Assen World Superbike 2012
Results from 2012 Assen World Superbike.
Images copyright GeeBee Images
Guintoli and Rea win in 2012 Assen lottery
An incredible day of changing fortunes in the third round of the 2012 World Superbike (WSBK) title at Assen has ended with Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli and Briton Jonathan Rea sharing wins on the Dutch circuit, while Max Biaggi has reclaimed the championship lead from Carlos Checa.
Race one was eventually run over nine fully wet laps after the first attempt had started out dry, but was halted after several riders fell when rain started falling.
That was Guintoli’s cue to shine, as he won his first race in the WSBK category ahead of Italian bolter Davide Giugliano and reigning world champion Checa in a Ducati clean sweep of the major placings. It was also the first win for a French rider in WSBK since Regis Laconi in 2005.
Meanwhile, 25-year-old Rea crashed out of the opener on his Honda, injuring the ring finger on his right hand and requiring a pain killing injection just to make the grid for the second race.
But although the race was declared ‘wet’, Rea’s crew opted to run with slick tyres on the drying track and he eventually fought his way back to the front, claiming a three-second victory over Guintoli, with Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) just taking his first podium for the year in a blanket finish ahead of BMW teammates Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam.
It was Rea’s fourth win in the last six races at the ‘Cathedral’.
“I felt pretty confident with our strategy in race one and I was feeling quite comfortable when the rain arrived and stopped the race,” said Rea.” The rain caught out a few people in the second part, including me, and I was just pushing a little too hard when the rear broke away.
“I’m so happy for the race two result though, especially for all the guys back at the workshop. We know that the package isn’t where it should be but they continue to push 100 percent. I felt I had a little more oomph this weekend – I’ve struggled to get a really happy feeling with the front forks but we’re getting them to work now.”
Australia’s Mark Aitchison (BMW) was 15th and 16th in the two races.
Although Biaggi (Aprilia) wasn’t a giant killer at Assen with his 4-8 finishes, it was still enough to creep back into the championship lead on 92pts, ahead of a tightening leaderboard that comprises Checa (91), Kawasaki’s Tom Sykes (79), Guintoli (66), Melandri (66) and Rea (65).
Checa lost out on a tyre gamble in race two and finished outside of the points in 17th, while polesitter Sykes was showing the way in the first attempt at race one before his bike suffered a faulty water pump hose clip and he was forced to retire. He was then unable to make the restarted wet race.
On a wet track, Italian Lorenzo Lanzi was unstoppable on his Honda, winning by 12.054 seconds and lapping everyone up to 11th place.
Second was Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki), ahead of the first ever Russian rider to take a Supersport podium, Vladimir Leonov (Yamaha), with Australia’s Broc Parkes (Honda) fourth.
“I got a pretty good start in the race but, it was so wet that I had quite a few slides and scary moments in the early stages and that sort of knocked my confidence a little bit,” said Parkes. “I tried to stay in a podium position but couldn’t stay with the two guys in front of me. Then I saw the gap was 22 seconds and I thought ‘I can’t go with them, I just have to stay on’.
“So I took good points for the championship and now we are back there in the battle. Of course, it would have been great to take a podium at the team’s home race, but sometimes you have to think that 13 points is better than the gravel trap.”
Parkes’ countryman Jed Metcher (Yamaha) crashed out on lap one.
Sofuoglu shares the championship lead on 45pts alongside non-finisher Fabien Foret (Kawasaki), while Parkes is fourth on 29.
ASSEN WORLD SUPERBIKE RESULTS
Race one: 9 laps
1 Sylvain Guintoli, France, Ducati 18mins38.395secs
2 Davide Giugliano, Italy, Ducati +2.633
3 Carlos Checa, Spain, Ducati +3.031
4 Max Biaggi, Italy, Aprilia +3.927
5 Eugene Laverty, Great Britain, Aprilia +4.374
6 Michel Fabrizio, Italy, BMW +11.359
7 Jakub Smrz, Czech Republic, Ducati +26.412
8 Niccolo Canepa, Italy, Ducati +37.562
9 Marco Melandri Italy, BMW +49.896
10 Leandro Mercado, Argentina, Kawasaki +1:08.847
15 Mark Aitchison, Australia, BMW +3 laps
Fastest lap: Guintoli – 1:57.793
Race two: 22 laps
1 Jonathan Rea, Great Britain, Honda 36:45.936
2 Guintoli +2.819
3 Laverty +12.638
4 Melandri +12.762
5 Leon Haslam, Great Britain, BMW +12.764
6 Tom Sykes, Great Britain, Kawasaki +20.393
7 Ayrton Badovini, Italy, BMW +36.317
8 Biaggi +37.747
9 Giugliano +41.350
10 Fabrizio +43.930
16 Aitchison +1 lap
Fastest lap: Checa – 1:38.092
CURRENT WORLD SUPERBIKE STANDINGS (AFTER THREE OF 14 ROUNDS):
1 Biaggi 92
2 Checa 91
3 Sykes 79
=4 Guintoli 66
=4 Melandri 66
6 Rea 65
7 Haslam 58
8 Laverty 56
9 Smrz 39
10 Giugliano 37
24 Aitchison 1
Next round: Monza, Italy, May 4-6