Assen, The Netherlands – Jonathan Rea pulled off a superb double, with a 0.025s win in Race 2, his 200th World Superbike race.
It was his seventh victory from eight races so far in 2017 and his 11th career win at Assen, with maximum points from Round 4 in the
South African rider Sheridan Morais kept the flag flying in the middle of a five-way fight for second in the World Supersport race, finishing fifth in the end and retaining his second place in the world standings, while Dorren Louriero battled to a hard-earned fifth in the World Supersport 300 race and Capetonian Jared Schultz fought his way up from 32nd on the grid to finish a creditable 22nd.
Rea took a clear victory after a long battle with Ducati Team rider Chaz Davies ended in a frustrating DNF as Davies pulled up at the end of the penultimate lap. Sykes crossed the line second place of Marco Melandri on the second Ducati Team Panigale R, who completed the rostrum places.
Rea had started in fourth place on the grid, having initially been on pole but being moved back three places to the head of row two due to a penalty, following a clash with Davies at the end of SP2. Davies then went on to lead for most of the race before RRea took over in the final stages and then the Ducati rider pulled off track due to a technical issue just before the start of the final lap.
Davies’ misfortune saw Sykes take a lonely second, coming home 4.5s behind Rea and 13 seconds in front of Melandri. It was a good performance by Sykes considering his recent issues with a stomach illness.
Ducati privateer Xavi Fores produced another solid result in fourth, his highest finish so far in 2017 and an excellent ride by Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia) to fifth on his return to action also gave him his best result of the season to date.
There were also season-best results for works Honda rider Stefan Bradl and Kawasaki privateer Roman Ramos in sixth and seventh respectively, with Eugene Laverty (Aprilia), Leandro Mercado (Aprilia) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta) completing the top 10.
There was frustration for Yamaha works riders Michael van der Mark, who ran long on the first corner and then crashed out of his home race at Turn 5 early on, and his team-mate Alex Lowes went down at Turn 10 mid-race.
Rea held his nerve to cross the line 0.025s ahead of his team-mate as Sykes applied the pressure in the final stages.
After his cruel luck in Race 1, which saw Davies pull up with a technical problem with a lap to go when fighting for the lead, he bounced back with a fifth podium result of 2017 so far, in third place.
A good ride by factory Yamaha rider Michael van der Mark at his home circuit saw him recover from a crash in Race 1 to register a solid fourth from 11th on the grid. It might have been even better for Van der Mark but for a big wobble at Turn 12 midrace, when he was chasing Davies for third.
Van der Mark’s factory Yamaha colleague Alex Lowes also made up for his Race 1 disappointment to finish in the top five again, after crashing out in Race 1.
Camier (MV Agusta) rode well for sixth, finishing just over a second ahead of Spaniard Jordi Torres on the first of the works BMWs, with Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) and the works Hondas of former MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl completing the top10.
Reigning World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (
Sofuoglu bounced back from his early season problems to take the holeshot and get the hammer down, leading from start to finish and crossing the line 2.611s in front of closest challenger Mahias.
It was the perfect response from the five-times world champion as he registered his first points of 2017, having missed the first two rounds of the season due to injury and then crashing at
With Sofuoglu racing clear at the front, an intriguing battle for second place raged on throughout the 18 lap contest, with Mahias, Cluzel, PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta), Sheridan Morais (Yamaha) and Federico Caricasulo (Yamaha) all in the hunt.
Mahias got the best of that fight for second, finishing with a spectacular wheelie coming out of the final chicane – and was almost caught by Cluzel on the line because of it, the two Frenchman separated by just 0.005s!
One and half seconds later Jacobsen finished fourth, just ahead of Morais and Caricasulo.
Michael Canducci (
Mahias now leads the championship standings by 20 points from Morais, with Sofuoglu down in ninth place, trailing Mahias by 40 points after four races.
WORLD SUPERSPORT 300
Scott Deroue (
However Sanchez was forced to drop two positions with seven laps to go as he exceeded track limits.
The final laps were a thriller as the top five crossed the line within 0.309s, with wild-card entry Glenn van Straalen (Honda) a surprise second after another wild card, Finn de Bruin (Yamaha) and Angelo Liccardi (Yamaha) crashed out in spectacular fashion on the final lap.
Alfonso Coppola set the fastest lap of the race three laps from the end, coing home third, ahead of Sanchez, with Dorren Loureiro (Kawasaki) rounding out the top five, just 0.026s behind them.