WSBK – Laverty escapes injury in huge Race One off at Imola

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Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty emerged unscathed from a dramatic, and fast, racing incident during Race One at Imola.

Saturday’s Superpole sessions were promising for the Milwaukee Aprilia rider, with Laverty qualifying an encouraging P6 after going straight to Superpole 2 from Free Practice.

Laverty made a good getaway and quickly took fifth place, and although he couldn’t manage the pace of the top four he ran well in the middle of the field, enjoying battles with the Ducati of Fores and the MV Agusta of Camier.

As his pace dropped Laverty fell into the clutches of the Yamahas of Van der Mark and Lowes, defending well against both until a late move from Lowes resulted in a contact of the bikes.

Laverty’s bike suffered a broken front brake line and he was unable to slow as he approached Turn 17 – he managed to jump from his bike at high speed and avoided a collision with the wall, while his bike burst into flames on impact.

Laverty said: “I was optimistic at the start because the bike was feeling good, but I started losing pace after about 7 lap and I was moving backwards. I tried hanging in, and just before the crash happened the bike started to feel good again.

“We didn’t have much rear grip today. It was good at the start and then went away, but then it came back in the middle of the race which was strange. That’s something we need to look closely at, at times I felt I could really push but it was disappointing to see other guys coming past.

“I’m OK after the crash and I thought it would hurt me more, but my gear did its job and I’m ready to get on the bike again tomorrow. It’s hard to know how tomorrow will go, obviously there are positives to take from today but we have to analyse where we’re struggling.”

Laverty visited the Medical Centre for precautionary checks but has been deemed fit to race on Sunday.

Road racing – McGuinness update

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The full extent of John McGuinness’ injuries have been revealed following his crash during practice at the NW200.

The veteran broke his leg but has also been diagnosed with four broken vertebrae and has three broken back ribs. The injuries mean he will remain at Royal Victoria Hospital for around one week as part of the recuperation process and will wear a cast for up to six weeks in treatment for the vertebrae.

Honda Racing has received McGuinness’ Fireblade from the race organisers and will perform a detailed analysis of the bike and ECU data at its headquarters in Louth to work out why the bike’s throttle stuck open – as a result, the team has withdrawn from the Superstock and Superbike races at the North West 200.

The team will next be on track at Castle Combe in a couple of weeks’ time as part of its preparation for the Isle of Man TT.

Jonny Twelvetrees, team manager, said: “Unfortunately John’s incident at Primrose Hill during qualifying has resulted in quite a substantial injury to his right Tibia and Fibula. It is a real blow to John and the team, but he’s got an incredible amount of spirit and is in very good hands with the medical staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

“We now need to determine what happened and will sit out the Superstock and Superbike races, get back to Louth to analyse John’s bike and re-group ahead of our next test at Castle Combe in a couple of weeks before we head to the Isle of Man.”

Road racing – jammed throttle costs McGuinness and Honda dear at NW200

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A stuck throttle saw John McGuinness lose control of his Fireblade at the NW200, with the veteran crashing out of the Superbike practice session and breaking his leg in the process.

The technical gremlin struck as McGuinness entered Primrose corner, and the 43-year-old was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital with a suspected broken right leg.

He has since had his tib and fib plated and will miss this year’s Isle of Man TT.

The crash has also played havoc with Guy Martin’s pre-TT preparations. The Lincolnshire maverick was using the NW200 as a practice for the TT, but his Honda Racing team withdrew Martin from the Superstock race on safety grounds.

The news marked a miserable opening to the NW200 for Honda – Bruce Anstey also withdrew from the Superstock race as ‘he wasn’t comfortable on the bike’.

New kit – Alpinestars Mach 1 Supertech R

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MotoGP ‘Top Gun’ Maverick Viñales has taken to the Factory Yamaha like a duck to water – topping pre-season testing and claiming dominant wins in Qatar and Argentina.

It’s no secret that we at Lincolnshire Biker are big fans of the Alpinestars Supertech R boots, and the Italian company has just released a limited edition Viñales replica.

The Mach 1, which Viñales wore at the Jerez race, is CE certified and features all the same technical innovations as the iconic Supertech R – including a redesigned compound rubber sole, an ergonomically profiled shin plate and a redesigned front flex area.

