WSBK Assen: Double Dutch for Toseland
Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike rider James Toseland made every lap count in Assen today, storming to two podium finishes and claiming hard earned points which move him up the championship table.
The first race saw the British rider tear through the pack from his tenth place grid start position, making short work of his competitors with clean decisive overtakes, making up eight places to sit in second by just past mid-race point behind leader Jonathan Rea.
An inspired overtake three laps to the end on the penultimate corner saw him temporarily lead the race, however Rea was able to get past at the end of the start straight, securing the win just 1.1 seconds ahead of Toseland.
Teammate Cal Crutchlow had a great start, making it up to sixth on the first corner before a bunched up pack of riders pushed him wide, dropping him to 13th initially. He fought back with a determined push and was the fastest lapping rider mid way through.
He finally crossed the line in eighth having made up five positions on the tricky to overtake circuit.
Race two and again Toseland charged through the pack, making fifth position by lap seven. He spent several laps following a furious battle in the top four between Haslam, Rea, Corser and Camier before slipping through and fighting his own battle to take third.
Positions changed several times in the tightly bunched pack however he held onto third over the line for his second podium of the day. Teammate Crutchlow had a less fortunate race, with a technical issue with the rear suspension forcing an early retirement.
Toseland now heads to the next round in Monza having climbed to fifth position in the standings on 86 points, just 17 behind Carlos Checa in fourth. Team-mate Crutchlow remains in tenth position just four points behind Michel Fabrizio in ninth.
James Toseland (Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team, 2nd, 3rd) says: "We’ve had another tough weekend, especially Friday and Saturday, but we’ve pulled through. Once again the team has worked fantastically well, especially this morning, we had a new linkage system on the rear end just to try and sort some issues and it seems to have worked."
"It’s been a long weekend but to come from tenth on the grid and get a second and a third, two podiums is just a great result for me and the team. It’s been coming slowly, we’ve come from far behind in the first two races so it’s fantastic to be up there at the front and fighting. There are a lot of Brits out there, and we’re all racing at the front and doing a great job, everybody deserves to be in it. I’ve had great support from my family and friends and want to thank everyone for supporting me in getting back to where I should be."
Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team, 8th, DNF) says: "It’s been a very frustrating end to the weekend for me, I know I had the pace to achieve really good results and be up there fighting with the front guys in both races. I made a good start in the first but lost a lot of places on the first corner when the pack pushed me wide, but fought back and was one of the fastest riders on the track mid-race. Race two was even more frustrating as I was determined and ready to fight for a podium. Unfortunately the technical issue was out of my control so there was nothing I could do."
Massimo Meregalli (Yamaha Team Manager says: "We had a great result today, especially considering how we got it, after a lot of challenges over the last two days. James also put all his heart into his racing today. I’m sorry for Cal, I think he had the ability to have a great two races, especially in the second one. Unfortunately we had a technical issue, we don’t know what yet but we will figure it out."
"We’ve made big advances with our electronics and also with our chassis which could be seen with James’s performance. We are now getting to a point where we have a very competitive bike with a set up that works on different tracks, but obviously we will continue to work for the next level. We head to Misano for testing next week motivated to keep on improving. A big thank you to all the team and the riders who worked so hard this weekend."
Circuit Length: 4542
Racing Fans: 78,000
Lap Record: 2’04.685 (Chris Vermeulen, 01/01/2005)
Fastest Lap Ever: 1’34.944 (Jonathan Rea, 25/04/2010)
Last Years Winner: Noriyuki Haga
World Superbike Championship Point Standing (after 4 rounds of 13): 1. Haslam 148; 2. Biaggi 128; 3. Rea 110; 4. Checa 103; 5. Toseland 86; 6. Haga 85; 7. Corser 68; 8. Guintoli 55; 9. Fabrizio 53; 10. Crutchlow 49
World SBK Manufacturers Point Standing: 1. Suzuki 148; 2. Aprilia 134; 3. Ducati 130; 4. Honda 111; 5. Yamaha 93; 6. BMW 69; 7. Kawasaki 19