Rea takes his first ever Superpole win The classic circuit of Assen once more played host to a tense period of practice and qualifying, with the new overall length of 4.542km making for new track bests in each class. Six of the seven...
Rea takes his first ever Superpole win
The classic circuit of Assen once more played host to a tense period of practice and qualifying, with the new overall length of 4.542km making for new track bests in each class. Six of the seven competing WSBK manufacturers were represented in the top ten after three sessions of Superpole, with a new track best coming in the very final session, a 1'34.944.
TOP WORK FOR LOCAL TEAM: Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) won the first Superpole prize of his career at Assen, after setting a 1'34.944. Rea is the only rider to have gone under the 1'35 mark on the new Assen layout, although Jakub Smrz (Pata B&G Ducati) came close with his second place time of 1'35.062. Troy Corser starts from the front row on his official BMW, the first time a BMW has started this high up in WSBK. Leon Haslam went fourth for Suzuki Alstare, having spent most of practice working on race set-up, but having enough left to make a good job of Superpole.
THE OTHER LEON ROARS: Leon Camier made it five different makes in the top five on his Aprilia Alitalia RSV4, as he continues to strive to find a perfect set-up. Behind the leading handful of riders, the second row will be completed for Sunday's 22-lap Superbike races by Carlos Checa, his team-mate Shane Byrne and factory Ducati rider Michel Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox). Each rider had perfect conditions to run in, on the modified Assen circuit, with the top riders getting more and more used to the new 4.542km layout, with a major change at Ruskenhoek and a minor one at the right of Hoge Heide.
YAMAHA RIDERS NEARLY THERE: Of the eight riders who did not make the final Superpole 3 shoot-out, Cal Crutchlow was closest to the final session, with his Yamaha Sterilgarda team-mate James Toseland just behind him and tenth on the grid. Struggling to deal with his machine at this round, Max Biaggi was 11th overall on his Aprilia, Ruben Xaus 12th and a late faller in the second Superpole session. Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Alstare), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Noriyuki Haga (Ducati Xerox) and Max Neukirchner (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) rounded out the top 16 places, and the fourth row of the starting grid.
VERMEULEN RETURNS AND IS READY: The tense and unpredictable nature of Superpole came to the fore again when Superpole started, with comeback rider Chris Vermeulen crashing his Kawasaki Racing Team machine by highsiding at a fast section of track, but escaping uninjured. He missed out on Superpole 2, as did Luca Scassa (Supersonic Ducati) who was 17th quickest, Lorenzo Lanzi (DFX Corse Ducati) and ECHO CRS Honda rider Broc Parkes (another comeback kid). Only two riders, Matteo Baiocco and Roger Lee Hayden did not make Superpole this weekend, qualifying 21st and 22nd respectively.
RIDER COMMENTS SUPERPOLE
Jonathan Rea: "I am happy and excited to have won Superpole. I can't quite believe that this is my first ever world championship pole, so it is good to win it. On a serious note, tomorrow is raceday and there will be at least three or four guys who have good pace, so it will be 22 long laps in each race."
Jakub Smrz: "Practice and qualifying has gone pretty well, always in the first few places, and we all did a good job. The set-up and tyre choice is good but for sure in the race other guys will be very strong and I think it will be a tough race. A few things will depend on temperature tomorrow."
Troy Corser: "This is my best qualifying for BMW so far, so I am pretty happy. The engineers have done a great job away from the track, we have done a fair bit of testing and it has definitely improved the bike. I feel more comfortable on the bike now and when you feel comfortable you push more, and can go a bit faster. I am looking forward to the race."
Leon Haslam: "I am happy to have a front row start, because this weekend had been pretty tough and Jonathan has been fast - all the guys in front of me have. It has been a case for us of finding a set-up not just for a fast lap but for the race as well. The positions have been changing in practice but I have been happy with my lap times on race tyres."
Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) took pole position at a sun-kissed Assen, despite crashing in the final qualifying session. The Turkish rider set a new best of 1'37.908, to hold off Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda) who put in a 1'38.421 today. Sofuoglu's team-mate Michele Pirro was third quickest, one place up on Joan Lascorz (Motocard.com Kawasaki). Fabien Foret (Lorenzini by Leoni Kawasaki) went fifth just up on fastest ParkinGO BE1 Triumph, ridden by Matthieu Lagrive.
Maxime Berger (Ten Kate Race Junior Honda) took his first pole of the 2010 season with a 1'39.105, ahead of Suzuki rider Davide Giugliano (Team06 Suzuki). Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorrad Italia) could not add to his pole total of two so far, and now starts this race third on the grid. Michele Magnoni (SCI Garvie Image Honda) took the final place on the front row, in a class with 27 riders on the grid. Danilo Petrucci (Pedercini Kawasaki) was the highest-placed Kawasaki rider, sixth.
Sueprstock 600 -- Race
Florian Marino (Ten Kate Race Junior Honda) scored his second win of the year and moved to within 11 points of the championship lead at Assen. He was only 0.154 seconds up on second place rider Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Racing Yamaha) who still leads the championship, on a new total of 61 points. A close fight for third place saw Bernardino Lombardi (Martini Corse Yamaha) take the final podium place, from his team-mate Federico D'Annunzio and Fred Karlsen (MTM Yamaha).