Jonathan Rea takes victory in gripping 200th WorldSBK race
In pleasant sunny conditions at the TT Assen Circuit on Sunday Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) gave a superb demonstration of his talent with a tight victory over second placed teammate Tom Sykes, as Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) completed the podium in third.
In his 200th WorldSBK race Rea held his nerve to cross the line 0.025s ahead of Sykes as the Yorkshireman applied the pressure in the final stages. It was Rea’s second win of the weekend, his seventh victory from eight races so far in 2017 and his 11th career win at Assen – with maximum points from Round 4 in the Netherlands putting the KRT man 64 points clear at the head of the standings.
It was a valiant effort for Sykes after his recent health issues and he will aim for his first win of 2017 next time out, in two weeks time at Imola.
After his cruel luck on Saturday, which saw Davies pull up with a technical problem with a lap to go when fighting for victory in Race 1, the Welshman bounced back with a fifth podium result of 2017 so far, in third place.
A good ride by Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) at his home round saw the Dutchman recover from a crash on Saturday to register a solid fourth place finish from 11th on the grid. It might have been even better for Van der Mark but for a big wobble for the Yamaha rider at turn 12 midrace -when he was chasing Davies for third.
Van der Mark’s Yamaha colleague Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also made up for his Race 1 disappointment to finish in the top five again, after crashing out on Saturday.
Another Englishman Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) rode well for sixth, finishing just over a second ahead of Spaniard Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team).
The top ten was completed by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team).
There were crashes for Italian trio Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) meaning no points for any of them. They will each have a chance to make amends at their home round in Italy at Imola in two weeks’ time.
1st – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“It has been an incredible weekend of racing, of course the race wins were really nice to take away. Today was a race of two halves, in the first half I raced hard until I got a warning so in the second half I just managed things to try and be safe and bring her home.”
2nd – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
“It was a very close finish and I have to say thanks to my publish, my fans and all the team for being very understanding about my physical condition. Today I felt we had a package capable of winning. I always kept trying and I am obviously disappointed not to take the win.”
3rd – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“It was tough, I enjoyed the racing, thay was good but in terms of how my race went I can’t say I’m happy with it, I didn’t get the bike that I wanted so eprhaps we went the wrong way with the set-up and we struggled to get the feeling with the bike that I like. We move onto Imola, Ducati’s backyard where hopefully we can be faster.”
#DutchWorldSBK at TT Circuit Assen: Race 2
1. Jonathan Rea Kawasaki
2. Tom Sykes Kawasaki +0.025
3. Chaz Davies Ducati +5.077