Round 3 WorldSBK, Assen, Race 2

The earlier Superpole race saw Alvaro Bautista ( Racing Ducati) claim his 2nd win of the weekend, and the question on everyone’s mind was, who could stop him claiming his 3rd win.

Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) had a crash on the sighting lap, and that meant he would have to start at the back of the grid for race 2, instead of 4th.

Round 2, World Superbikes, Assen. Picture courtesy of WSBK.

Lights out then for race 2, and it was Bautista with the hole shot into turn 1, followed by Toprak (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 2nd, Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 3rd, Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) 4th, Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 5th, Aegerter (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) 6th, and Redding (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) 7th.

Next lap and drama for both Brad Ray (Motoxracing Yamaha) who crashed out,  and then local rider, Vd Mark (Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who had a massive high side into the chicane and landed with a gruesome looking injury to his leg. He got stretchered off into an ambulance, with later news confirming he had broken his leg. Vierge (Honda HRC) was next to crash, this time into turn 1. Neither Honda or BMW were having a good weekend, and it was now made a lot worse.

Next lap and Toprak made a move on Bautista, before Alvaro snapped straight back, also allowing Rea to come through into 2nd in the process.

With 18 laps of 21 remaining positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Rea 3. Toprak 4. Bassani 5. Locatelli 6. Aegerter 7. Redding 8. Lecuona. Meanwhile Rea, late on the brakes, dived into turn 9 briefly taking over the lead, before Bautista could unleash all of the Ducati power down the back straight to retake the lead. Toprak then repaid the favour to Rea and came through back into 2nd.

With 16 laps to go, and having to push so hard to make any ground on the leading Bautista, Rea lost the front end into turn 9 trail braking into the corner. The Kawasaki flew into the gravel, and a disconsolate Rea trudged back to the safety barriers, his race over.

Next lap and Toprak put in a new fastest lap a 1:34.304 to keep the pressure firmly on Bautista. The positions were as follows: 1. Bautista 2. Toprak 3. Bassani 4. Locatelli 5. Aegerter 6. Redding 7. Lecuona 8. Gardner (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) 9. Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing) 10. Rinaldi ( Racing Ducati).

Next lap and Remy Gardner got through on Lecuona to take 7th, the Aussie had only started from 14th on the grid. Further ahead Locatelli got past Bassani to take 3rd. At the front Bautista held a gap of 0.9s to Toprak behind, and then put in a new fastest lap a 1:34.1 to respond to the pressure from the Yamaha.

With 12 laps to go Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) went down into turn 15, he had only just recovered from a fractured ankle. Meanwhile Bautista was upping the tempo and now held a gap of 1.8s to Toprak. Lowes had made a massive recovery after having started at the back of the grid, and was now up to 10th, with Rinaldi behind in 11th.

With just over half race distance covered, Bassani had fought back to Locatelli and was looking for the pass into 3rd. Meanwhile the poor weekend for Honda continued as Lecuona crashed into turn 4, he briefly rejoined before retiring into the pits. After all the crashes there were now only 19 riders left.

Round 2, World Superbikes, Assen. Picture courtesy of WSBK.

With 8 laps to go former Moto2 rider Gardner was having a great race, and was now all over the back of Redding.

Next lap and Bautista was firmly in line to take Ducati’s 400th WorldSBK win. Behind it was Toprak in 2nd, Locatelli 3rd, and Bassani in 4th.

With 3 laps to go Aegerter, like his team mate, was also having great late race pace, and was catching Bassani ahead in 4th, with the gap cut down to 0.7s. Meanwhile further back Lowes was up into 9th, Rinaldi 10th, and Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) 12th.

Last lap and Bautista made no mistake to claim his 3rd win of the weekend, also his 40th career win, and Ducati’s 400th win. Toprak 2nd, Locatelli 3rd, Aegerter 4th, Bassani 5th, Gardner 6th, Redding 7th, Petrucci 8th, Lowes 9th, and Rinaldi 10th.

Result top 5:

  1. Bautista ( Racing Ducati)
  2. Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  3. Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK)
  4. Bassani (Motocorsa Racing)
  5. Aegerter (GYRT GRT Yamaha WorldSBK)

Championship top 3:

  1. Bautista – 174 pts
  2. Razgatlioglu – 118
  3. Locatelli – 104
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