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WORLD SUPERBIKES

Convincing Double win for Rea at Assen

Race One

Jonathan Rea has clinched his sixth race win from seven races in the 2017 World Superbike championship and avoided a last-lap duel with Chaz Davies after his Aruba.it Racing Ducati suffered a mechanical issue on the penultimate lap at Assen. Rea, who was relegated to row two from pole position after picking up a penalty with for blocking Davies in qualifying, slotted in behind the Welsh rider after the opening lap tussles and never let his title rival create a gap over the middle third of the race.

With late race pace being key to victory between Rea and Davies, the two-time World Superbike champion made a telling move at the start of the penultimate lap as Davies ran wide around turn three and four. Davies looked set to bite back on the final lap but heading through the chicane to start the last lap his Aruba.it Racing Ducati suffered a terminal technical fault and stopped on the start/finish straight. Davies' stop allowed Rea to escape to victory and extend his championship lead to 59 points with Tom Sykes in second and Marco Melandri picking up an unlikely podium albeit 17 seconds off the pace.

Xavi Fores grabbed an impressive fourth place on the Barni Ducati ahead of Milwaukee Aprilia of Lorenzo Savadori, while Stefan Bradl produced an outstanding charge through the field from 16th on the grid to give the Ten Kate Racing-run Red Bull Honda team something to smile about at its home event. It was a disastrous race for Pata Yamaha after both Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes crashed out, with the Dutch star being forced off track into the first corner after being sandwiched between Lowes and Nicky Hayden before falling on lap five, while Lowes tipped off from a promising sixth place with a handful of laps remaining. Roman Ramos got the better of a last-lap fight to take seventh ahead of Eugene Laverty and Leandro Mercado, as Leon Camier completed the top ten finishes.

Race Two

In pleasant sunny conditions at the TT Assen Circuit on Sunday Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) gave a superb demonstration of his talent with a tight victory over second placed teammate Tom Sykes, as Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) completed the podium in third. In his 200th WorldSBK race Rea held his nerve to cross the line 0.025s ahead of Sykes as the Yorkshireman applied the pressure in the final stages. It was Rea’s second win of the weekend, his seventh victory from eight races so far in 2017 and his 11th career win at Assen – with maximum points from Round 4 in the Netherlands putting the KRT man 64 points clear at the head of the standings.

It was a valiant effort for Sykes after his recent health issues and he will aim for his first win of 2017 next time out, in two weeks time at Imola.
After his cruel luck on Saturday, which saw Davies pull up with a technical problem with a lap to go when fighting for victory in Race 1, the Welshman bounced back with a fifth podium result of 2017 so far, in third place. A good ride by Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) at his home round saw the Dutchman recover from a crash on Saturday to register a solid fourth place finish from 11th on the grid. It might have been even better for Van der Mark but for a big wobble for the Yamaha rider at turn 12 midrace -when he was chasing Davies for third.

Van der Mark’s Yamaha colleague Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) also made up for his Race 1 disappointment to finish in the top five again, after crashing out on Saturday. Another Englishman Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) rode well for sixth, finishing just over a second ahead of Spaniard Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team). The top ten was completed by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) and Stefan Bradl (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team). There were crashes for Italian trio Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia), Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Riccardo Russo (Guandalini Racing) meaning no points for any of them. They will each have a chance to make amends at their home round in Italy at Imola in two weeks’ time.

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