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WSBK Assen: Rea splashes to another Assen win

Jonathan Rea defies delays and rain to score his first WSBK win of the season for PATA Honda, ahead of Alex Lowes and Davide Giugliano.
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  • Jonathan Rea keeps it tidy to score a fine win in difficult conditions at Assen
  • Lowes scythes his way to a maiden WSBK podium in second place for Suzuki, with Giugliano third
  • Heavy rain causes the race to be delayed by two hours and shortened to 10 laps

Jonathan Rea has taken his fifth career World Superbike Championship victory on Dutch soil after splashing his way to victory in a much delayed, sodden second race at Assen.

With the original start stopped after just two laps when the heavens opened around the circuit, a long delay would result in the race being restarted two hours later and contested over just ten laps. Nonetheless, that was still time for plenty of action, with several offs and crashes serving to mix up the order.

By contrast, it was a relatively simple ride for Rea up front, the PATA Honda rider grabbing the lead on the first lap from Tom Sykes after a daring pass on the outside of turn one saw him leap from fifth to second straight away.

Once he was ahead of the struggling Kawasaki rider, Rea would attempt to use the track position to push on, only to find himself being reeled in by race one winner Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman seemingly thriving in the rain as he closed on the Honda ahead.

However, the Frenchman's challenge would end suddenly at the end of lap two when he lost the rear-end of his Aprilia through the final corner and was sent into a high-side.

It meant Rea would find himself with a substantial lead over the chasing pack, initially headed by Sykes and Marco Melandri, before Alex Lowes burst through to pass both on the same lap and position himself in second place.

An impressive performance by the WSBK rookie on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki rider, particularly as he carved his way past both riders ahead, though he would at one stage appear capable of catching Rea, he would settle for maintaining second.

As such, Rea would be free to ride through to the chequered flag unchallenged, the PATA Honda rider securing a welcome win for the local Ten Kate Racing team, already celebrating after returning to the winners' circle in the World Supersport class earlier in the day.

His fifth win in the Netherlands alone, the success marks his first in WSBK since Silverstone last year and maintains his record of having won a race in each year since he joined the series.

Behind Lowes in second place, the battle for the final podium spot would come down to Melandri and Davide Giugliano after both had dispatched of Sykes ahead of them. Eager for a good result after crashing in race one, Giugliano would charge his way up to third place, but still retained the attention of Melandri into the penultimate lap.

In the end, Melandri would make a mistake and run off the circuit, rejoining the race in sixth place to allow Giugliano to claim only the second WSBK podium for the Ducati 1199 Panigale machine since its introduction.

Opting for caution in light of Guintoli's crash, Sykes would stay safe for fourth place to extend his advantage in the overall standings to 12 points.

Leon Haslam rounded out the top five to score his best result since joining the PATA Honda team, ahead of the recovering Melandri, while Loris Baz couldn't call upon his wet weather prowess as he laboured to seventh place.

After his crash, Guintoli rejoined and mounted an impressive comeback up the order to finish in ninth place, behind Chaz Davies, the Frenchman helped somewhat by a high attrition rate that would see crashes ahead suffered by Eugene Laverty – his second of the day -, Leon Camier and Toni Elias.

Rounding out the top ten to finish as the EVO class winner was Niccolo Canepa, ahead of local rider Kervin Bos on his wild-card Honda, Luca Scassa, Sheridan Morais and David Salom.


Tagged as: Assen

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herewego

April 28, 2014 8:30 AM

Well done Jonathan, you deserved it!! Racing in the wet is hard and not many can do it. Jonathan has exception skill to handle that bike in such atrocious conditions. Keeping control and keeping the bike on the track shows how good he is on one of the worst bikes there! Jonathan must be absolutely knackered after a race as the work he has to do on that Honda is unbelievable. To even finish in the top 5 shows great commitment, determination and talent! One of my favourite riders!



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