Steeped in history, raced by legends, brought alive by fans: the iconic Assen circuit is back and ready to light the fireworks as 2021 rumbles on Summer is well and truly upon us and the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season is in full flow as the paddock heads to round five at the TT Circuit Assen for the Prosecco DOC Dutch Round. The iconic Assen venue has been a part of WorldSBK ever since 1992 and despite missing out in 2020 after the pandemic took hold, it’s back in emphatic style for 2021. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) leads Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) by just two points in what is a huge title scrap; will the pendulum swing once again this weekend?
Three wins in the last four races, nine podium finishes from the opening 12 and finishing every single race inside the top six, Toprak Razgatlioglu is in the form of his life. The 24-year-old Turk has found consistency that has even seen him leap ahead in the Championship standings. Assen is a circuit where he took a first Superstock 1000 win back in 2017, whilst in WorldSBK, his record reads three ninth place finishes and a tenth – not spectacular but Toprak is a different rider in comparison to just two years ago, so can he extend his Championship lead at a track he’s not raced at with Yamaha before? It’s positive vibes on the other side of the garage too, as teammate Andrea Locatelli heads to the track he took his best ever Moto2™ finish at in 2019, with sixth.
The last time Jonathan Rea came to Assen, he was also trailing in the Championship – although that was by 39 points to Alvaro Bautista and Ducati. With 12 victories, he is level on Assen wins with the legendary Carl Fogarty with both British aces being maestros around the legendary Dutch venue. Aiming to become the first rider in WorldSBK to win 13 races at one circuit, Rea knows he has a prime opportunity to strike back. After a podium at home and a solid performance at Donington Park, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) heads to Assen, the only circuit he’s taken a pole at – will he be able to conjure something special up and be in the victory fight.
1. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (183 points)
2. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (181 points)
3. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (117 points)
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