SBK > 2009 Round 04: Netherlands > Race Results
SBKNetherlandsApril 26, 2009
World Superbike and World Supersport 2009
Round 04 ASSEN – Netherlands

Best Weekend Yet For Haslam With Two Assen Podiums

Leon Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) completed an impressive weekend of World Superbike competition at Assen with two podium finishes, third in race one and then second in race two, as he moved up to third in the championship rankings. He is now 26 points behind Ben Spies, who won race one and fell in race two, while Noriyuki Haga scored a win and a second place to extend his championship lead.

Leon Haslam Jonathan Rea

Leon Haslam

Jonathan Rea

Front row qualifier Haslam set a new lap record on lap 11 of the first race and was looking like a strong candidate for the outright win until the very last lap, when eventual winner Ben Spies and he locked elbows for four high speed corners and Spies took the advantage. This allowed Spies to close on second place rider Noriyuki Haga, and sweep past to win, with Haslam only 0.779 seconds behind.

In race two Haslam was once more in the mix from the start, sitting in second place for much of the race, although he got held up in the early laps, which left him unable to make a challenge on the front-running Haga, who took the new lap record from Haslam as well.

For the other Honda riders in the championship Assen was a tough challenge. The next-best combined points score from this event came from Jonathan Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda Racing CBR1000RR) 11th in qualifying, who went on to secure seventh in race one and a fighting fifth in race two, re-passing Tom Sykes near the end and holding on to the finish flag.

Carlos Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) played a clever game in Superpole qualifying seventh on the gird and starting each race from the second row. A fall in race one was followed by seventh in the second 22-lap contest, making him the last Honda points finisher home in that race.

Ryuichi Kiyonari (Ten Kate Honda CBR1000RR) took the last point in race one, one place higher than the 16th he posted in Superpole, but he retired in race two with a technical problem.

Tommy Hill (Honda Althea CBR1000RR) made it into Superpole and was 17th on the grid, but scored no points in the races, falling on lap one of race one then retiring with a minor technical problem in race two. Vittorio Iannuzzo (Squadra Corse Italia Honda CBR1000RR) had a double DNF, retiring on each occasion.

John Hopkins (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR1000RR) was forced out of the Assen race after a first day practice crash dislocated his left hip, and also caused a hairline fracture close to the top of his femur. He flew back to the USA for more checks and therapy on Saturday night, hoping to return to race action soon.

In the overall championship rankings, Haga has 180 points, Spies 120, and Haslam 94. Rea has 53 points for ninth place and Checa 40 for 11th.

Laverty Wins Another Assen WSS Thriller

Eugene Laverty (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) moved up from fourth in qualifying to win a classic 21-lap WSS race at this most classic of circuits, beating Cal Crutchlow across the line by only 0.107 seconds. Third place rider Joan Lascorz was only 0.178 seconds behind, after leading into the final few corners.

There had been a nine-rider leading group at one stage and ten changes of lead across the start-finish line, with many more passes put in on other parts of the track. Laverty played a strong tactical hand at the end, passing Lascorz inside at the final chicane and holding his line cleverly, with Crutchlow capitalizing as well to go second.

This was Laverty’s second win in four races since joining his Parkalgar Honda team, and he now sits second in the championship on 68 points, with Crutchlow leading on 74.

Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) went third on the starting grid but after leading at the start, he finally dropped to fifth, still less than two seconds from the win. He is now third in the rankings, with 65 points.

Sofuoglu’s team-mate Andrew Pitt (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) made up for tenth in qualifying with a strong ride to the lead on lap three, only to fall with six laps remaining, losing the front as he passed inside two Yamaha riders who had run wide. His left arm was hit by a following rider but Pitt escaped without serious injury.

12th Mark Aitchison (Honda Althea CBR600RR) was in the front group almost throughout, taking his 2008 Honda to a fine sixth place in an eventually lonely race. Second row qualifier Anthony West (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR) was in the leading mix for some time, but ran wide and off track, losing places and time, but recovering well to finish seventh, and go fourth in the overall rankings, with 52 points.

Robbin Harms (Veidec Racing RES Software Honda CBR600RR) was in great form and raced to a solid ninth place finish but teammate Arie Vos was one place off a points scoring finishing 16th. Jesco Günther suffered severe front tyre wear that caused him several fraught front end slides during the race and he wisely pulled into the pits to retire.

