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World Superbike and World Supersport 2012

Round 03: Assen Circuit – Netherlands

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Netherlands
Netherlands
April 22, 2012

Rea Wins First of The Year After Race One Trauma

Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team) won his first FIM Superbike World Championship race of the year, taking victory after a tenacious 22-lap ride in race two after making a wise tyre choice.

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Jonathan Rea
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Jonathan Rea

He was in the lead for the last three laps, having been fifth on the first lap, dropping back from his superpole qualifying position of second. In race one, started in dry conditions, Rea battled hard and saved an almost certain highside crash at one stage. When the rains that had affected much of practice reappeared halfway through the contest, and some leading riders fell, the first race was cancelled, with a new nine lap race started, in wet conditions. Rea was in the vanguard from the off, but fell on lap one and hurt his right hand, requiring painkilling injections before race two.

Rea chose a hard rear tyre to try and deal with the cold, but basically dry track conditions in race two and although he had to wait for his chance to lead, he won by an eventual margin of 2.819 seconds from Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati), the first race victor. Rea has now won four of the last six SBK races at Assen, the home track of his Dutch-based ten Kate team.

Rea remains sixth in the championship rankings after a no score and his first win, now on 65 points, while Max Biaggi (Aprilia) leads on 92 points.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team) found his previous experience of Assen, even that gathered in a recent Assen test alongside Rea, negated by the changeable weather in practice and he qualified only 21st. He rode sure-footedly in the wet race one to record 12th place, and then followed that up with 13th. These were two good results for a new SBK rider, considering how much trouble some top names got into as track conditions changed and tyre gambles often failed. Aoyama is 13th in the rankings after three rounds and six races.

Lanzi Takes First Honda Win in Atrocious Conditions

Lorenzo Lanzi (PRORACE Honda) won a rain-affected 21-lap Supersport World Championship race at Assen in his first race for Honda in this class; from a lowly start position of 21st. This was the first win for a CBR600RR rider in 2012.

Lanzi, a former SBK race winner and Ducati Supersport rider, was only drafted into the PRORACE team shortly before the start of race weekend, but made his CBR600RR debut in peerless style, splashing his way through changeable, but constantly wet track conditions to pick off the top riders one by one. He won by a remarkable 12.054 seconds in the end, and is now sixth overall with his 25 points for the win. Lanzi’s pace in the wet was such that he lapped everybody up to 12th place.

Pole man Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda) had led the race from a while, but fell while well clear of the chasing pack, finding a slippery patch of tarmac under braking which caused the rear end of his bike to come round on him. He restarted, but with bent control levers and handlebars he was to fall again and then retire.

Such was the unpredictable nature of the Assen race weekend for many other top competitors that Lowes is still third overall and only 14 points from the lead, which is shared between Kawasaki riders Kenan Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret.

Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda) also led the race on the opening lap, but had to drop back as the conditions changed through the race. He was to finish fourth, having started second on the grid, and was happy in the end result to score points after missing out at the previous round. He is now fourth, only two points behind Lowes.

Third in qualifying for Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) was converted to sixth in the race, as he lost touch with the original leading group of four, and then had Alex Baldolini pass him for fifth.

Another good day for Team Lorini Honda riders Andrea Antonelli and Roberto Tamburini saw them seventh and ninth respectively, and inside the top ten in points. Thomas Caiani (Kuja Racing Honda) was 12th and not lapped by Lanzi, but in his debut ride PJ Jacobsen (Bogdanka Honda PTR) was 13th, and in the points, despite being passed by Lanzi. Imre Toth (Racing Team Toth Honda) was 16th.

Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda) and Balazs Nemeth (Racing Team Toth Honda) did not finish, nor did Martin Jessopp (Riders PTR Honda). Valentine Debise (SMS Racing Honda) was another non-finisher, just like Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda).