Available in Viñales’ trademark grey, red, and black colour scheme, these boots have the aesthetics to match their impressive performance.

Price £TBC
www.alpinestars.com

WSBK – Davies urges Rea to ‘cut the crap’ and let the racing do the talking

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The war of words from Assen’s fallout between Johnny Rea and Chaz Davies continues with the Ducati rider telling Rea to ‘cut the crap’.

Davies has issued a lengthy statement, apologising for his tirade against the reigning world champion in Parc Ferme, but also calling for the Kawasaki rider to stop playing games and to focus solely on riding.

Davies said: “Now that the dust has settled on the Assen WSBK weekend I’d like to bring into context the events that unfolded during the Superpole session on Saturday afternoon. I don’t feel like all the facts were obvious at the time so I think it’s necessary to provide the full picture.

“Firstly, I hold my hands up and apologise for my choice of language. I’m sorry it came across on live TV and to whoever it may have offended. While I’m sorry for my choice of language, I’m not sorry for addressing the issue in the way I did. I don’t need to detail that this sport is dangerous and there isn’t much more dangerous than a rider touring on the racing line. Add a touring rider into the path of other riders during the last lap of Superpole and it’s another level of #Sh*tsAboutToGetReal.

“Towards the end of Superpole 2, rider #65 set an incredible marker with his first lap on the new Pirelli qualifying tyres. These tyres aren’t exactly qualifying tyres, they’re called a pre-qualifying tyre and according to Pirelli should be “good for around three fast laps” rather than the typical single flying lap you’d usually see from a true qualifier. #65 rolled off the gas immediately after his first flying lap. That’s pretty normal when you know you’ve got everything out of your package, which, judging by his lap time, he seemingly did.

“I completed my first flying lap. The lap went OK, but I didn’t feel like I perfected it and I assumed it was probably not good enough for the front row of the grid. So, I pushed on for another bite at the cherry with a second lap. I crossed the line at the end of my first flying lap, 19 seconds after #65 completed his lap. 19 seconds is quite a large gap. For example, a full lap of cruising is, on average, about 15 seconds slower than an on-pace lap.

“So, for me to catch up the full 19 seconds in less than half a lap, is quite exceptional. Add to that the fact that #65’s slowest ‘pit in’ lap of the entire weekend was 18 seconds slower than a full on-pace lap (1’54 vs 1’36), yet at the end of Superpole 2 somehow he managed to lose 19 seconds in the opening 40 seconds of a full 96 second lap.

“In Moto3, the percentage determined to be “cruising” is 10%. Applying Moto3 rules, losing just 4 seconds would have been enough for #65 to incur a grid penalty. I wonder what penalty would have been handed down for 19 seconds?

“My second lap was underway and at the second intermediate split I was 0.051 (51 thousandths of a second) outside of my previous lap, a gap that I would definitely call ‘in touch’ to improve my own lap time. I saw #65 as I exited turn 5 onto the back straight, he took a long look over his shoulder through turn 6 and with that I expected him to move well aside on what is a seriously fast part of the circuit.

“As I threw my bike into into turn 7, #65 was mid corner, just wide of the ideal racing line. I’m talking a bikes width but no more, definitely far from off line. In that situation you don’t know what the rider ahead is thinking or which way he’s going as he hasn’t clearly shown which part of the track he’s heading for. He stayed on that line which then on corner exit turns into what is exactly the ideal line, where the natural line is to drift out to 3/4 track width before bringing it back to setup the entry for turn 8.

“I had already backed out of committing to turn 7 at the very last split second on corner entry as I could see what was about to unfold. That foresight and slight lack of commitment at the speed I was carrying gave me the time I needed to be able to pick the bike up on the early part of corner exit and give enough room to avoid what could have been a massive accident. #65 again looked behind, the opposite side to where I was and I felt the need to wake him up to the severity of what just happened. I hit him on the arm as I passed and hurtled some gestures his way.

“Fast forward a couple of minutes into Parc Ferme and once I saw #65 I made the Italian gesture of a pinched together thumb and fingers, translated as “what the hell were you thinking?”.

“I expected a different reaction to what came. #65 went straight on the defensive saying he hadn’t seen me, claiming he was off line anyway, why was I on the outside of him, I shouldn’t have been anywhere near him. It was a good attempt at turning the situation around to put the blame on me.

