It's a Kawasaki-green Assen with a double win for Jonathan Rea in Superbike and success for Kenan Sofuoglu in Supersport: good performance for the Pirelli range tyres
In front of almost 56,000 spectators the Northern Irish rider took his sixth win of the season out of a total of eight races held thus far and also set a new track record; the Pirelli solutions for the rear were good in both the SC0 and SC1 compound despite the low temperatures
|Jonathan Rea in action|
For the fourth round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship season, Jonathan Rea, the Kawasaki Racing Team rider, showed that he is the man to beat and the favourite to take the championship this year. His consistency from the beginning of the year has been extraordinary: out of a total of eight races held thus far, the Northern Irish rider has taken six wins with two doubles and two second place finishes. Right here at Assen the rider from the Akashi-based manufacturer took his second double win after the one he earned in Thailand, which catapults him to 190 points in the championship with a 50 point lead over the nearest contender, Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) and 67 points ahead of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team). The other riders could do nothing to contain the display of strength demonstrated by Jonathan Rea. Chaz Davies finished second in both races and hometown hero Michael VD Mark (PATA Honda World Superbike Team) took home a double third place. Satisfaction for Pirelli as well: despite the cool temperatures which were better suited for the characteristics of an SC1 compound rear tyre, several riders opted for the standard SC0 which proved to offer good performance even in less-than-perfect tarmac temperature conditions. In particular, most of the riders, following Pirelli's advice, opted for the T1392 rear solution in SC1 compound. The Ducati and EBR riders nevertheless decided from Race 1 to use the soft solution in the range, the SC0, which, although not working in optimum conditions, still did a respectable job, allowing Chaz Davies to ride to the second step of the podium twice. Not only this, but it was precisely the T1392 SC1 development solution on the rear that allowed Jonathan Rea to set the new track record at 1’35.899 despite the lower horsepower permitted by the new championship rules this year. Sunday in Race 1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) won his fifth race of the season, showing that he is the rider in the best shape this year and that he is a favourite for the Championship. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), who started from the pole position earned on Saturday, was unable to take advantage of the position and let team mate Jonathan Rea slip by him. In the seventh lap Michael VD Mark (PATA Honda World Superbike Team) overtook Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) to move temporarily into the third place that the Ducati rider would take back a lap later. In the ninth lap the race ended for both of the team VOLTCOM Crescent Suzuki riders, Alex Lowes due to a technical problem and Randy de Puniet due to a crash. In the tenth lap Chaz Davies, the only one of the riders up front to use the standard SC0 rear tyre, moved into second place after overtaking Tom Sykes, who went on to fall back two more positions in the fourteenth lap, yielding ground to Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) and Michael VD Mark.
|SBK Race 1 Podium|
During the sixteenth lap the rider from the Noale-based manufacturer overtook the hometown hero to move into third place, but the Dutchman was having none of it and in the penultimate lap he took back the position he had lost, finishing on the bottom step of the podium. On the home stretch Jonathan Rea was first on his Kawasaki with Chaz Davies putting in an excellent performance behind him on his Ducati and third place going to Michael VD Mark who also took his first Superbike podium in front of his home crowd. Fourth place for Leon Haslam and fifth for Tom Sykes. Between the two Superbike races the FIM Supersport World Championship race was held with a heated duel on the track and some controversy after the race between Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). The riders were all on DIABLO™ Supercorsa in standard SC1 compound on the rear. Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport Team) got off to an excellent start from the fourth spot on the grid, immediately moving into the lead with Kenan Sofuoglu and Jules Cluzel close behind, the latter starting from pole position. In the third lap Cluzel overtook the Turkish Kawasaki rider to move into second place and then in the fourth lap he also overtook Smith to take the lead. Sofuoglu gave chase, also overtaking the team Honda rider. In the fifth lap Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres) also overtook Smith to move into third place behind Cluzel and Sofuoglu but things really got exciting in the tenth lap when Sofuoglu overtook Cluzel to move into the lead. In the meantime, on the thirteenth lap Smith moved back into the third place that had been snatched from him a few laps earlier by Jacobsen. In the finale it was a battle for the top step of the podium between Jules Cluzel on his MV Agusta and Kenan Sofuoglu on his Kawasaki. The two riders fought it out down to the end and after a fierce battle under the wire it was Kenan Sofuoglu who won the race with the MV Agusta Frenchman finishing second and Kyle Smith third on his Honda. This places Kenan Sofuoglu firmly in the lead of the Championship with 80 points and a 25 lead over Patrick Jacobsen and 35 points over Jules Cluzel. Superbike Race 2 provided excitement on the track but the end result did not change with respect to Race 1. It was Jonathan Rea who triumphed once again on his Kawasaki, followed by Chaz Davies on his Ducati and Michael VD Mark on his Honda. Behind them, just like Race 1, were Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes. Rea got off the line well and took the race lead but Sykes was having none of it and by the end of the first lap he had taken it back. Behind them