Rea and Checa score wins at Assen as WSBK series hots up
Assen is a fantastically flowing circuit with smooth asphalt for which Pirelli has made available 4 front and 4 rear Diablo Superbike tyres to the SBK class, including both Soft and Medium options for cold and warmer conditions; an overall allotment of 4,604 tyres including those to support the first round of the STK classes. The focuses at this spring race were durability and stability rather than pure performance, offered through an increased mechanical grip that requires slightly more setup time. Throughout practice and qualifying, it never exceeded 20°C on the asphalt whilst on race day we saw nearly 30°C, making tyre choice very critical. SBK Race 1: Sykes (Kawasaki), Xaus (Honda) and Guintoli (Ducati) opted for the Soft (A) rear tyre with bike setup finding trouble managing tyre wear, compared to Fabrizio’s (Suzuki), whose team’s bike setup was focused on the Soft and brought home a 5th and 7th place. A great performance by Rea (Honda) on the Soft (SC1) front and Medium rear at his team’s home track, adding to his double-win here last year. Race 2: Seven seconds faster race time (35’38.693) vs. 2010, where Checa (Duc) demonstrated an ideal usage of the Soft (A) rear tyre he changed to for the second race. SSP: The race saw a few rider errors and red flags, leaving Scassa (Yamaha) unable to finish but gave a chance to Parkes (Kawasaki), who switched to the Soft (SC1) rear after the red flag to find podium performances, behind Davies (Yamaha) and Foret (Honda). STK600: The first race of the season left a track record 1 sec. faster of 1’40.94 set by new Australian entrant Metcher (Yamaha) on Diablo Supercorsa tyres available to our everyday dealer network.” - Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director, Pirelli Moto Jonathan Rea and Carlos Checa scored a win apiece at Assen today, in races held in dry and occasionally sunny conditions at this classic Dutch track. Rea was particularly happy to see his first victory arrive at his team's home circuit, after some tough times early in the season. It is Checa, however, who can leave with the greatest satisfaction as he now has a clear points lead over Max Biaggi, 132 - 89. Max, the reigning champion, recovered from all his dramas at Donington last month with two assured second place finishes today and he got the reward of second in the championship overall, with his home race of Monza next up. Donington race winner Marco Melandri just missed out on a podium finish in race one at Assen but fell in race two and is now in third place overall, four points behind Biaggi. Rea is now fourth, on 79 points, as he and Checa swapped wins and third places, with Checa taking the final spot in race one and Rea third in race two. Leon Haslam had two hard fights on his hands today, but he scored good points in race two for fifth place, the same position he holds in the championship fight with his new total of 68 points. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) set the fastest lap in race two to help him go fourth and he is now sixth in the championship. Pirelli BEST LAP Awards: SBK Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike), 1’36.660 (Lap 3) SBK Race 2 – Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia Racing), 1’36.476 (Lap 3) Total BEST LAP (SBK): Biaggi M. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 2, Haga N. (PATA Racing Team Aprilia): 1, Checa C. (Althea Racing): 1, Sykes T. (Kawasaki Racing Team Superbike): 1, Camier L. (Aprilia Alitalia Racing): 1 WSS – Luca Scassa (Yamaha ParkinGO Team), 1'39.019 (Lap 6) Total BEST LAP (WSS): Foret F. (HANNspree Ten Kate Honda): 1, Lowes S. (Parkalgar Honda): 1, Scassa L. (Yamaha ParkinGO Team): 1 STK1000 – Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock), 1’39.050 (Lap 2) STK600 – Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Team), 1’40.949 (Lap 7) Race 1 Rea overcame the early battles at Assen to record his and Honda's first win of the 2011 season, beating Biaggi by 0.7 seconds and championship leader Checa by 3.5 seconds in race one. Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike) overcame a slow start to claw his way back to fourth, just ahead of Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare). With Troy Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) behind Fabrizio there were six different machines inside the top six places. Top Kawasaki runner was Mark Aitchison (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) in tenth. Leon Haslam, Corser's team-mate, survived a fast early crash to recover to a top-12 finish. Race one saw many falls and retirements, and only 14 riders finished the race, but in race two only two riders failed to finish. Results: 1. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 35'46.486 (167,589 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA)Aprilia RSV4 Factory 0.739; 3. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 3.572; 4. Melandri M. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R1 9.508; 5. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 9.892; 6. Corser T. (AUS) BMW S1000 RR 11.120; 7. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 15.235; 8. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 30.081; 9. 86 Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 32.071; 10. Aitchison M. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-10R 35.000; 11. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 43.287; 12. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 45.289; 13. Veneman B. (NED) BMW S1000 RR 45.298; 14. