In Assen, Holland, it was Ben Spies who took the holeshot in Race 1, launching off the line from pole position and into turn 1 of the Dutch course. Spies was followed by Max Neukirchner and Noriyuki Haga, neither of whom could touch the American’s lead position after turning just one lap around the course. As Haga closed in on Neukirchner it seemed there would be a good battle for second brewing, but the German made a mistake in the GT chicane and tossed his bike. He would finish 13th for the day. However, Race 1 at Assen wasn’t about to disappoint. Continue reading for a woefully inadequate description of one heck of a Superbike race that was WSBK Race 1 at Assen.
With nothing between himself and Spies, Haga quickly closed the Yamaha down, and sat on the Texan’s tail. The pair wasn’t alone either, Leon Haslam was setting a series of blistering laps and chasing the two leaders down, and soon the race turned into three-way melee between Spies, Haga and Haslam. Haga had been pushing Spies through the Ramshoek and into the final GT chicane for several laps, but Spies kept holding the Japanese rider off. So on lap 13, Haga switched tactics, diving underneath Spies into the Strubben hairpin, and taking the lead. A corner later, Haslam was passed Spies as well and began pulling away from the American.
As the laps started to click off, Spies started to reel Haga and Haslam back in, and with three laps to go, Spies made his move on Haslam. With the two bikes side-by-side through several turns, Spies finally got past the Englishmen and began gaining on Haga. Catching him as they started the final lap, Spies made his final move in the back section of the track. Getting past Haga with only a few turns to go, Spies held off Haga’s final challenge into the GT chicane to take the win. Haga was forced to settle for 2nd, with Haslam finishing third.
Tom Sykes rode his best race to date on the other Factory Yamaha to take 4th place, while Max Biaggi fought his way through the field to finish 5th, after starting from 10th on the grid. If you didn’t see this race, we feel sorry for you.
Results from Race 1 World Superbike at Assen:
|1||B. Spies||USA||Yamaha YZF R1|
|2||N. Haga||JPN||Ducati 1098R||0.154|
|3||L. Haslam||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||0.779|
|4||T. Sykes||GBR||Yamaha YZF R1||8.775|
|5||M. Biaggi||ITA||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||11.275|
|6||J. Smrz||CZE||Ducati 1098R||16.126|
|7||J. Rea||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||19.555|
|8||R. Laconi||FRA||Ducati 1098R||19.760|
|9||M. Fabrizio||ITA||Ducati 1098R||23.006|
|10||T. Corser||AUS||BMW S1000 RR||24.285|
|11||S. Byrne||GBR||Ducati 1098R||26.003|
|12||K. Muggeridge||AUS||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||27.814|
|13||M. Neukirchner||GER||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||36.962|
|14||R. Xaus||ESP||BMW S1000 RR||39.025|
|15||R. Kiyonari||JPN||Honda CBR1000RR||41.505|
|16||B. Roberts||AUS||Ducati 1098R||41.810|
|17||M. Tamada||JPN||Kawasaki ZX 10R||50.186|
|18||S. Easton||GBR||Kawasaki ZX 10R||55.567|
|19||D. Checa||ESP||Yamaha YZF R1||56.425|
|20||D. Salom||ESP||Kawasaki ZX 10R||1’05.169|
|21||R. Resch||AUT||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||1’37.663|
|RET||L. Scassa||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||4 Laps|
|RET||S. Nakano||JPN||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||9 Laps|
|RET||V. Iannuzzo||ITA||Honda CBR1000RR||9 Laps|
|RET||M. Baiocco||ITA||Kawasaki ZX 10R||10 Laps|
|RET||C. Checa||ESP||Honda CBR1000RR||18 Laps|
|RET||Y. Kagayama||JPN||Suzuki GSX-R 1000 K9||21 Laps|
|RET||T. Hill||GBR||Honda CBR1000RR||22 Laps|