“There was everything but a simple apology, which, had it have arrived straight away, would had instantly diffused the situation. At that point I tried to put across the severity of the situation, but his arrogance was off the scale. I threw the regrettable profanities at him and finally, after heated exchanges, he begrudgingly offered his hand as an apology.

“As far as I was concerned it was too late and I didn’t feel like it was genuine, so I declined. He was happy to tell the media that is was good to see me frustrated. If you get your kicks from putting other riders’ lives in danger, good for you. My reaction was genuinely not informed by any kind of frustration other than at what I perceived as dirty riding.

“Race Direction took the matter into their own hands (without any intervention from me or my team) and decided that a three-place grid penalty was sufficient. Quite honestly, I’d have preferred to see an immediate admission of fault over the penalty that was handed down.

“After the incident, another rider who was on his ‘in lap’ and saw everything unfold confirmed exactly my thoughts that #65 was looking over his shoulder with intent from early in his in lap.

“At turn 5 it’s very easy to glance across the circuit to all the way through turns 2, 3 and 4 to see which riders are coming. #65 stayed well off the gas, taking another look over his shoulder during turn 6 (seconds before the incident) which unfortunately wasn’t broadcast on the replay, but is shown on the full Superpole 2 session video on the WSBK website (20min 52secs into the full Superpole 2 session video).

“I saw this look behind on track and then again on the full video clip when I was called to Race Direction – it was clear for all of us to see. #65 knew I was coming and endangered both of us with his underhand games.

“Of course, he will deny this, but the facts, video and Race Direction penalty prove otherwise. #65 knew I would abort my lap, but, if I had have committed to turn 7, there’s a strong chance neither of us would have made the grid. I’d expect fairer play from a novice, let alone a double world champion.

“Mistakes do happen. I’ve unintentionally held up others before and have always held my hands up to those kind of mistakes. However, with the facts that were in front of me, I’m absolutely certain there were no coincidences on this occasion. On track it’s usually clear what is or isn’t intentional – I had the same situation last year with my team mate Davide Giugliano in Thailand. However, then I recognised it as an honest mistake and he was quick to admit fault. A number of riders messaged me on Saturday to say they have, at various points in the past, had the same issues – if #65 sees you as a threat he’s willing to play those cards.

“So, I have this message for #65 – you’re a good enough rider without these games, so cut the crap and lets continue to put on the show that is entertaining fans of WSBK, mano a mano. I enjoy the battles, the intense rivalry and hugely respect your ability/achievements, but I strongly believe on this occasion you just took it way too far. Let’s get back to old fashioned hard and fair racing at Imola.”

MotoGP – dominant Pedrosa writes his name in the history books with Jerez win

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Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa gave a riding masterclass on his way to victory at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at Jerez.

The Spaniard, starting from pole position, led the race from the first corner to the chequered flag, and set the race’s fastest lap on the way to taking his 30thwin in MotoGP – the 53rdin his career.

In winning the 3,000thGrand Prix race ever held, Pedrosa also earned the Repsol Honda Team’s 100thvictory in the MotoGP class and became the only rider to have won at least one race for 16 consecutive years.

Pedrosa got the holeshot from a great start off pole position, with team-mate Marquez slotting in behind ahead of an almighty tousle for third. LCR Honda rider Crutchlow was initially ahead of that battle, with Tech 3’s Johann Zarco tangling once again with championship leader Valentino Rossi on the Factory Yamaha until the flying Frenchman set off on a charge, taking bike after bike in now-signature style.

Arriving behind reigning Champion Marquez into third, the rookie held station for a lap as Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo fought back in a tight midfield, getting past the Yamaha pair of Rossi and then Maverick Viñales. Zarco then took Marquez at the final corner, heading off after Pedrosa in the lead until the reigning Champion hit back.

It proved to be an incident packed race and drama struck further back as Jack Miller on the Marc VDS Honda and Alvaro Bautista on the Aspar Ducati collided and slid out, before Cal Crutchlow then lowsided into the gravel at Criville – followed shortly by the Red Bull KTM machine of Pol Espargaro. After a short tussle with Viñales, Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone also tumbled out with 17 laps to go.

