These just in:
Assen welcomes WSBK for Round 3
Barcelona (Spain), Tuesday 22 April 2014 - Since 1992 the TT Circuit Assen has been part of the World Superbike calendar and it is currently the second most visited venue in the history of the series after Phillip Island. Also known as the Circuit van Drenthe, it is one of the oldest permanent racetracks in Europe. Since the opening in 1926 it has been subject to several modifications, with the current layout featuring six left handers, eleven right handers and a 300m long start/finish straight.
After raising the bar in the second round of the season, the Kawasaki Racing Team hopes to keep the momentum going. The dominant performance by KRT duo Tom Sykes and Loris Baz at Aragon had a significant impact on the points situation, leaving only Aprilia Racing Team's Sylvain Guintoli within close range. The Frenchman is 11 points shy of the man in the lead Tom Sykes, whilst other works Aprilia rider Melandri lies fourth in the standings with a 26 point gap. The Italian rider is followed closely by Pata Honda's Jonathan Rea (27) and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki's Eugene Laverty (29).
Rea approaches the team's home round with renewed confidence after the solid results achieved so far aboard his CBR1000RR Fireblade SP. The Ulsterman is the current WSBK active rider with the most wins at Assen - four, including a double taken in 2010.
Laverty climbed on the top step of the podium at Assen for the first time last year, as he got the better of race 1 winner Sykes after a masterful display of riding and determination. He and his team mate Alex Lowes are hoping to make the most of a more suitable track for their GSX-R machines, likewise Ducati Superbike Team duo Davide Giugliano and Chaz Davies, who did not fulfil their own expectations last time out at Aragon.
MV Agusta RC - Yakhnich Motorsport and Team Hero EBR continue their learning curve within the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, aiming to narrow the gap to the other manufacturers during the third round of the season.
Leon Camier will again replace injured Sylvain Barrier for the BMW Motorrad Italia Superbike Team. The Brit crossed the line in the first race at MotorLand Aragon as the best placed EVO rider (12th overall) and finished behind David Salom (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Niccolò Canepa (Althea Racing Ducati) in race 2.
Following a positive debut in Spain, Bimota Alstare pairing of Ayrton Badovini and Christian Iddon will get in the mix again to challenge the rest the EVO field.
Standings (Round 2 of 13): 1. Sykes 75; 2. Baz 71; 3. Guintoli 64; 4. Melandri 49; 5. Rea 48; 6. Laverty 46; 7. Giugliano 43; 8. Davies 30; 9. Haslam 25; 10. Elias 23; 11. Salom 22; 12. Canepa 16; 13. Lowes 9; 14. Foret 9; 15. Camier 8; 16. Morais 7; 17. Allerton 6; 18. Guarnoni 4; 19. Corti 3; 20. Scassa 2. Manufacturers: 1. Kawasaki 81; 2. Aprilia 71; 3. Suzuki 49; 4. Honda 48; 5. Ducati 48; 6. BMW 14; 7. MV Agusta 3.
The Assen TT Circuit has witnessed many spectacular battles for the win in the Supersport World Championship, the last of which happened in 2013, when reigning Champion Sam Lowes edged out Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki) at the finish line for only 38 thousandths of a second.
After the DNF in the opening race at Phillip Island, three time WSS Champion was back on top of the podium at Aragon. Sofuoglu found himself in the lead after the collision occurred to Kev Coghlan (DMC-Panavto Yamaha) and Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC - Yakhnich Motorsport), eventually crossing the line the race winner ahead of Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport) and Florian Marino (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki).
Local rider van der Mark is looking forward to a strong performance in front of his home crowd, hoping as well to achieve his first race win in the Supersport World Championship.
Coghlan, who was able to claim a fifth place in Spain despite the unfortunate crash, currently heads a tight title race that sees Marino just two points behind in second, whilst Raffaele De Rosa (CIA Insurance Honda), Sofuoglu and Cluzel are six points shy of the leader.
The Ducati Superbike Team ready to face its next challenge in The Netherlands
Borgo Panigale (Italy), Tuesday 22 April 2014 - the historic TT Circuit of Assen is the next destination for the World Superbikes, and the Ducati Superbike Team is more than ready for the challenge that the Dutch circuit presents.
The TT circuit is one of the ?temples' of motorcycle racing and has hosted international competitions since 1925. The Assen track, located in the Drenthe province of The Netherlands, has featured on the Superbike calendar every year since 1992.
Rider Davide Giugliano scored his first ever Superbike podium at the TT circuit, when he finished race 1 in second place in 2012. Chaz Davies' best result so far was a fifth place finish obtained during the 2013 race weekend. 2011 brought success for both riders, with Davies winning his Supersport race at the Dutch track, while Giugliano scored the win in the Superstock 1000 category.
At this year's most recent Superbike round, which took place just over a week ago at Motorland Aragón in Spain, Davies closed the day's first race in fourth place, before scoring the fastest lap of race 2 while Giugliano finished eighth in Race 1, and concluded the day's second race seventh.
The two Ducati factory riders thus head into this third round of the championship, taking place from 25 to 27 April, in seventh (Giugliano) and eighth (Davies) position in the general standings.
Quotes ahead of the event:
Davide Giugliano - Ducati Superbike Team #34
"Assen is a fantastic circuit that is also very unique. It's always great to ride there and I have particularly good memories of the place as I took my first Superstock podium there and then also my first Superbike podium, two years ago. Seeing as we're coming from Aragón where we proved to be fast despite the fact that it's not an easy track for us, I hope that in Assen we are able to put everything that we have together in order to score some good results."
