WSBK: Assen Superpole Sees Surprise Front Row

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World Superbike action came to Assen this weekend, and it didn’t take long for the Dutch track to claim it’s first victim. Seeing a rider crash in the first round, and a number of big names lost in the second round shuffle, the Superpole format clearly is still a quagmire for many teams. This didn’t stop a couple familiar names from making it onto the front row, but going into the WSBK round in Holland, you never would have guessed who these riders would have been.

Crashing in the very first round of the Superpole qualifying, Christopher Vermeulen found himself caught by his leg as he was dragged into the gravel trap, making this another unfortunate weekend for the Australian rider. With round two proving to be the definitive round for teams, a slew of WSBK favorites found themselves knocked out of the qualifying, including Biaggi, Haga, and Toseland.

For Dutch racing fans, the third round would prove to have more excitement than the second. Johnny Rea took the Superpole victory (on “home turf”), trumping Spies’ 2009 qualifying time at Assen by over two and a half seconds. Other surprises came in the form of Troy Corser, who finished third on the grid with his BMW S1000RR. This qualification marks a big milestone for the Bavarian team.

This result is also another sign that all is not well in the Ducati WSBK camp. With Haga out in round two, and Fabrizio the slowest in round one, the Bologna Rockets are clearly struggling this season after nearly winning the championship last year.

Superpole Results from World Superbike at Assen, Netherlands:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Diff
1 65 J. Rea Honda CBR1000RR 1’34.944
2 96 J. Smrz Ducati 1098R 1’35.062 0.118
3 11 T. Corser BMW S1000 RR 1’35.306 0.362
4 91 L. Haslam Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’35.330 0.386
5 2 L. Camier Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1’35.633 0.689
6 7 C. Checa Ducati 1098R 1’35.892 0.948
7 67 S. Byrne Ducati 1098R 1’35.909 0.965
8 84 M. Fabrizio Ducati 1098R 1’36.405 1.461
Out after Superpole 2
9 35 C. Crutchlow Yamaha YZF R1 1’36.027 0.610
10 52 J. Toseland Yamaha YZF R1 1’36.061 0.644
11 3 M. Biaggi Aprilia RSV4 1000 F. 1’36.069 0.652
12 111 R. Xaus BMW S1000 RR 1’36.094 0.677
13 50 S. Guintoli Suzuki GSX-R1000 1’36.327 0.910
14 66 T. Sykes Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’36.348 0.931
15 41 N. Haga Ducati 1098R 1’36.574 1.157
16 76 M. Neukirchner Honda CBR1000RR 1’36.581 1.164
Out after Superpole 1
17 99 L. Scassa Ducati 1098R 1’36.906 1.409
18 57 L. Lanzi Ducati 1098R 1’36.989 1.492
19 77 C. Vermeulen Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’38.378 2.881
20 23 B. Parkes Honda CBR1000RR 1’38.622 3.125
Out of Superpole
21 15 M. Baiocco Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’38.471 2.850
22 95 R. Hayden Kawasaki ZX 10R 1’38.769 3.148