Sam Lowes is celebrating arguably the most rewarding win of his World Supersport Championship career after prevailing in a tense tussle with Kenan Sofuoglu at Assen.
Lowes and Sofuoglu have been the class of the field so far this year, even if mechanical issues for both riders last time out at Aragon meant they came into Assen chasing down early series leader Fabien Foret.
In what became a battle of wills as neither rider seemed keen to pace set the race, Lowes came into the final lap with the lead, only for Sofuoglu to use the superior straight line speed of the Mahi Kawasaki to come through mid-way around the lap at Ruskenhoek.
Undeterred, Lowes primed himself for a move into the iconic final corner Geert Timmer chicane, shrugging off Sofuoglu's defensive line to squeeze beneath him and hold on in the sprint to the chequered flag.
The first-ever victory for the Russian-based Yakhnich Yamaha team, Lowes was thrilled to be able to show his racing credentials against the series' most coveted rider.
“I always enjoy the battle with Kenan and Fabien,” he said. “The team and Yamaha really deserved this; they've given me a really fantastic bike all year so thank you very much to everyone. I think Kenan and I tried many things on the last lap so I'm really happy to come out on top.”
Lowes sits equal third with Sofuoglu in the standings, behind Foret and Michael van der Mark.