17 April 2011
Davies holds on for maiden Assen
The Welshman shows his title credentials with a fighting ride, but there is poor fortune for both Luca Scassa and Sam Lowes.
Chaz Davies has launched himself into the World Supersport title fight after prevailing in a dramatic, twice-interrupted race at Assen.
A race delayed heavily by two serious accidents, firstly for Lowes and then again for Alexander Lundh, Davies kept his cool amidst chaotic surroundings for a long awaited first WSS victory.
With his Yamaha team-mate Luca Scassa failing to finish, Davies has moved to within five points of the series leader.
The first start had been shaping up to be an entertaining tussle between Davies, who had just worked his way to the front, Lowes and Scassa, only for Lowes to lose the rear-end of his Parkalgar Honda and be catapulted into a high-side.
The vicious impact would knock the youngster unconscious, necessitating an immediate red flag. Taken to the medical centre, while Lowes would come around, he has now been transferred to hospital to undergo treatment for concussion.
With the race reduced to 16 laps, the second start was stopped again just two laps in – once again with Davies at the front – after Marko Jerman crashed out of the final corner and collected Lundh. The Swede, stricken in the middle of the circuit, was clipped by a rival rider, prompting a second red flag period in order for marshals to tend to him.
With a depleted grid made up of the positions at the end of lap five of the original start – meaning Scassa, Davies, Broc Parkes and Florian Marino made up the front row – Davies got away best to snatch the lead into the opening bend, followed closely by Gino Rea, the youngster benefitting from the shaken up grid to jump from fifth.
His charge into the opening bend, however, came at the expense of Scassa, who was forced wide and down to fifth, while Broc Parkes also sat up and slipped into the mid-field.
With clear air in front of him, Davies began to push, pulling Rea and Florian Marino with him, while Scassa took until lap seven to get onto the lead group after dispatching Massimo Roccoli and Fabien Foret.
However, Scassa's swift progress was brought to a dramatic halt on lap eight when he mis-judged his braking behind Marino and clipped the Ten Kate Honda. Sending both barrelling into retirement, Scassa's failure to finish – having won the opening two rounds -, is set to open the title fight up once more.
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