5 September 2005
Vermeulen does Assen double.
Chris Vermeulen took his Winston Ten Kate Honda to two race wins at his team's home round in Assen, adding a hard-fought second success to a more comfortable one earlier in the day.
Vermeulen wasn't able to make a break for the front as he had hoped, getting off the line in sixth place and giving himself a lot of traffic to get through. He didn't hang about, however, and, by lap seven, was already in the lead.
Nori Haga, though, wasn't giving in and took the lead back on lap twelve. Vermeulen dug deep and pulled it back again with two laps to go, holding on to force Haga to accept second for Yamaha Italia only 0.085secs from Vermeulen's back wheel. James Toseland, on the Xerox Ducati, finished in third place, the podium filled by the same three riders as in race one.
“That was a long race, James and Nori made me work for it,” Vermeulen grinned, “I'm very happy with the double, it's been a great weekend. Congratulations to the team and to Sebastien Charpentier for taking the Supersport World title.”
Haga was on his usual tyre smoking form, and he too found it a physically hard race.
“After four or five laps, I started to sweat and couldn't see for sweat!” he revealed, otherwise having enjoyed his race. “It was really good race with James and Chris, although I am a little disappointed with second – one more lap and I could have tried something...”
Toseland was in very determined mood having annexed second spot in race one, and was looking very strong at the outset, taking the lead and holding Haga at bay. However, he ran a little wide at the final chicane on lap six, which allowed both Haga and Vermeulen past, leaving him to settle for third.
“The way I rode there today, I would have won by ten seconds last year!" he sighed, "I was losing the front and the rear – it was skipping all over.”
As usual there was lots of British fans at Assen, and Toseland was disappointed not to have taken at least one win for the travelling support.
“There were loads of flags and I had great support,” he smiled, “The weather has been great, good racing, everyone loves coming here. It's a great place.”
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