Chaz Davies - Ducati Superbike Team #7
"I enjoy racing at Assen despite the fact that I haven't had the strongest race results there with the Superbikes yet. It should suit the Ducati fairly well though, and I'm quite confident. If we work hard during the sessions we should be in a position to fight for good results on race day. The weather in Assen usually plays a part too, so we'll have to see what conditions are like and then work to adapt my 1199 Panigale to the track accordingly."
Pata Honda looks for another step at Assen
Pata Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam are eager to take another step forward with the development of their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines this weekend (25-27 April) as the World Superbike championship heads to Assen in the Netherlands for round three of the 2014 series.
Both British riders, who took part in their Ten Kate team's workshop and dealership 'Pitstop Day' last Saturday, have enjoyed success at the 4.542km Dutch circuit in the past - Haslam with three podium finishes, including a double in 2009 during his previous stint on Honda machinery.
Rea has taken four World Superbike victories at Assen since 2010, together with a further two podium finishes. The 27-year-old has been on the rostrum at least once in each of the last four seasons.
The Pata Honda team heads to its home race at Assen - the circuit is just 70km from the team's base in Nieuwleusen - in positive mood. Both Rea and Haslam enjoyed developments in the performance of their Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP machines last time out at Aragon in Spain two weeks ago.
Improvements to both chassis settings and throttle opening, together with refinements to the Fireblade's traction control allowed Rea to take his 34th career WSBK podium in race one at Aragon. He followed that up with a fifth place in race two, while his Pata Honda team-mate Haslam scored two top ten finishes.
I'm really looking forward to riding at Assen this weekend because it's a circuit that I really enjoy. There are lots of passing places and there's usually a fast group at the front, which I hope to be a part of. I've spent quite a bit of time there with my team over the years, and done quite a few laps developing the bike, so I hope we can get it dialled in quite quickly this weekend. Of course, a lot of that will depend on the weather because, although we're at the end of April, it can still be unpredictable, so we'll have to work on both wet and dry settings so we can aim for two good results. We've had a solid start to the season, with top five finishes and a podium at Aragon, so we'll try to carry that momentum into the Assen weekend. There's always a fantastic atmosphere there as it's the team's home race and we had another amazing Pitstop Day at the workshop last Saturday with a record crowd. It's a perfect way to set up for the weekend.
We've had a really good week in Holland. Me and Johnny got some cycling in and we had a great Pitstop Day last weekend, which was as busy as I've seen it. I can't wait to get to Assen - I love riding there and we've made some good progress with the bike recently. We had some issues setting up the bike in Aragon but that was more us than the bike, I think, and we got some OK results, even though I don't like that place really. Hopefully, we can move things on again at Assen, which I really do like riding. We haven't really tested the new bike in any wet weather yet but, looking at the forecast, we might get a chance to this weekend. The injury that I picked up in the practice crash last year was a bit of a freak really, so my confidence hasn't been affected - even in t he wet. I'm not going to be running any marathons, but I can now ride the bike how I want to and there are no physical problems.
The forecast is not looking so good for the weekend at Assen, but Jonathan certainly had a good feeling with the bike during some wet weather we had at the recent Jerez test. The whole team made a good step forward at Aragon and we certainly have some plans to help to get Leon back to the front, which is where he deserves to be. He likes Assen, too, and it's traditionally been a good circuit for the Fireblade. We are all really looking forward to the team's home race, so bring it on - rain or shine!
WORLD SUPERBIKE TAKES ON AN HISTORIC MOTORCYCLING CIRCUIT.
THE APRILIA RIDERS ARE READY FOR ASSEN: MARCO MELANDRI IS EAGER TO CONFIRM HIS PERFORMANCE ON THE TRACK AT ARAGON, SYLVAIN GUINTOLI IS LOOKING FOR BIG POINTS ON THE CIRCUIT WHERE HE FOUND HIS FIRST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PODIUM.
Noale, 23 April 2013 - The World Championship for factory derivative bikes will take on the TT Circuit at Assen this weekend, an historic track that hosts the third round of WSBK 2014. The setting of epic battles as well as a Mecca for thousands of fans who flock to the track throughout the weekend, the University of motorcycling has always provided a great show with races that have often come down to the wire under the chequered flag. There is also another unknown factor, the weather, which seems destined to play a key role again this year.
For the Aprilia Racing riders the third round of the season represents an important crossroads. After the excellent start in Australia with a win and two podiums, Aragon was the scene of some ups and downs which had some positive aspects in the second race where Melandri battled for victory down to the last turn: Assen will therefore be fundamental in confirming the competitiveness of Melandri and Guintoli.
At Aragon Marco Melandri, in his first year astride the RSV4, showed that he has the grit and tenacity he needs to ride to the top step of the podium. On a technical and flowing track like the Dutch one the Italian rider's experience could well make the difference.
Marco Melandri: "Assen is a unique track and coming here after a round like Aragon really motivates me and makes me want to get even better. I hope the weather isn't too unpredictable and I hope to qualify well because overtaking at Assen is not a simple matter. In any case my Aprilia RSV4 will be up to the task and I can't wait to get back on the track".
For Sylvain Guintoli Assen is a special track where he took his first championship podium (in the 250 class with Aprilia) in 2003. After his placings in Aragon, which keep him on the respectable end of the standings but which did not satisfy the French rider, a podium finish will be Sylvain's minimum objective at Assen.
Sylvain Guintoli: "We had a tough time in Aragon but it's in those moments that you fight and learn to get better. The next track is a special place for me. I had my first world stage podium in 250 with Aprilia back in 2003 and my first WSBK victory two years ago. I'm looking forward to racing in Assen, a great track that produces great racing".