Assen WSBK: Rea completes treble as Yamahas collide
Jonathan Rea romped to a third successive World Superbike victory in Sunday's final race of the weekend at Assen, as Yamaha riders Toprak Razgatlioglu and Garrett Gerloff collided at Turn 1.
Victory in the Superpole race on Sunday morning gave Rea pole for the second 21-lap encounter of the weekend, but it was Razgatlioglu from third on the grid who appeared set to lead the pack through the first corner.
That was until the GRT Yamaha of Gerloff, coming from eighth on the grid, barrelled his way up the inside and made contact with Razgatlioglu, causing the Turkish rider to crash out of the race.
Emerging from the chaos with the lead was the surviving factory Yamaha of Andrea Locatelli, who led from Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Alex Lowes as Rea was pushed wide at Turn 1 and slipped to sixth at the end of the opening lap.
But Rea was soon on the move, passing Michael van der Mark's BMW for fifth on lap two and then Kawasaki teammate Lowes for fourth and Scott Redding's Ducati for third on the next tour.
One lap later, Rea was up to second at the expense of Rinaldi and starting to eat into Locatelli's advantage up front.
Locatelli had managed to escape to the tune of around 1.4 seconds, but by lap seven that gap had been halved, and by the end of lap 10 Rea was right on the tail of the Italian rookie.
The inevitable move came on the last chicane on lap 11, and from there Rea had a clear path to an eighth victory of the season and his first weekend sweep since last year's Portimao round.
With Razgatlioglu failing to score for the first time in 2021, it gives Rea a comfortable 37-point championship lead.
Locatelli found himself having to defend from Redding's Ducati in the latter stages, with the Briton muscling his way past the Yamaha on lap 19 to match his Saturday race result.
Locatelli nonetheless scored his first WSBK podium, having had his third-place finish in the Superpole race taken away at the finish due to a track limits infringement on the last lap.
Chaz Davies enjoyed his best outing since Estoril on the GoEleven Ducati as he passed the fading factory machine of Michael Ruben Rinaldi to finish in fourth.
Alvaro Bautista also passed Rinaldi to score his best finish of the season aboard the Honda in fifth.
Rinaldi finally dropped to eighth at the finish behind the BMW of van der Mark and the Kawasaki of Lowes, albeit gaining one position back when the other BMW of Tom Sykes crashed late on.
Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Ducati) and Leon Haslam (Honda) rounded out the top 10, while Sykes remounted to score a solitary point in 15th.
After causing Razgatlioglu's demise, Gerloff was handed a ride-through penalty, dropping him to the rear of the pack, before the American's race ended with a heavy crash at Turn 9.
|6||60||Michael van der Mark||BMW||1||12.691|
|8||21||Michael Ruben Rinaldi||Ducati||1||13.752|
|View full results|
Assen WSBK: Rea wins again in Superpole race
Razgatlioglu slams Gerloff's "stupid mistake" after clash
At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier.
The GTE Pro era of the FIA World Endurance Championship should be celebrated for the kind of machinery and close racing it offered, according to drivers who were a part of the category over the years.
Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen says drivers should quit if they aren’t prepared for the intensity of super-close title battles.
After just one season in Super Formula, Ren Sato has been axed by the Red Bull Junior Team, and his place on Honda’s 2023 roster is also uncertain. Jamie Klein looks back at the rookie’s campaign and asks if he deserves a second chance.