In a role-reversal, Race 2 at Assen for World Superbike got underway with clear skies, and a Dutch track with only a few wet spots left to dry. With tire choice proving to be a critical component in the second race, the WSBK field ran the gamut with slicks, intermediates, and even full-wets making it onto the grid for the start. Lining up another exciting race, the fans in attendance were well-rewarded for enduring the rainy Race 1 at The Cathedral.
With Jakub Smrz getting the jump at the start, the Czech rider would be followed closely by Tom Sykes on his Kawasaki who was on full-slicks. Meanwhile seemingly racing backwards, Carlos Checa for reasons beyond imagination started the race on full-wets, and promptly had to pit during the race to get tires for the virtually dry conditions.
Smrz would dominate the majority of the race, while teammate and Race 1 winner Sylvain Guintoli worked his way up through the field. Holding a 1-2 lead for the Effenbert Liberty Racing Team, Smrz and Guintoli would trade positions with five laps remaining, though with three laps to go disaster would strike. Lapping Mark Aitchison, the duo would be caught by a charging Jonathan Rea. Pushed off the track while trying to get around Aitchison, Smrz would hit a wet-patch of grass, highsiding in the process and losing his second place position.
Unable to hold off Rea with his failing tires, Guintoli would have to settle for second, while Eugene Laverty, Marco Melandri, and Leon Haslam diced it up for the last spot on the podium. Fending off the two BMW riders, Laverty helped salvage what was looking like a horrible weekend for Aprilia, while Melandri just barely stayed ahead of Haslam at the line.
With Checa finishing last, Max Biaggi goes into the lead for the 2012 World Superbike Championship, ahead by just a solitary point. World Superbike meets again on May 5th at Monza, Italy.
Race Results from World Superbike Race 2 at Assen, The Netherlands:
|1||Jonathan Rea||Honda World Superbike Team||Honda CBR1000RR||-|
|2||Sylvain Guintoli||Team Effenbert Liberty Racing||Ducati 1098R||2.819|
|3||Eugene Laverty||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||12.638|
|4||Marco Melandri||BMW Motorrad Motorsport||BMW S1000 RR||12.762|
|5||Leon Haslam||BMW Motorrad Motorsport||BMW S1000 RR||12.764|
|6||Tom Sykes||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki ZX-10R||20.393|
|7||Ayrton Badovini||BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet||BMW S1000 RR||36.317|
|8||Max Biaggi||Aprilia Racing Team||Aprilia RSV4 Factory||37.747|
|9||Davide Giugliano||Althea Racing||Ducati 1098R||41.35|
|10||Michel Fabrizio||BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet||BMW S1000 RR||43.93|
|11||John Hopkins||Crescent Fixi Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||57.515|
|12||David Salom||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1’32.593|
|13||Hiroshi Aoyama||Honda World Superbike Team||Honda CBR1000RR||1’33.576|
|14||Leon Camier||Crescent Fixi Suzuki||Suzuki GSX-R1000||1 Lap|
|15||Leandro Mercado||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki ZX-10R||1 Lap|
|16||Mark Aitchison||Grillini Progea Superbike Team||BMW S1000 RR||1 Lap|
|17||Carlos Checa||Althea Racing||Ducati 1098R||1 Lap|
|RT||Lorenzo Zanetti||PATA Racing Team||Ducati 1098R|
|RT||Jakub Smrz||Liberty Racing Team Effenbert||Ducati 1098R|
|RT||Chaz Davies||ParkinGO MTC Racing||Aprilia RSV4 Factory|
|RT||Maxime Berger||Team Effenbert Liberty Racing||Ducati 1098R|
|RT||Brett McCormick||Liberty Racing Team Effenbert||Ducati 1098R|
|RT||Niccolo Canepa||Red Devils Roma||Ducati 1098R|
Source: WSBK; Photo: Honda