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 50.764; etc. Race 2 A delayed start to the second Assen race made no difference to the outcome as Checa and Biaggi played a high-speed game of cat-and-mouse. Biaggi looking to have it wrapped up as he passed long time leader Checa, only for the Spanish rider to reassert himself on the final lap and win his fourth race of the year. A battle between Rea and Melandri ended when the Italian star fell, leaving Rea on the podium in third. Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) was fourth, while a multiple rider fight for fifth went to Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport), from Laverty, Fabrizio, Haga, Smrz and Guintoli. In the points standings Checa now leads by 132 to Biaggi's 89. Melandri is third on 85, Rea jumping to fourth with his new total of 79 points. Results: 1. Checa C. (ESP) Ducati 1098R 35'38.693 (168,199 kph); 2. Biaggi M. (ITA) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 0.524; 3. Rea J. (GBR) Honda CBR1000RR 3.584; 4. Camier L. (GBR) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 5.913; 5. Haslam L. (GBR) BMW S1000 RR 16.916; 6. Laverty E. (IRL) Yamaha YZF R1 17.375; 7. Fabrizio M. (ITA) Suzuki GSX-R1000 17.740; 8. Haga N. (JPN) Aprilia RSV4 Factory 18.329; 9. Smrz J. (CZE) Ducati 1098R 18.378; 10. Guintoli S. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 18.404; 11. Sykes T. (GBR) Kawasaki ZX-10R 26.284; 12. Lascorz J. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-10R 27.053; 3. Berger M. (FRA) Ducati 1098R 38.614; 14. Xaus R. (ESP) Honda CBR1000RR 40.824; 15. Badovini A. (ITA) BMW S1000 RR 40.953; 16. Rolfo R. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-10R 40.982; etc. Points (after 3 rounds of 13): 1. Checa 132; 2. Biaggi 89; 3. Melandri 85; 4. Rea 79; 5. Haslam 68; 6. Camier 50; 7. Smrz 49; 8. Fabrizio 47; 9. Laverty 35; 10. Haga 34; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 136; 2. Aprilia 106; 3. Yamaha 97; 4. Honda 79; BMW 74; 5. 38; 6. Suzuki 47; 7. Kawasaki 43. World Supersport Chaz Davies (Yamaha ParkinGO) took his first win in the WSS category after heading up a 16-lap race that was restarted twice after red flag incidents. Second was Fabien Foret (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) some seven seconds back, with third closely place contested but eventually taken by Broc Parkes (Kawasaki Motocard.com). Robbin Harms (Harms Benjan Racing Honda) went fourth, David Salom, Parkes' team-mate, was fifth, and Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki rider Massimo Roccoli ended up a fine sixth. James Ellison (Bogdanka PTR Honda) pushed himself to seventh. Only 19 riders crossed the line from a field of 30, with three riders injured in two separate accidents that brought out the red flags. Sam Lowes (Parkalgar Honda) suffered concussion and an injured shoulder, while Alex Lundh (Cresto Guide Honda) broke his wrist in a fall involving Marko Jerman (MD Team Jerman), who suffered many contusions and abrasions. In the championship standings, crashes from some of the leading contenders also closed up the points totals, with Davies' team-mate Luca Scassa still leading on 50, Parkes on 47, and Davies on 45. Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 26'37.029 (163,816 kph); 2. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 7.236; 3. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.084; 4. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 8.191; 5. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.122; 6. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.222; 7. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 14.616; 8. Praia M. (POR) Honda CBR6000RR 32.623; etc. Points (after 3 rounds of 12): 1. Scassa 50; 2. Parkes 47; 3. Davies 45; 4. Harms 37; Salom 34; Foret 20; Roccoli 19; Ellison 19; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Yamaha 75; Honda 52; Kawasaki 47; Triumph 9. Superstock 1000 FIM Cup In the opening race of the Superstock season Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Ducati) held off a strong challenge from Danilo Petrucci (Barni Racing Team Ducati) to secure the win at Assen. Pole man Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Superstock) slid back from his early challenge to go third. Lorenzo Baroni (Althea Racing Ducati) had an eventual clear fourth but Bryan Staring (Pedercini Team Kawasaki) had an impressive ride through from 12th on lap one to give the new Kawasaki Ninja a fifth in its race debut. Andrea Antonelli (Team Lorini Honda) was the top Honda rider, sixth, having been passed by Staring late on. Results: 1. Davies C. (GBR) Yamaha YZF R6 26'37.029 (163,816 kph); 2. Foret F. (FRA) Honda CBR600RR 7.236; 3. Parkes B. (AUS) Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.084; 4. Harms R. (DEN) Honda CBR600RR 8.191; 5. Salom D. (ESP) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.122; 6. Roccoli M. (ITA) Kawasaki ZX-6R 9.222; 7. Ellison J. (GBR) Honda CBR600RR 14.616; 8. Tamburini R. (ITA) Yamaha YZF R6 14.658; etc. Points (after 1 round of 10): Giugliano 25; Petrucci 20; Barrier 16; Baroni 13; Staring 11; Antonelli 10; La Marra 9; 10 Ten Napel 8; etc. Manufacturers: 1. Ducati 25 ; 2. BMW 16; 3. Kawasaki 11; 4. Honda 10; 5. Yamaha 4. The Assen weekend also saw the debut of the European Junior Cup which saw 12 riders line up at the start on identical Kawasaki Ninja 250 machines. The first race win went to German Tom Busch ahead of New Zealand’s Daniel Mettam and American Brandon Kyee.