was Leon Haslam who was overtaken in the second lap by Chaz Davies. In the eleventh lap the Ducati rider managed to get by Jonathan Rea to move into second place, where he would finish the race. But the Northern Irishman wouldn't have it and by the twelfth lap he overtook Davies and then a lap later he passed his team mate as well, moving back into the lead. Tom Sykes, now running second, was overtaken during the fourteenth by Chaz Davies as well, and in the following lap Dutchman Michael VD Mark and Leon Haslam also got past, relegating him to fifth place. A fast pack was created at the front made up of Rea, Haslam, Davies and VD Mark. Just metres from the home stretch, like in Race 1, the Dutchman managed to defy the standard bearer from the Noale-based manufacturer to take the bottom step of the podium the second time in one day. It was then time for the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup. Because of a crash on the straight stretch by Roberto Tamburini the race was red-flagged in the 2nd lap. At the restart Lorenzo Savadori (Nuova M2 Racing) won the race with Raffaele De Rosa (Althea Racing) behind him and coming in third Ondrej Jezek (Triple-M by Barni). On Saturday the third race of the Superstock 600 FIM European Championship was also held.Like at Aragòn it was Turkish rider Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who took the top step of the podium, making this his third win out of the three races held thus far. Behind him were Michael Ruben Rinaldi (San Carlo Team Italia) and Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) who finished third.
Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director: “We can't help but be pleased with the way the weekend went and who our tyres performed on this circuit. The temperatures today and in recent days were quite cool and this is why we recommended the soft standard solution on the rear, the SC0, for all the teams because of the high potential for cold tearing. Therefore we recommended using more protected solutions like the SC1. Despite this, in some cases (like with Ducati) we saw that the SC0 could also be used without any big problems. In fact, despite the fact that these weren't optimum operating conditions for it because of the low asphalt temperatures, it proved to perform admirably. Jonathan Rea proved this well, winning Race 1 with the SC1 development solution and Race 2 with the standard SC0, in both cases with a tarmac temperature of less than 20 degrees. Not only this, but it was with the SC1 (a solution which normally provides less grip than the standard SC0) that Jonathan also set a new track record in Race 1, an even more important result when you consider that with the new rules this year the bikes have significantly less horsepower. Besides this it is important to note how the Best Lap was taken in the later laps of the race. This shows how consistent the performance of our tyres is. My compliments to Kawasaki, especially the Kawasaki Puccetti Team that won both in Supersport and in Superstock 600. Rea showed that he is very strong. It will be hard for his rivals to beat him but over the years Superbike has taught us that there are always surprises in store and that the Championship is a battle down to the last race.” The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders: In Superbike most of the riders chose the T1392 SC1 development solution for the rear, the tyre that made its début this year at Aragón. The remaining riders, specifically the Ducati and EBR riders, used the standard soft solution, the SC0. On the front 2/3 of the riders on the grid turned to the new T1467 SC1 development solution with the remainder opting for the S1699 SC1 development solution. The only rider that went against the flow was Jonathan Rea who showed more appreciation for the standard SC2. In Supersport all the riders, following Pirelli's recommendation, chose the standard SC1 solution for the rear, whereas for the front 4/5 of the riders preferred the standard SC1, with five opting for the S1485 SC1 development solution. Pirelli Best Lap Award: The Pirelli Best Lap Awards, the prizes that are assigned to the riders with the fast laps in the Superbike and Supersport races, were presented in the Paddock Show during the press conference that follows the podiums at the end of the race day. The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Award” titles at the end of the season will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and awarded during the end of year ceremony. These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards at the TT Circuit Assen: WSB Race 1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'35.899 (20th lap) WSB Race 2 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team), 1'35.992 (18 th lap) WSS – Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), 1’38.184 (15 th lap) The overall standings after the first four rounds are as follows: WSB: Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team): 3; Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team): 3; Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 1; Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils): 1 WSS: Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse): 2; Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Team): 1; Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres): 1 The 2015 Pirelli statistics for the TT Circuit Assen round: • Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4619 • Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 7 rear • Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 34 front and 37 rear • Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet):: 4 front and 5 rear • Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 22 front and 25 rear • Temperature in Race 1: air 9° C, asphalt 15° C • Temperature in Race 2: air 13° C, asphalt 20° C • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 303.2 kms/h, in Race 2 by Michael VD Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) at 20th lap • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 263.2 kms/h, Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres) at 16th lap.