A dramatic Race 2 at the TT Circuit Assen in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship came to an end with Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claiming his third win of the Prosecco DOC Dutch Round and the fourth hat-trick of his career despite finding himself in eighth place after Turn 1 after starting from first. Behind him, Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) came home in second with rookie Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) claiming his maiden podium.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) got a good start but found himself out of the race after American Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) made contact with the Turkish rider at Turn 1, with the American placed under investigation for the incident by the FIM WorldSBK Stewards and given a ride-through penalty for the incident. The crash forced Razgatlioglu out of the race.
The incident forced Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) down into eighth place while Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK), running the SCX tyre, found himself leading a WorldSBK race for the first time in his short career. It took until the fourth lap for Rea to be back in second place, as he looked to secure a hat-trick at Assen. Locatelli led the first half of the race as Rea closed the gap to Locatelli with the six-time Champion able to take the lead on Lap 12 of 21, with Rea on the SC0 tyre, on the run to Turn 1. Rea’s victory means he is now on 199 WorldSBK podiums, one away from a historical 200 podium.
Locatelli was able to stick with Rea for the next few laps, but Rea soon found himself extending the lead over the rookie, with Locatelli having to start watch out for Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in third as the British rider closed in. On Lap 19, Redding made his move in the final sector of the lap to move into second place, with Locatelli coming home in third for his maiden WorldSBK podium. Locatelli becomes the first WorldSSP Champion to claim a WorldSBK podium as a rookie since Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in 2015, also at Assen.
P1 Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“Thanks to all the fans out there. It’s been amazing, it’s an unbelievable atmosphere here. What a crazy race in the beginning! I didn’t get a great jump off the line and found myself eighth in the first laps. Just step by step, picked up my rhythm. I could see Andrea had such a solid pace, congratulations to him and his team. My team worked incredibly well this weekend. The Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR is working amazing, it’s point to point, we’ve improved the chassis setup this weekend. Looking forward to enjoying this one and moving on to Most in a few weeks.”
P2 Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
“I gave everything but, in the beginning, I was struggling to overtake. Not really confident with the front until I got my own rhythm. Then I just put everything on the line, I was pushing every lap to try and catch. I had good pace. It was difficult conditions for us to get the right tyre combination. We put it all out, we didn’t get the win today, but I’m really happy to be back on the podium.”
P3 Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK)
“It’s an amazing feeling. I think it’s the best day of my life! To get a podium in WorldSBK is really amazing. When we arrived here, we focused to get the good results but I never thought it was possible to get the podium. In the end, we got it. It’s so amazing. Thank you to the fans in Assen because every time it’s amazing here!”
WorldSBK TT Circuit Assen – Race 2
1. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2. Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) +1.605s
3. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +3.431s
4. Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +8.695s
5. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) +9.584s
6. Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +12.691s.
Championship Standings (after Race 2, Round 5)
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (243 points)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (TUR) Yamaha (206 points)
3. Scott Redding (GBR) Ducati (162 points).
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl