Assen: Ten Kate Honda race report

Toseland extends lead at HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's home race HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland was just 0.009 seconds away from securing his first ever double win today after a nail-biting fifth round of the 2007 World Superbike ...

Toseland extends lead at HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's home race

HANNspree Ten Kate Honda's James Toseland was just 0.009 seconds away from securing his first ever double win today after a nail-biting fifth round of the 2007 World Superbike Championship at Assen.

In race one, Toseland maintained his lead from pole position and only let go of the top spot for a brief five-lap spell behind Noriyuki Haga and Ruben Xaus. By lap ten the British rider had re-claimed the lead and made it stick for the remainder of the 22-lap race, despite a convincing attack from Troy Bayliss. The victory was Toseland's fifth in as many rounds this season and he secured 25-points to further extend his championship lead.

The second race of the day was a thrilling contest between Toseland and defending World Superbike Champion Bayliss. After shaking off Haga, the duo put on an incredible display on competitive riding that had the Assen crowd out of their seats. Toseland stayed within half a second of Bayliss' tail, passing him several times but the Australian rider kept fighting back.

In the dying seconds of the final lap and with Toseland in the lead, Bayliss slipped passed the CBR1000RR on inside of the last chicane stealing the podium top spot from the HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider. However, Toseland remains at the top of the standings with 196 points - 32 points clear of second-place rider Max Biaggi.

Two strong performances from team-mate Roberto Rolfo saw him achieve his aim of two top ten finishes, as well as claiming his highest result of the series so far. The Italian moved from 11th on the grid to ninth place in the first race and fifth in the second. He picked up 18 points in total to maintain ninth position in the standings.

Ronald ten Kate:

"We have seen some incredible racing today. James had a fantastic win in the first race. He didn't win the second race but I don't think we can talk about anyone losing - both guys showed that they are great riders and great champions. I am more than happy with the result. I am also happy that Roberto's progress in now showing in the results. Fifth is a really good result for him and hopefully next time he can get further up the grid so he can join the leading pack. I'm sure he can deliver us more points in the coming rounds."

James Toseland:

"I have mixed feelings today - I am gutted that I couldn't get the double win for the team at their home race. I was pushing so hard out there but Troy Bayliss is a tough man to beat and he just wasn't going to let that go. I made a mistake on that last chicane and went to deep on the brakes and he just got past me. Fair play to the man - that was an incredible race. Anway, I have two more podiums under my belt, plus another race win and I am still leading the standings so I can't really complain. I will keep trying though - I want that double before the end of the year!"

Roberto Rolfo:

"The racing was not too bad today. I am happy because in race one I had a good feeling on the bike and I found a good rhythm after four or five laps. I was quite confident that I could get a good position but I had a problem with the front tyre so I couldn't push as hard as I wanted to. Race two was much better, but it is difficult to find a way to the front to be with the top riders. Towards the end I pushed harder and I got a good result, so I'm pleased."

-credit: htkh

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Max Biaggi , Troy Bayliss , Noriyuki Haga , Ruben Xaus , James Toseland , Roberto Rolfo