Spoiler Alert: Assen World Superbike Results Below
The third round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship at the TT Circuit Assen brought victory to one rider whose simply dominating so far this season, and another rider who took his first victory of the season.
Race 1 at the track that has been on the World Superbike calendar since 1992 went to Jonathan Rea on the Castrol Honda CBR1000RR. The northern Irishman held of the reigning WSBK champion Max Biaggi on the Aprilia RSV4; taking third was the winningest man of the season, Carlos Checa on the Althea Ducati 1198.
In Race 2 at Assen, the same three riders were on the podium, but in a different order. The Spaniard Checa took the win after robbing the lead from Biaggi on the final lap. Checa, who has now won four out of six races, was joined on the podium by Biaggi and Rea.
Assen World Superbike Race 1
The race in the Netherlands was a home race for Castrol Honda, and Rea gave the team its first victory of 2011 there during Race 1.
Starting from fifth on the grid, Rea got a good start and began chasing down the pole-winner Checa. By the fourth of 22 laps, Rea passed Checa. Biaggi also took Checa, and began chasing down Rea.
But Rea was able to hold off Biaggi, taking victory by 0.7 of a second. Checa would finish 3.5 seconds behind Rea.
Rounding out the top five were Yamaha World Superbike’s Marco Melandri and Suzuki Alstare’s Michel Fabrizio. With Troy Corser taking sixth on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR, six different manufactures were in the top six in Race 1 at Assen WSBK.
Assen World Superbike Race 2
In Race 2, Biaggi took the early lead, followed by Checa and Rea. Checa took the lead from Biaggi on lap 2, but the Italian was able to pass the Spaniard again during mid-race.
But on the final lap, Checa passed Biaggi and held him off by 0.5 of a second to take the fourth victory of the season. Rea would finish 3.5 seconds behind Checa after battling with Yamaha Superbike’s Marco Melandri, who crashed out with six laps remaining.
Rounding out the top five were Leon Camier (Aprilia Alitalia) and Leon Haslam (BMW Motorrad Motorsport).
Checa now has 132 points after round 3 of 13, a 43-point advantage over Biaggi. Ducati also remains on top of the point standings with 136, 30 over Aprilia.
Assen Superbike Top Three Quotes:
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda CBR1000RR) says: “First and foremost, I’m really proud to give the famous Castrol Honda name the first victory on its comeback to this championship. We spent all weekend developing the bike for the races, and that strategy paid off. I got a good start but couldn’t decide whether to let Max past and let him dictate the pace.
“In the end I made the right decision to stay in front and take the win. We had to dig deep in race two because I got held up for a while and the front guys got away. I was matching their lap times but we ran into some tire problems later in the race.
“I’m really happy with the weekend though, and really grateful to everyone who has helped to get me here – it’s been a long hard winter coming back from injury.
“The team has worked really well and that’s exactly the right sort of confidence and momentum that we need to take to the next races. I’m happy to be back where I belong, in the winners’ circle, and I look forward to trying to get more wins for the team.”
Carlos Checa (Althea Ducati 1198R) says: “The beginning of race 1 was difficult; I didn’t have enough grip and so some of my rivals were able to get past me. Then I really had to push to make up lost ground.
“I tried to stay clam and maintain my rhythm and was able to get in front of the second group, but to reach Max and Johnny was just too difficult. They already had an advantage because I had lost time getting past Laverty. I happily accept the result however, a positive end that gives us important championship points.
“Then for Race 2 we decided to change tyre and so, with the softer solution, I had more grip and could maintain a strong pace right from the start. I wanted to push at the beginning and try to build a gap between me and Max but he stayed with me, putting me under pressure.
“When I made a small mistake and he passed me in the final stages, I was able to see that he was having some tire trouble. I got back past him and took the win, a result that is surprising but fantastic. At Monza we will try to defend our position as best we can, knowing that it will be a very tough track for us.”
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia RSV4) says: “We reaped the maximum especially considering what we went through on Saturday. Unfortunately we had to make a forced choice of tyres with our RSV4.
“I would not have been able to use the softer tires that Checa chose. When I overtook him in Race 2 I pushed to the limit, but I just didn’t have the grip to hold onto first place.
“The advantage of the two cylinders in being able to use softer tires is important on a track like this one, besides the fact that I had a technical problem for the last 5 or 6 laps in Race 2.
“In any case I have to thank my Team. After the crash and at the end of Race 1 the work they did allowed me to use the first bike which I liked a lot better. I’m happy with second place. We still need to make up a lot of points, but we won’t let up. Monza could be an important race from this point of view.”
2011 Assen World Superbike Race 1 Results:
2011 Assen World Superbike Results, Race 2
2011 World Superbike Standings (after 3 of 13 rounds)
- Carlos Checa, Ducati 132
- Max Biaggi, Aprilia 89
- Marco Melandri, Yamaha 85
- Jonathan Rea, Honda 79
- Leon Haslam, BMW 68
- Leon Camier, Aprilia 50
- Jakub Smrz, Ducati 49
- Michel Fabrizio, Suzuki 47
- Eugene Laverty, Yamaha 35
- Noriyuki Haga, Aprilia 34
- Joan Lascorz, Kawasaki 26
- Troy Corser, BMW 26
- Tom Sykes, Kawasaki 26
- Ruben Xaus, Honda, 26
- Ayrton Badovini, BMW 20
- Sylvain Guintoli, Ducati 16
- Roberto Rolfo, Kawasaki 12
- Mark Aitchison, Kawasaki 7
- Maxime Berger, Ducati 3
- Barry Veneman, BMW 3
- Joshua Waters, Suzuki 3
- James Toseland, BMW 2
- Bryan Staring, Kawasaki 1