any rider, with Kawasaki in first and second place and Jonathan Rea ending the weekend with forty five points. Michael van der Mark in third place took a double podium in front of his home crowd while Xavi Fores was the leading independent in fourth place, and the first Ducati for the second time this year.

Jonathan Rea extends his championship lead from Chaz Davies and Marco Melandri while Michael van der Mark closes up in fourth place. A jubilant Tom Sykes climbed to fifth place.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10RR  
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10RR 5.445
3 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 7.507
4 12 X. FORES Ducati Panigale R 11.316
5 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 18.953
6 81 J. TORRES MV Agusta 1000 F4 22.414
7 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale R 22.515
8 76 L. BAZ BMW S 1000 RR 23.997
9 54 T. RAZGATLIOGLU Kawasaki ZX-10RR 24.245
10 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 24.653
11 34 D. GIUGLIANO Aprilia RSV4 RF 41.807
12 21 M. RINALDI Ducati Panigale R 41.846
13 99 P. JACOBSEN Honda CBR1000RR 47.516
14 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 53.355
15 37 O. JEZEK Yamaha YZF R1 54.065
16 68 Y. HERNANDEZ Kawasaki ZX-10RR 57.758
RET 36 L. MERCADO Kawasaki ZX-10RR 5
RET 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10RR 5
Round Number: 
4
2018
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