Like Pitt, Matthieu Lagrive (Honda Althea CBR600RR) crashed out of contention, with the French rider feeling drained of all energy. Miguel Praia (Parkalgar Honda CBR600RR) and Gianluca Vizziello (Stiggy Racing Honda CBR600RR) each retired from the race with technical issues.

Carlos Checa Eugene Laverty

Carlos Checa

Eugene Laverty

WSB Rider Quotes
Leon Haslam said:
“It’s been a tough day but an exciting one. In the first race I thought I could have challenged for the lead but I just missed out, in the second race I got caught behind Fabrizio for one too many laps, but I can’t complain with two podium finishes. Our team is new but we have a really good relationship now. They have given me a bike I can ride hard and the confidence to ride it hard so it’s producing results. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Jonathan Rea said:
“It’s no secret that we’ve had some problems, but we’ve done a lot of thinking in the last three weeks and I really want to thank everyone in the team who dug deep to find some solutions. We came here with a good setting and had a couple of unrelated issues in qualifying, which led to a difficult starting position, but the bike is really going in a direction now that I’m happy with. I got a really bad start in race one, which was followed by a bit of arm pump. That was much better in race two and I really started to enjoy riding the bike again. Unfortunately, by the time I got some clear track in front of me, the leading four had gone. But I’m really pumped for Monza – I feel like I’ve got a really good working relationship with the team now and we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

Carlos Checa said:
“Not such a nice raceday for me. At the beginning of race two it felt like I could be there with them but then I started to get tired, particularly my right arm, a little bit like arm pump. At the same time the chattering started from the rear and at the end it was very hard. I was struggling to do the lap times and I lost some positions. I had a bad start in race one, then I was catching some other people and then I arrived in turn five and lost the front.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari said:
“Race one was very frustrating because I continued to have very little confidence in the font end and after a difficult start I found it hard to push. Race two I had a much better feeling with more confidence but then we had a technical problem and I had to stop.”

Tommy Hill said:
“I’m very disappointed for what happened in race one. My start was pretty good but unfortunately in one of the first corners the front went away from me, probably because the tyre wasn't quite warm. In race two I managed to get a good start again, and get into a rhythm, and for most of the race I battled for thirteenth position. As the race progressed, the bike started to misfire, but I pushed on hoping for my best finish so far.”

WSS Rider Quotes
Eugene Laverty said:
“That was the best race I’ve ever won and it is important for the Championship. It was a tough race and I beat a lot of very good riders so I know we can be strong. I have to say a big thank you to my team as all the guys have worked really hard and I’m glad to repay them with a race win. I’m now second in the Championship just six points off the lead so that will be my next goal.”

Kenan Sofuoglu said:
“I am very disappointed with this result because I felt so much confidence going into this race and starting from the front row. Unfortunately, the back section of the circuit, where I was losing a lot of time during qualifying, was still a problem for me and I had to push so hard in the other areas of the lap. After Andrew crashed in front of me, the gap to the leading group was too big, but at least I was able to pick up some points.”

Andrew Pitt said:
“The feeling with the front of the bike was a lot better in warm-up, after the guys worked late into the night – so thanks to them for that. It meant that with a good start I felt able to challenge for the win because I had the pace of the leaders. I was still struggling a bit with the front of the bike, though, and I was pushing hard everywhere because I just didn’t want to finish third, fourth or fifth. When the Yamahas tangled in front of me and ran wide, I dived underneath – maybe a little too enthusiastically and I lost the front. I don’t know who ran over my arm, but I lost all feeling in it temporarily and couldn’t pick up the bike. There’s nothing broken but it’ll probably be a little sore tomorrow.”

Mark Aitchison said:
“We were a little bit off the pace in qualification so considering that, we did well in the races. Our lap times were fast and consistent, we are just searching a little bit for something from the bike so we can understand more how to be aggressive in a race situation.”

Anthony West said:
"We are still missing just a little bit of engine speed and when Sofuoglu made a mistake I also ran wide, onto the gravel and then the astroturf on the circuit edges. My rear tyre felt strange when I got back on the tarmac and I thought I had a puncture at first, but when I got going at good pace again the top guys were too far in front to catch."

