The 2019 WorldSSP season has three rounds complete and they’ve been three thrilling, record-shattering opening encounters. In what has been a Yamaha-dominated top end of the championship, other manufacturers are starting to creep into the podium battle. With the TT Circuit Assen ready to host the fourth round of the championship, a circuit that continuously provides some of the best action in WorldSSP, we could be set for yet another fair-bashing, elbow-to-elbow contest!
Championship leader Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) took a stunning win at the MotorLand Aragon circuit during the Motocard Aragon Round. The Swiss veteran extended his championship lead and is looking to continue the form at a circuit which he put in a stunning performance at in 2018. Finishing second after dropping down to 18th from sixth on the grid, Krummenacher will be one of the favourites ahead of the Assen race. Will he become the first Swiss rider in WorldSSP history to achieve back-to-back wins?
It was a tricky Motocard Aragon Round for Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA), who finished a race outside the top four for the first time since Phillip Island in Australia, 2018. The Frenchman will be looking to return to the podium in The Netherlands, having achieved a podium at the famed venue for the past two seasons; including one win at the track in 2018. 14 points separate the leading two in the championship. His teammate, Corentin Perolari, is growing in stature with each race, so be sure to watch out for him, too!
Three third-places has seen Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) confirm his front-running pace in the opening rounds. The Italian has been in the fight for the lead in the last two races and continues to edge a little bit closer to victory with each race completed. Always giving 100%, the 22-year-old failed to finish at Assen last season, whilst a best finish of sixth in 2017 is his main highlight at the circuit in the World Supersport class.
After his first podium of the 2019 WorldSSP season, Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) took the challenge to the Yamahas that have dominated the championship so far. The Italian came from sixth on the grid to lead at the MotorLand Aragon circuit, before finishing a close second behind championship leader Krummenacher. With De Rosa comes years of experience at Assen, a circuit which he was third at in WorldSSP in 2018, for his first class podium, whilst being a winner in the FIM European Superstock 1000 class in 2016. Discount him at your peril.
Enjoying a consistent season so far, Hikari Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) will be hoping to continue his run of top ten results, which started in Phillip Island at the start of the season. The Japanese rider has never scored points at Assen, having suffered a DNF last season. His best finish in WorldSSP at the circuit is 21st, something he will be eager to improve on in 2019. His teammate, Lucas Mahias will also be hoping to return to the front, having been second at the Dutch circuit in his championship winning season of 2017.
Home fans will be hoping to cheer on the likes of Jaimie van Sikklereus (MPM WILSport Racedays) and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team), as the home favourites look to fight for top positions. Other riders to look out for will be Hannes Soomer (MPM WILSport Racedays) and CIA Landlord Insurance Honda pairing, Jules Danilo and Peter Sebestyen, all of which have experience in bundles at the TT Circuit Assen.
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