WSBK easy win for Rea.

Posted: 18th April 2016 by admin in Miscellaneous, MotoGP
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Jonathan Rea has produced a masterclass performance to take a double victory weekend in a tricky wet-to-dry race at Assen ahead of team-mate Tom Sykes with local hero Michael van der Mark claiming third.
WSBK Assen, Netherlands: Rea
In a pulsating race a sudden rain downpour which had forced a restart in the earlier World Supersport race saw riders take on a slippery Assen circuit on wet tyres but with sunshine beaming on to the track it quickly dried up forcing mid-race pit stops.

Kawasaki duo of Rea and Sykes pulled off perfect stops at the ideal time to navigate the drying track on slicks before blasting clear of the chasing pack who opted to pit too late.

British Superbike champion Josh Brookes had lead the first half of the race in the wet but after leaving his pit stop slightly too late he crashed on his out lap on a cold slick tyre to miss out on a potential podium.

Rea maintained a steady advantage over Sykes and despite both riders enduring hairy moments towards the finish the Northern Irish rider completed a peerless ride to take a double victory in the Netherlands.

His 34th career WSBK win and fifth straight victory in Assen, coupled with his title rivals Sykes in second and Davies in fifth, allowed the defending champion to extend his lead in the riders’ championship to 45 points thanks to his masterclass performance.

Honda Racing’s van der Mark made up for crashing out of race one with third place but missed out on challenging Rea and Sykes having pitted a lap later than the Kawasaki pair. Lorenzo Savadori was the biggest exponent of the shake up to take fourth for IodaRacing Aprilia ahead of Davies and Nicky Hayden.

Crescent Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes claimed seventh ahead of Davide Giugliano with Leon Camier and Xavi Fores completing the top ten.

Guintoli, who started the race on intermediates scrambled to 11th place ahead of Roman Ramos who was the last on the lead lap as Lucas Mahias, Karel Abraham and Jordi Torres claimed the final points.

The race was declared wet with all riders taking tentative starts off the line as Sykes held the holeshot. Guintoli, starting from second, was the only rider to take the gamble with an intermediate rear with the hope the race would come to him as the track dried up.

As the track slowly but surely dried Milwaukee BMW’s Brookes stormed into the lead with the Honda Racing duo of Hayden and van der Mark plus race one winner Rea following closely behind.

On lap eight Rea and team-mate Sykes were the first of the front-runners to dive into the pits as Brookes charged ahead. van der Mark pitted a lap later while Guintoli on the intermediates set the fastest lap of the race.

Due to the one bike rule in World Superbikes, compared to having a spare bike in MotoGP, the pit stops would take around one minute to swap tyres and after a gentle out-lap to measure the level of grips Rea and Sykes began reel in the leaders.

At the end of lap 11 Brookes, Davies and Hayden eventually pitted for slicks which looked to be a couple of laps too late as the Kawasaki duo sprinted clear with Rea leading Sykes and van der Mark seven seconds back in third.

Brookes, pushing hard to make up time, suffered heartbreak crashing on a cold tyre on his out-lap at turn nine.

In the breathless second race the Kawasaki pair held their time advantage over van der Mark in third, while Rea carefully measured a one-second lead over Sykes and eventually claimed victory having mastered the conditions with his perfect pit stop.

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