The second Superbike World Championship race of the weekend at Assen was a difficult one for both HM Plant Ducati riders, with James Toseland forced to retire due to tyre problems and Chris Walker having to show his renowned grit and determination to finish in eighth place, despite riding while injured.

As the sun shone at the Dutch circuit, both Toseland and Walker made reasonably good starts to the 16-lap race, slotting into sixth and eighth place respectively. As the battle out front raged between the new world champion Neil Hodgson, Ruben Xaus and Gregorio Lavilla, Toseland got his head down and concentrated on closing down Regis Laconi and Pier Francesco Chili.

The youngster caught and passed Laconi on lap eight, to move up to fifth place, and made sure he didn't lose sight of the leading quartet of riders. The 22-year old then managed to pass Chili on lap ten to move up to fourth place and set his sights on the podium position he narrowly missed out on in the first race.

Unfortunately, however, Toseland's rear tyre began to disintegrate on lap 13, and he was forced to retire from the race.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed that my tyre went off, but these things can happen to any rider," he said, "Everything was going so well out there, and I'm convinced that I would have made it on to the podium, given the opportunity. My thoughts are already on the next round."

Walker came home in a respectable eighth place, which was a great effort considering the injuries he was carrying.

"I did the best I could out there but, despite 110 per cent effort, I just wasn't able to match the pace of the leading riders," he said, "It's not often that I am glad when a race is over, but I couldn't wait for the chequered flag today. Now I have to rest and get myself fit again for the next round."

 

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