It was exam time at Assen University over the weekend. This time, Holland chose to help the rides somewhat, with no wet sessions to deal with. Despite the cool temperatures, track conditions remained dry. On track, Rea flexed his muscles, winning both race 1 and race 2, Davies was left watching, with a DNF on Saturday that weighed heavily. The most important race was won by Fritz though, after his terrible accident in the Stock1000.
THE GOOD For the German Yamaha rider, Sunday at Assen proved to be a nightmare, but the good news is that the rider has now left the intensive care unit. We looking forward to seeing him back on track, get well soon Marvin! Then let’s not forget Rea, who moves increasingly closer to the title, having taken part in his 200th SBK race this weekend, just like Sofuoglu, who scored his first win after being forced to sit out the Phillip Island and Buri Ram rounds due to injury.
THE BAD Davies-Rea, seconds out of the boxing ring! The two are definitely not friends and Saturday afternoon brought further proof of that. The Welshman was far from happy after his rival held him up during his fast lap. His gesture required no explanation…
THE UGLY The joke that the Panigale played on Chaz Davies on Saturday afternoon was far from pretty. A real blow for the Welshman who saw his red bike pack up and his direct rival extend his championship lead.
THE DISAPPOINTMENT it’s a real pity to see a rider like Nicky Hayden with such a resigned expression on his face. The new 17.1 engine that Honda brought to Holland proved to be less competitive than the previous one. We are left wondering what the answer might be, as 2017 is looking to be a failure. In the SSP300 we’re left wondering what happened to Armando Pontone. He was one of the favourites for the title but once again finished far from the front.
THE SURPRISE Finally there’s light at the end of the tunnel on the other side of the Honda garage. Considering the situation, Stefan Bradl’s sixth place finish in race 1 is worth gold. Hats off to Ramos too, who scored a gutsy seventh.
THE CONFIRMATION To say Rea would be pointless, and so we’ll nominate Scott Deroue, winning in the SSP300 for the second time. We’re still waiting for an Italian to reach the highest step of the podium though.
THE ERROR What a shame to see Marco Melandri exit stage left in Race2. The Italian made two mistakes on Sunday, the first cost him several positions, then came the crash. He faces resits at Imola.
THE PASS For those who missed the last 3 laps of Race 1, we suggest you try and watch them somehow. A thrilling head to head between Rea and Davies through the last chicane. The best pass? You choose!
THE INTERESTING FACT Kawasaki passes the Assen text with an A+. Four out of four for the Japanese bike, on the highest step of the podium across all categories.
I TOLD YOU SO Just before leaving for Holland, Raffaele De Rosa told us: “I like Assen, the aim is to stay inside the top ten”. Unfortunately things didn’t go to plan. This is only the beginning though and he has time to improve, even if that ninth place finish at Qatar had left us optimistic.