The gap fluctuated at the front but Marquez was unable to make any real impression on Pedrosa’s lead, with the three-time World Champion pulling the pin in the final laps to cross the line in clear air for another stunning win – making it 16 years in a row the Spaniard has taken at least one victory in the world championship.

Reigning champion Marquez settled for second, with Lorenzo finishing third to taking his first podium with Ducati. Zarco took fourth in another scintillating performance from the rookie, ahead of an impressive fight back for Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who managed to get past Viñales after the Spaniard made a mistake.

Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci stormed back through from P13 on the grid to follow Viñales over the line, with Tech 3’s Jonas Folger putting in a solid ride once again to take eighth.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro was another who moved through the field, incredibly taking 2016 Jerez winner and championship leader Valentino Rossi for ninth – the ‘Doctor’ found his pace in freefall in the latter laps of the race, struggling with tyre life in the hot temperatures to complete the top ten – but retaining the Championship lead.

Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding had a much improved race in 2017 to take P11, ahead of Hector Barbera and teammate Loris Baz on the Avintia Racing Ducati’s. Bradley Smith took more points for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing in P14 after an awesome show for the Austrian factory in Jerez, with Karel Abraham on the Aspar Ducati locking out the top fifteen.

Pedrosa said: “I’m super-happy with this win in Jerez, a track that I love very much, and in front of my family, my friends, and all these amazing fans. I’m enjoying this emotion so much, more than I would’ve done a few years ago, in a more ‘conscious’ way. I’ve had a great feeling all weekend, and the team have worked so well; we’re getting better race by race and I’m very happy for them as well.

“We knew we were in a position to have the race we actually did. I felt the tension a little bit before the start, but I remained concentrated and got away well at the start and just went for it.

“Today the track conditions were a bit worse than yesterday and the front was sliding quite a lot. I chose the hard front because of today’s high temperature, even if the medium was my favourite. The pace probably would’ve been faster with the medium, but anyway I was happy with my choice.

“When Marc started to push, we started a little battle like yesterday in qualifying. I knew he was very fast but I was determined to keep a gap on him. It was easy to make a mistake, to lose the front, so it was a matter of staying on the limit without going over it.

“It’s also a special honour to be the winner of the 3,000th Grand Prix race and be alongside riders like Mick (Doohan, who won race number 2,000) and Angel (Nieto, who won race number 1,000).”

After Pedrosa’s stunning domination on home turf, the championship heads to  Le Mans with Rossi now two points clear of Viñales, Marquez just behind and Pedrosa now fourth in the standings – only ten points back.

MotoGP – rampant Pedrosa storms to pole at Jerez

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Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa took an incredible pole position in qualifying for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, securing the top spot with a sensational flying lap in the final minutes of the session at Jerez.

The Spaniard took  his 29thin MotoGP and the 47thin his career, edging teammate Marc Marquez by just half a tenth in a breath-taking battle for the top spot, with LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow in third completing  an all-Honda front row for the first time since the German GP in 2014 (at the Sachsenring).

Pedrosa has looked rejuvenated at Jerez, leading every session this weekend apart from today’s FP4, riding consistently fast in every condition. It will be Pedrosa’s first start from pole since Malaysia in 2015, and he’ll do so at the 3,000th Grand Prix of the world championship.

Factory Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales took fourth to head up the second row ahead of Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone , with rookie Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in sixth.

Fourteen world titles start the Spanish GP from the third row, with Championship leader Valentino Rossi in seventh on the second Factory Yamaha just ahead of Ducati Jorge Lorenzo. Tech 3’s Jonas Folger is ninth in another solid showing for the German rookie.Jack Miller backed up his Friday pace with direct entry to Q2 and a top ten start on his Marc VDS satellite Honda despite a crash, with Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding in eleventh and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro in twelfth.

Pedrosa said: “This was probably one of the best poles of my career because it was a really hard battle. It was a strategic end of the session with Marc there right behind me, so for a moment I wasn’t sure if I should push or not. There was no choice anyway, so I just went for it. I’m very happy because our main target for the GP was to be on the front row. The feeling was really good, and it has been good all weekend, so I told myself, Okay, let’s try it. It has been a while since I’ve led in qualifying; I’ve struggled a lot last season so I’m very happy with today.”

