As had been the case all week, World Superbike had to look to the skies before Race 1 at Assen to determine what the weather gods had in store for the Dutch track. Expecting fair conditions for Race 1, and rain expected for Race 2, teams again would have continue to have to juggle two different setups for their riders.
With the grid on slicks for the start of Race 1, things would come to crashing halt just nine laps later, as the rain made an early appearance. Red-flagged and restarted, Race 1 ended up being a very wet affair. Click past the jump for spoilers and results.
Starting from the pole position, Tom Sykes continued to show Kawasaki’s new form in WSBK racing. Leading through the first turn, the British rider didn’t look back as he stormed away from the field — that is of course until his Kawasaki ZX-10R gave up the ghost, which forced Sykes to retire early and again miss out on his first race win of the season. Watching BMW Motorrad flirt with its first race win as well with Melandri and Haslam trailing in second and third, the rain came down on Assen, and the red flags came out.
Before Race 1 could get restarted, Leon Camier would crash in the warm-up, giving a testament to the truly brutal conditions. A race of attrition, numerous riders would find a lack of adhesion around the Dutch track, including race leader Leon Haslam, who had a mammoth lead over the rest of the field at the time of his get-off.
The conditions and shrinking field would be a boon to Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli though, who took his first WSBK race win ever in Race 1. He would be followed by fellow Ducati riders Davide Giugliano & Carlos Checa, as well as the factory Aprilia squad, which saw Max Biaggi benefit immensely from the wet weather, as the Italian had to start from the fifth row and finish fourth.
Race Results from World Superbike Race 1 at Assen, The Netherlands:
|1||Sylvain Guintoli||Team Effenbert Liberty Racing||Ducati 1098R||–|
|2||Davide Giugliano||Althea Racing||Ducati 1098R||2.633|
|3||Carlos Checa||Althea Racing||Ducati 1098R||3.031|
|4||Max Biaggi||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||3.927|
|5||Eugene Laverty||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||4.374|
|6||Michel Fabrizio||BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet||BMW S1000 RR||11.359|
|7||Jakub Smrz||Liberty Racing Team Effenbert||Ducati 1098R||26.412|
|8||Niccolo Canepa||Red Devils Roma||Ducati 1098R||37.562|
|9||Marco Melandri||BMW Motorrad Motorsport||BMW S1000 RR||49.896|
|10||Leandro Mercado||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1’08.847|
|11||Maxime Berger||Team Effenbert Liberty Racing||Ducati 1098R||1’11.760|
|12||Hiroshi Aoyama||Honda World Superbike Team||Honda CBR1000RR||1’13.988|
|13||David Salom||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1’27.019|
|14||Lorenzo Zanetti||PATA Racing Team||Ducati 1098R||1 Lap|
|15||Mark Aitchison||Grillini Progea Superbike Team||BMW S1000 RR||1 Lap|
|RT||Ayrton Badovini||BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet||BMW S1000 RR|
|RT||Chaz Davies||ParkinGO MTC Racing||Aprilia RSV4 Factory|
|RT||Leon Haslam||BMW Motorrad Motorsport||BMW S1000 RR|
|RT||John Hopkins||Crescent Fixi Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000|
|RT||Leon Camier||Crescent Fixi Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000|
|RT||Jonathan Rea||Honda World Superbike Team||Honda CBR1000RR|
Source: WSBK; Photo: Kawasaki Racing