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Hiroshi Aoyama
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Lorenzo Lanzi
Jonathan Rea (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: DNF / 1st - Championship position: 6th
“It is a nice little gift for the team to give them something back for all their hard work, but we still do not have a lot of top speed compared to the others. But we are making the bike better every race and I felt like I had a little bit more oomph this weekend. The new format of single bike racing means we are struggling to develop the bikes. When we could come here for testing last week and use two bikes we took the package forward. We are now operating in a new window with the bike and we have more edge grip and I think the testament is that all weekend we worked with the hard rear tyre and most people never considered this for the race. Even if race one stayed dry then I was ready in a good condition to pounce. But then the weather changed. Our result today was a little bit affected by the conditions and the crew were smart to work with the hard race tyre all weekend.”
Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda World Superbike Team):
Race result: 12th / 13th - Championship position: 13th
“Overall the whole weekend was not easy because the weather was changing all the time and we were struggling with rear grip. We tried a couple of things, but every time we tried something better the conditions changed so the feeling changed. In these cold conditions if I cannot feel the grip I find it difficult to ride. In the first race it was like swimming! Too much rain and so cold in the last part of the race I could not feel my hands anymore. I saw that a lot of riders crashed and it was my first time to race with Pirelli wet tyre, so I rode carefully and managed to finish 12th which was not bad from a starting position from 21st. I chose a cut slick for the second race and it was not really the best choice, but if it had started raining we would have gained some places. As a team Jonathan won the race and it is a special race for the team so everybody is happy. I hope that next time I can be on the podium to celebrate together with Johnny.”
Lorenzo Lanzi (PRORACE Honda):
Race result: 1st - Championship position: 6th
"For me this victory is unbelievable because I have not raced for a very long time and I have not been on track this year. It is incredible and to win in Assen; for me it is so beautiful. I am not sure if you will see me for the rest of the season, but I want to say thanks to the team for giving me this chance.”
Sam Lowes (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF - Championship position: 3rd
"It was a difficult race. After the start it was raining pretty hard so I took it steady but then it got better and I had speed and felt really good. Later on it started to rain again on parts of the track and because I was in front I didn't know what to expect. There was some standing water in some corners and I took it slower than on the lap before. I was completely off the throttle or brake but just aquaplaned round. I got going again, but the bike was a bit damaged, the handlebar was moving, and in one of the slow corners I had my slowest crash ever and couldn't continue. I'm really sorry for the team and sponsors and can't wait to get to Monza and make up for today.”
Broc Parkes (Ten Kate Racing Products Honda):
Race result: 4th - Championship position: 4th
“I got a good start, got off the line well, and the first few laps Sam came past me riding fast, but I could see he was a bit on the edge. Then eventually he crashed and I was back in the lead again and then I had a good battle with Sofuoglu for a few laps. When the rain went away I just did not seem to have the pace of the other two guys, Sofuoglu and Leonov, so I realised I would only be able to take fourth. But that was important for me to take away good points and not end up in the gravel trap. I had a couple of big moments. I am back in the championship hunt again and that is the most important thing for me.”
Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda):
Race result: 6th - Championship position: 9th
“Sixth is not so bad. I am happy to finish as I did not have a good feeling on the bike; there was lots of sliding and it was difficult to open the throttle. It was a really long race and it was difficult to stay on. I tried to be very safe and not so slow so I am happy. We only had one wet session to set the bike up so we will have learnt a lot for the future if it is wet again."
Ronan Quarmby (PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF - Championship position: 7th
“It was a terrible race for me. The rain came down heavily at the start and I had a couple of big moments. After that I couldn't go any faster. I dropped back, but kept trying. When it was clear I wasn't going to finish in the points I decided to retire. It has not been the best weekend ever; it is one of those things that happens and we will look forward from here.”
Patrick Jacobsen (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: 13th - Championship position: 24th
"It was a good race. I made a strong start and made it from 24th to 12th on the first lap, which was very good. This track is very slippery in the wet and once you touch the gas the tyre breaks loose. Therefore I was just riding very careful and wanted to make it to the finish line and score some points in my first World Supersport race. The weather was very tricky this weekend. There was not enough dry time and not enough wet time and every time I went out I didn't know what to expect but The Bogdanka Honda PTR team was working good and I think it's the best result we could get today.”
Mathew Scholtz (Bogdanka PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF - Championship position: 25th
"I dropped way back on the first lap and wanted to make up for it. I was doing good, but then as I approached turn eight on lap seven, as soon as I released the brake, the rear tyre slid off and I crashed. I'm fine but I'm really disappointed and upset because I knew we had a good pace and could score some points today. Now I'm just really looking forward to Monza and hope to show what I can do there.”
Martin Jessop (Riders PTR Honda):
Race result: DNF - Championship position:
"I had an average start, but got past a few guys. I had a good few laps and got into a nice rhythm. Then the rear started getting violent and shaking, trying to spit me out of the seat. I think as the rain came in the tyre lost temperature. Then warning lights started flashing that the engine was cooling down as well. With no chance of points and everything getting colder I came in before I damaged the engine or crashed on cold tyres. We will learn from this."
Mike Conway (Andretti Autosport)zoom
Jonathan Rea

World Superbike and World Supersport 2012
Round 03: Assen Circuit – Netherlands

Superbike Race 1
Rank Rider (Team)
1 S. GUINTOLI (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)
2 D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)
3 C. CHECA (Althea Racing)
4 M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)
5 E. LAVERTY (Aprilia Racing Team)
6 M. FABRIZIO (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)
7 J. SMRZ (Liberty Racing Team Effenbert)
8 N. CANEPA (Red Devils Roma)
9 M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
10 L. MERCADO (Team Pedercini)
11 M. BERGER (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)
12 H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)
13 D. SALOM (Team Pedercini)
14 L. ZANETTI (PATA Racing Team)
15 M. AITCHISON (Grillini Progea Superbike Team)
Superbike Race 2
Rank Rider (Team)
1 J. REA (Honda World Superbike Team)
2 S. GUINTOLI (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing)
3 E. LAVERTY (Aprilia Racing Team)
4 M. MELANDRI (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
5 L. HASLAM (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)
6 T. SYKES (Kawasaki Racing Team)
7 A. BADOVINI (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)
8 M. BIAGGI (Aprilia Racing Team)
9 D. GIUGLIANO (Althea Racing)
10 M. FABRIZIO (BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet)
11 J. HOPKINS (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)
12 D. SALOM (Team Pedercini)
13 H. AOYAMA (Honda World Superbike Team)
14 L. CAMIER (Crescent Fixi Suzuki)
15 L. MERCADO (Team Pedercini)
Supersport
Rank Rider (Team)
1 L. LANZI (PRORACE)
2 K. SOFUOGLU (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)
3 V. LEONOV (Yakhnich Motorsport)
4 B. PARKES (Ten Kate Racing Products)
5 A. BALDOLINI (Power Team by Suriano)
6 J. CLUZEL (PTR Honda)
7 A. ANTONELLI (Team Lorini)
8 T. VAN POPPEL (TRG Motorsport)
9 R. TAMBURINI (Team Lorini)
10 S. VOSKAMP (Konvi Racing Team)
11 R. LANUSSE (Kawasaki Intermoto Step)
12 T. CAIANI (KUJA Racing)
13 P. JACOBSEN (Bogdanka Honda PTR)
14 L. MARCONI (VFT Racing)
15 S. MORAIS (Kawasaki DeltaFin Lorenzini)

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