Heavy rain ahead of Race Two at Assen saw most riders take to the grid on wets, but the drying conditions caught many riders out, and the race was effectively decided by strategy, with reigning world champion Jonathan Rea proving once again he’s the Dutch master.
The Northern Irishman, after winning Race One on Saturday, repeated the feat today in Race Two, earning the second double win of the season for himself and Kawasaki, taking his championship points to 181 to make it a 45-point lead over Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati).
The start of the race saw all the riders line up on the grid with rain tyres, with the exception of Yamaha’s Sylvain Guintoli and Althea BMW’s Markus Reiterberger who both opted for intermediates. Rea, Sykes and Davies made a good start, with Nicky Hayden and Michael van der Mark on the Hondas stalking the leading trio. Hayden pounced at the beginning of the fourth lap, overtaking team-mate Van der Mark and moving into second place behind poleman Sykes.
The flying Dutchman reclaimed third shortly afterwards, and further down the grid the battle was just as intense, as Xavi Forés (Barni Racing Team) dropped from second to fourth and then to sixth place, as Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and a charging Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee BMW passed the Spaniard.
Home rider Van der Mark got the soaked crowd on its feet when he took the lead on Lap Five with a brilliant move on Tom Sykes and, at the same time, a rampant Josh Brookes got the better of Rea, stealing fourth place and moving in behind Sykes and Hayden.
A brilliant Brookes then led the race until the track started to slowly dry out and the riders began to return to pit lane to take off the rain tyres and mount other solutions – Rea opted for slicks on both the front and rear, whereas his team-mate went with intermediate tyres.
As the field chopped and changed as more riders pitted for dry tyres, Rea eventually found himself in the lead, followed by Sykes and Van der Mark, who managed to take the third step of the podium.
Race 2 standings:
1) Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team)
2) Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team)
3) Michael Van der Mark (Honda World Superbike Team)
4) Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team)
5) Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
6) Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team)
7) Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team)
8) Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
9) Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
10) Xavi Forés (Barni Racing Team)