On a totally different asphalt than we left yesterday, the Sunday of the Superbike round of Assen begins. The heavy rain that fell during the night wet the track, flooding Turn 5, so much so that Race Direction was forced to postpone the warm-ups and, consequently, the start of the Superpole Race.
For the short race of the weekend, however, the sun returned to illuminate the track, allowing the riders to race on dry asphalt. To have the better this Dutch morning is once again Jonathan Rea, who conquers the victory number 106 in his career and extends in the standings on Toprak Razgatlioglu, who however limits the damage and conquers a great second position, which then became third for a penalty.
If Rea leaves nothing to his opponents, the positions behind him also vary in the Parc Ferme: at the checkered flag it was a great Yamaha party, with Toprak Razgatlioglu second and an incredible Andrea Locatelli. The Italian, author of a great performance, conquered the third position, the first podium of his career. However, the Race Direction has decided to penalize the two Yamaha factory riders, guilty of having exceeded the limits of the track.
With Dorna’s decision, Rea remains the winner and Michael Ruben Rinaldi climbs to the second step of the podium, fourth at the finish. The Ducati rider is the author of an excellent start which in the initial stages takes him to the command, only to retreat to the fourth final position. Mocked by the two Yamahas, however, he was rewarded by the Race Direction and conquered his first official podium in Assen.
Toprak Razgatlioglu closes the podium, second at the checkered flag but third at the Parc Ferme after being penalized due to track limits. The podium, however, still remains sub judice because Andrea Locatelli, third at the finish line but relegated to fourth position, does not agree on the penalty imposed. The reigning Supersport champion, author of a splendid race, thus loses his first podium.
In any case, at the moment on the podium there are Rea, Rinaldi and Razgatlioglu, with Andrea Locatelli in fourth position. The privileged spectator of the brawl on the track is Scott Redding, never able to undermine the first position and only fifth at the finish. The Ducati rider is the author of some overtakes that allow him to grab the third position in the last stages of the race, but then closes with a top 5. Behind him we find Alex Lowes, author of an opaque performance that brings him the sixth position.
On the other hand, those who had a splendid race are Tom Sykes and Garrett Gerloff: the two started from the back of the grid for not having a timed time in Superpole, but crossed the finish line in seventh and eighth position respectively. The BMW driver and the GRT rider are the protagonists of a great comeback that takes them to the top 10, ahead of Chaz Davies, ninth. Closes the group of the first ten drivers Axel Bassani. Race to forget for Honda, which does not even see a rider in the top 10: Leon Haslam is 12th and Alvaro Bautista even last. The Spaniard crashes on the first lap and returns to the track crossing the finish line in 18th position. Superpole Race bitter also for Michael van der Mark, who at Turn 12 loses control of his BMW and slips and retires from the race.
We remember the absence of Jonas Folger, who crashed two laps from the end of Race 1 and declared unfit for a concussion and other back pains. Lucas Mahias was also forced to forfeit, who in a crash during the warm up remedied the fracture of his left scaphoid. Also declared unfit, he returned to France to undergo surgery.