BSB – spectacular race meet for Haslam at Oulton

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It was a mixed weekend for BSB contender Leon Haslam at Oulton Park, with the championship leader winning Race One, but suffering a huge crash in the second race after a collision with James Ellison.

The weekend began with Ducati’s Shakey Byrne grabbing pole position but Race One saw Haslam hit the front of the pack from the start of the race with the five-time champion and team-mate Mossey hounding him throughout the race.

The ‘Pocket Rocket’ had been fending off Byrne and Mossey throughout the race and managed to hold them off to the line, but behind the leading trio the chasing freight train of riders were embroiled in an incredible scrap for fourth position.

On the final lap the Honda Racing team emerged ahead in the battle for fourth as O’Halloran made a last lap move on Peter Hickman to claim the position at the line. McAMS Yamaha’s Ellison completed a strong race to move through the order to be in the fight for fourth at the end of the race, finishing in sixth place, pushing Josh Brookes to seventh in the closing stages.

Christian Iddon was the leading BMW in eighth place as he managed to get the better of Glenn Irwin; the Be Wiser Ducati rider had earlier saved a huge moment while battling for fourth place. Jake Dixon completed the top ten for RAF Reserves Kawasaki.

The battle for the Podium Points swung back in the favour of Byrne in Race Two as the defending champion claimed his first win of the season at Oulton Park, as Haslam dramatically crashed out after clipping Ellison, who suffered a technical issue.

Haslam had hit the front of the pack from O’Halloran, Ellison and Byrne on the opening lap, but the Honda Racing rider was on the attack and he moved into the lead on the second lap, but it was short lived as Ellison then had his spell at the front.

The race was over prematurely for Dixon as he crashed out on the third lap unhurt, but at the front Byrne was closing in on Ellison and on the sixth lap he made his move on the run into Shell Oils corner.

Meanwhile Michael Laverty on the second McAMS Yamaha retired from the race just a lap later.
At the front Byrne had snatched the lead from Ellison, but behind the JG Speedfit Kawasakis of Haslam and Mossey were trading blows with O’Halloran, with the trio switching positions consistently over the following laps.

Iddon, Brookes, Irwin and Hickman were then all involved in the battle for the podium spots too, but in second Ellison was coming under fire from Haslam. The championship leader first tried to make a move at Shell, but ran wide and then had to begin a fight back.

However it ended in disaster for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki rider when he clipped the back of Ellison on the 14th lap when his McAMS Yamaha suddenly slowed. Haslam was down and out of the race and the damage consequently sidelined Ellison too, leaving Byrne to continue edging an advantage at the front of the pack to return to the top step.

A frantic battle then ensued for the final podium place with a five-way scrap for the final podium position. Iddon was bumped down to fourth over the closing laps as Irwin and O’Halloran pushed into the top three.

Mossey was fifth at the chequered flag as he held off Brookes on the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha and Smiths Racing BMW’s Hickman. Tommy Bridewell, John Hopkins and Billy McConnell completed the top ten.

Haslam said: “We always have a theoretical game plan and we had been working all weekend to make the tyre work over trace distance. I had a good start in Race One and then at the end I pushed on a little more and we had those few tenths so that was nice as it wasn’t an easy job!

 

“Race Two was definitely not the best way to finish the day! We had a big crash as James Ellison’s bike cut out at about 160mph right in front of me so I ended up going over the handlebars and luckily I am ok, but disappointed.

 

“We had the fastest lap of the race and was closing on Shakey, so frustrated as I felt like we could have challenged for another win there but that is racing. I just need to thank the team for all their hard work this weekend.”

 
   
   

 

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race one result:

  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki)
  2. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati) +2.632s
  3. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.169s
  4. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +9.271s
  5. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +9.343s
  6. James Ellison (McAMS Yamaha) +9.501s
  7. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +10.264s
  8. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +10.416s
  9. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +11.304s
  • Jake Dixon (RAF Reserves Kawasaki) +11.688s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Race two result:

  1. Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
  2. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) +5.218s
  3. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) +5.309s
  4. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) +5.574s
  5. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) +5.881s
  6. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) +6.025s
  7. Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) +19.130s
  8. Tommy Bridewell (Team WD-40 Kawasaki) +19.130s
  9. John Hopkins (Moto Rapido Ducati) +20.293s
  • Billy McConnell (Quattro Plant FS-3 Kawasaki) +20.431s

