WSBK: Close Group Vies for Win in Race 1 at Assen

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The results of Race 1 at Assen may not be a huge surprise for race fans, but the racing that took place to get those results surely was. The first race of World Superbike’s stop in mayonnaise country saw some strong showings from hometown favorites, and some disappointments from WSBK greats. This trend in the 2010 season seems to be the norm this year, which means great racing for WSBK fans. With five racers vying for the win and only a handful of laps to go, you’ll be disappointed if you didn’t catch this race and its conclusion.

Riding on the Ten Kate HANNspree Honda, Johnny Rea took Race 1 with a comfy one second lead. Don’t let the lap times fool you though, Rea was under pressure from a bevy of riders up-until the last few laps, which saw at one point five riders with a possible step on the podium. The only trace of this contention can be seen in the half second spread that covers second through fourth place.

With Ten Kate Honda calling Holland home, and their facility a short trip away from Assen, it shouldn’t be surprising that Rea walked away as Race 1’s winner. It also shouldn’t be surprising that former Ten Kate rider (not to mention former WSBK Champion) James Toseland finished the race second. The pair have obviously lapped around Assen numerous times, and were able to figure out the newly re-done Ruskenhoek chicane quicker than the rest of the pack.

Strong racing was seen from the likes of Leon Camier & Carlos Checa, both of whom having come out of the woodwork this season to be formidable riders. Camier is often overshadowed by his more successful teammate Max Biaggi, who also had a fairly good day with a 6th place finish in Race 1, but has been consistently finishing strong this season. Checa on the otherhand is finding new life in his aging career, and has been the Ducati to beat at all the WSBK stops this season. The accomplished rider is not only showing the younger kids a few new tricks, but he’s also leaving many to wonder what’s going on in the Xerox Ducati camp (Haga 10th, Fabrizio 13th in Race 1).

Another strong outing came from Troy Corser, who did the BMW squad proud this weekend, leading the race at one point. Corser would finish Race 1 sixth, but definitively proved that the BMW could be made competitive in the series, after just finishing its rookie season.

With Leon Haslam finishing a disappointing 11th place, it would seem a new points leader would be crowned at Assen, but only time can tell.

World Superbike Highlights from Race 1 at Assen, Netherlands:

Results from Race 1 of World Superbike at Assen, Netherlands:

Pos No. Rider Country Bike Diff
1 65 J. Rea GBR Honda CBR1000RR
2 52 J. Toseland GBR Yamaha YZF R1 1.106
3 2 L. Camier GBR Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1.249
4 7 C. Checa ESP Ducati 1098R 1.548
5 11 T. Corser AUS BMW S1000 RR 2.738
6 3 M. Biaggi ITA Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 2.813
7 96 J. Smrz CZE Ducati 1098R 6.296
8 35 C. Crutchlow GBR Yamaha YZF R1 12.022
9 67 S. Byrne GBR Ducati 1098R 12.146
10 41 N. Haga JPN Ducati 1098R 19.753
11 91 L. Haslam GBR Suzuki GSX-R1000 22.204
12 66 T. Sykes GBR Kawasaki ZX 10R 22.282
13 84 M. Fabrizio ITA Ducati 1098R 22.780
14 50 S. Guintoli FRA Suzuki GSX-R1000 23.364
15 99 L. Scassa ITA Ducati 1098R 37.097
16 57 L. Lanzi ITA Ducati 1098R 39.467
17 77 C. Vermeulen AUS Kawasaki ZX 10R 46.468
18 15 M. Baiocco ITA Kawasaki ZX 10R 57.170
19 95 R. Hayden USA Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’01.634
20 76 M. Neukirchner GER Honda CBR1000RR 1’04.295
RET 23 B. Parkes AUS Honda CBR1000RR 13 Laps
RET 111 R. Xaus ESP BMW S1000 RR 14 Laps