Robbin Harms said:
“Today I did everything I could to get the maximum out of the bike and the 9th position I scored was the best I could do. I pushed very hard, but the problem was that I could only follow other riders, and I just didn’t have enough pace and power to overtake them. I hoped for a better result, but that was just not possible today. That’s why I am satisfied with what we have achieved. My team did a good job this weekend and I am happy with the communication and spirit we have.”

Arie Vos said:
“I had some problems with the start but happily I was able to make up some places in the first few corners. After following a group which was too fast for me to catch, I was picked up by another group and that helped me to keep pace by slipstreaming on the straight. Unfortunately I was just out of the points at the end but I am very satisfied about my bike’s chassis and about the overall progress we made this weekend. The whole team worked very hard and it was great to ride in my own country. All the fans were fantastic and I want to thank everybody for the support they gave.”

Gianluca Vizziello said:
“I clashed with Nannelli in one corner and that made me run off and fall and that meant I had to retire. My bike was running well so it was a pity. But now I can look forward to Monza, which will be important for me.”

Miguel Praia said:
“I had to retire from the race as I had a little problem with my rear shock. I went into turn one and the back just came round on me. I had been running in 12th place and I knew I could catch the guys battling for ninth but I lost quite a few places. Then I went into the next turn and it happened again so I decided it was best to pull in.”

Matthieu Lagrive said:
“My start was not so good and so I tried to push very hard to make up for the lost positions, but suddenly during the fourth laps I lost my front wheel and crashed. It has been a very difficult weekend for me, mainly because of my poor physical condition. Starting from tomorrow I’ll start a rehabilitation to make sure that I’ll be in top condition for the next race in Monza. A big thanks to all my technical staff for their great job.”

Jesco Günther said:
“I am very disappointed that I wasn’t able to finish the race. My start was good and I climbed up to the 18th place, but immediately I noticed that I had problems with my front tyre. On more than once occasion I lost the front as the tyre slid in the corner, and so I wasn’t able to focus on my racing. I was only trying to stay on the bike and that made it impossible for me to ride the full distance safely so I thought it was best to pull in. Overall I am happy with the progress we made here this weekend and I am looking forward to Monza.”

World Superbike and World Supersport 2009
Round 04 ASSEN – Netherlands

Superbike Race 1
1 B. SPIES/Yamaha YZF R1
2 N.HAGA/Ducati 1098R
3 L. HASLAM/Honda CBR1000RR
4 T. SYKES/Yamaha YZF R1
5 M.BIAGGI/Aprilia RSV4 Factory
6 J. SMRZ/Ducati 1098R
7 J. REA/Honda CBR1000RR
8 R. LACONI/Ducati 1098R
9 M.FABRIZIO/Ducati 1098R
11 S. BYRNE/Ducati 1098R
12 K. MUGGERIDGE/Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9
13 M.NEUKIRCHNER/Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9
14 R. XAUS/BMW S1000 RR
15 R. KIYONARI/Honda CBR1000RR
Superbike Race 2
1 N.HAGA/Ducati 1098R
2 L. HASLAM/Honda CBR1000RR
3 J. SMRZ/Ducati 1098R
4 M.FABRIZIO/Ducati 1098R
5 J. REA/Honda CBR1000RR
6 T. SYKES/Yamaha YZF R1
7 C. CHECA/Honda CBR1000RR
8 S. BYRNE/Ducati 1098R
9 M.NEUKIRCHNER/Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9
11 R. XAUS/BMW S1000 RR
12 Y. KAGAYAMA/Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9
13 B. ROBERTS/Ducati 1098R
14 M.BAIOCCO/Kawasaki ZX 10R
15 L. SCASSA/Kawasaki ZX 10R
Leon Haslam

Leon Haslam
3 J. LASCORZ/Kawasaki ZX-6R
4 F. FORET/Yamaha YZF R6
5 K. SOFUOGLU/Honda Honda CBR600RR
7 A. WEST/Honda CBR600RR
8 B. VENEMAN/Suzuki GSX-R600
9 R.HARMS/Honda CBR600RR
10 M.PIRRO/Yamaha YZF R6
12 G.NANNELLI/Triumph Daytona 675
14 K. FUJIWARA/Kawasaki ZX-6R
15 G.MCCOY/Triumph Daytona 675

Related Links

· SBK - FIM World Superbike Championship and World Supersport Championship
· Netherlands

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