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Rea battles to brave Assen victory

Jonathan Rea defies a finger injury to claim a fourth career victory around the Assen circuit, ahead of Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty; Checa fails to score after tyre error.
Jonathan Rea has returned Ten Kate Honda to winning ways around its home circuit of Assen after battling through the pain barrier for a last gasp victory in race two.

The Ulsterman benefited from the inspired choice of starting on slick tyres around an initially damp circuit to come on strong in the closing stages, passing race one winner Sylvain Guintoli with three laps remaining and carrying on to a very satisfying triumph.

Indeed, Rea was not initially earmarked for a victory challenge having been required to have pain-killing injections to a finger he injured in his high-speed accident during the first race.

Furthermore, the unpredictable conditions made picking the correct tyre crucial, the track now fairly dry, but still with damp patches intermittently around the circuit.

As such, a variety of tyre strategies were being adopted across the grid, with Rea, Guintoli, Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri and pole sitter Tom Sykes all opting for slick rubber, while Jakub Smrz and Leon Haslam picked for a dry rear tyre with an intermediate front.

Somewhat inexplicably, given what was being picked around him, championship leader Carlos Checa went on to begin the race with full wet tyres, a decision he immediately regretted as he was quickly shuffled back down the order at the start. Pitting on lap two, Checa wouldn't recover from being a lap adrift.

Instead, it was Smrz that burst into the lead, the Czech rider finding plenty of confidence from his intermediate-shod Effenbert Liberty Ducati to quickly establish a lead of almost five seconds after just three laps.

Haslam gave chase in second position, pushing to the front of his slick-shod rivals, but at no stage was he able to lap faster than the Czech rider a considerable distance in front of him.

As such, the race would only develop during the second-half as the slick tyre riders began to get up to speed on a circuit that while cool, was now almost completely dry on the racing line.




Related Pictures

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Jonathan Rea, Dutch WSBK 2012
Jonathan Rea, Dutch WSBK 2012
Rea, Dutch WSBK 2012
Jonathan Rea, Dutch WSBK 2012
Jonathan Rea, Dutch WSBK 2012
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Sykes, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Haslam, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Haslam and De Puniet, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014
Rea, Jerez WSBK/MotoGP test, November 2014

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