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Oulton Park:

  1. Leon Haslam (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 111
  2. Luke Mossey (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 108
  3. Christian Iddon (Tyco BMW) 86
  4. Josh Brookes (Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha) 67
  5. Glenn Irwin (Be Wiser Ducati) 63
  6. Jason O’Halloran (Honda Racing) 61

 

 

WSBK – Rea wins photo finish Race Two at Assen

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Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea celebrated his 200th series start in style after crossing the line by the narrowest of margins at Assen – just 0.025 seconds separated the Ulsterman and team-mate Tom Sykes as the reigning champions secured another double Dutch success.

Rea made a strong start, cutting through the field from ninth on the grid and taking the lead early on. However, the strong winds caused him to run wide, brining him back into the clutches of his team-mate Sykes.

Sykes continued to push hard, shadowing Rea, though never looking capable of passing him. However, he got superb drive through the final chicane, catching Rea and almost passing him on the drag to the line.

The win was Rea’s 11th at Assen since he started his WSBK career and his third double at this 4.542km circuit since he joined Kawasaki in 2015.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It has been an incredible weekend of racing. I have been especially happy with Superpole yesterday because the lap I made then was maybe the best lap I have ever made on a bike. I am really proud of that. Of course the race wins were really nice to take away. Today was a race of two halves. In the first half I raced hard until I got a warning so in the second half I just managed things to try and be safe and bring her home. I had a little bit left at the end but the biggest problem was the wind today. I was pulling a gap but then I had a huge front slide in T11, and my foot came off the peg, at mid-race distance. I decided just to ride and save something for the last laps after that. I had a big wobble coming out of 11 again near the end and I then just tried to be clever in the last lap and cover the last corner. My line was probably not the fastest way around there but it covered any move up the inside and I made it to the line first.”

It was an important day of statistics for Rea, as he also secured his 45th WSBK career win and his 30th individual race win for Kawasaki.

In the championship Rea now leads by 64 points, from his team-mate Sykes, with Chaz Davies third on 111 points and second race faller Marco Melandri on 97.

The next races in the series will take place on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of May, at the Imola circuit in Italy.

WSBK – Rea wins Race One at Assen

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Jonathan Rea claimed the Race One win after a day of controversy at Assen.

The Ulsterman was caught up in a war of words with Ducati’s Chaz Davies in Parc Ferme, with the title rivals exchanging candid views about a coming together in qualifying – the Kawasaki rider was convinced he had left Davies enough room; Davies adamant that Rea had ruined his hot lap. Race Control sided with the Welshman, judging Rea had impeded the progress of a rival while he had been setting a fast lap, and thus imposed a penalty demoting him to fourth.

Tensions were still simmering on the grid for the start, with Davies still seething about Rea’s ‘lack of sportingness’.

As the lights dropped, Davies, Sykes and Rea made strong starts, with Davies doing most of the early front-running.

The pace was fast and Rea set a new lap record, over a second faster then the previous one, on lap three, with a 1’34.880 as he caught Davies, shadowing the Ducati rider for lap after lap.

Rea eventually pounced, only to be re-passed, and after a close battle, managed to edge back into front with two laps to go. However, the drama was not over as Davies was forced to stop trackside on Lap 20 with an electrical issue.

Rea crossed the line to take the win, his tenth at the Dutch track, with team-mate Tom Sykes claiming second and Ducati’s Marco Melandri taking over third spot.

Rea said: “That one was really nice because the more wins you get on a certain track the more pressure you feel to repeat it. I am not sure why I click so well with Assen but it seems to be working. It seems like our bike was working very well in the faster sections of the track, and Chaz was fast out of T5 in acceleration. I could maintain the lap time as we were to-ing and fro-ing at certain parts of the track, but I was strong in the back section, where it counts for passes. I had good pace at the end and I wanted to go through then and make a gap. But every time I put my nose in front there was a big block pass into the last corner. It was, honestly, very unfortunate for Chaz at the end and it is never a good way to lose points. But it was important for me that that bad luck happened to him when he was behind me because at that point of the race I was trying to make my rhythm and go away.”