On the track, the Haga – Spies duel continues…
The Mondial Superbike took place this weekend on the legendary Assen track. Faithful to its tradition, the Dutch circuit offered us a superb show, in both the Superbike and Supersport categories! Sensitive heart, refrain…
Garry McCoy anticipates the extinction of the red lights and creates a bit of confusion at the start of this round of 600 – yes, 600 cc for the 4-cylinder Honda, Yam ‘, Kawa’ and Suz ‘but 675 cc for the triple of the Triumphs just like that of McCoy…
Kenan Sofuoglu takes the lead ahead of Joan Lascorz, Eugene Laverty and Andrew Pitt … A guy from Pitt who started, as a reminder, from 11th place on the grid! But from the first turns, the race changes leader: Lascorz and his ZX-6R overtakes Sofuoglu and his CBR.
"the bike is good", will testify besides the Spanish, even if"we still have a couple of front end wobbles in some corners so there were some places I couldn’t really attack".
Still a little feverish, the Spanish Ninja lost his focus and moved to 3rd position on the first lap, behind Turkish Sofuoglu and Irish Laverty. Australian McCoy maintains his Daytona in 4th place while compatriot Anthony West leads the chase pack consisting of Crutchlow, Foret, Harms and Aitchison.
As often, the Supersport race gave rise to superb passes of arms: in the second lap, it was Andrew Pitt who parade at the head of the race while West made the junction on McCoy. But in a turn in the 3rd lap, Pitt loses two places and gives the reins to Lascorz and Laverty.
We then learn that Matthieu Lagrive crashed – he was in 19th place – and we see McCoy entering the pits to take a stolen start penalty..
At the head of the race, Laverty is happy: after superb braking while sliding, Eugene takes the lead in the Kawa ‘n ° 26! Meanwhile, West is blocking on Sofuoglu. Suddenly, Fabien Foret overtakes the Australian before showing him the method to overtake the Turkish.
Our national n ° 99 is indeed back in business: not only does Fabien double but he sets a new lap record … twice in a row! In front of him is his teammate Crutchlow, preceded by Pitt, Lascorz and Laverty still in the lead.
In the 8th lap, however, the young Irishman made a small mistake: he went from 1st to 4th place! Lascorz’s Kawa ‘returned to the lead ahead of Pitt’s Honda and Crutchlow’s Yam’. The latter will in turn bite into the grass but manages to keep his trajectory, his position and his coolness !
Halfway through the race, the leading group, which consisted of a tight formation of eight drivers, fell apart somewhat following a straight run from Anthony West. Sixth, Westy takes back the track in 11th position and can say goodbye to a – very – good result !
"My bike still lacks acceleration", Anthony will observe after the race,"I don’t have enough speed coming out of a corner so I have to constantly catch up with the guys in front of me before losing them on the next turn".
The show continues at the forefront: in little more than one lap, Foret offers the public an overtaking on the outside of Crutchlow – Fabien’s own teammate! -, then two nice attacks on Pitt and Laverty. A real festival !
However, the Irishman did not give up and took back his 2nd place from the French. Inspired by his teammate’s sudden revival, Cal Crutchlow also decides to raise his voice. The n ° 35 overtakes Pitt before trying to brake at Foret…
Unfortunately, Cal is too daring and has to expand, taking Fabien with him! At the same time, a few meters higher on the hairpin, Andrew Pitt lost the front of his Honda. The Number One slips nonchalantly on the track and gets hit in the left arm by Crutchlow while out of line !
There ain’t nothing broken but it will surely be painful tomorrow", will reassure the reigning world champion, plagued by front axle problems throughout the weekend:"I struggled with the front of the bike, had to attack at all levels because I didn’t want to finish 3rd, 4th or 5th"… Hence the error.
This new race incident splits the head of the race into two even more distinct groups: the duo Lascorz and Laverty in front, and Sofuoglu, Foret, Crutchlow and Aitchison behind to two seconds. But there are only six laps left to go !
While Laverty held out against Lascorz, Crutchlow quickly took the lead and tried to catch up with the two thieves. Three laps from the end, Cal sets the fastest time in the race and drops Foret, Sofuoglu and Aitchison.
In the penultimate lap, the n ° 26 Ninja takes the lead while the n ° 35 R6 almost sends its driver waltzing: Crutchlow narrowly avoids the highside and tries at best to gather his spirits when entering the last loop.
Laverty is posted behind Lascorz, who is lost when braking the hairpin but retains the advantage! Crutchlow and his R6 have already returned under the pot of the # 50 Honda Team Parkalgar. The driver Yam ‘took advantage of a break to the right to pass Laverty but almost lost the front two turns further – and lost 2nd place -: decidedly, the Englishman decided to push his Pirelli to their last limits !
At the exit of the penultimate corner, Lascorz is still in the lead, closely followed by Laverty and Crutchlow. When braking in the chicane, Laverty slips inside Lascorz and puts the brakes on him !
Following the Irishman’s attack, the Spanish had to move slightly … Enough in fact to allow the Englishman to climb to the 2nd step of the podium !
Honda fans, Yam ‘, Kawa’ – and others – stand up to congratulate three drivers who would have all deserved the 25 points – and still it is very little … – of victory! Even the French would almost forget the superb performance of Fabien Foret, 4th in this crazy race.
Relatively satisfied with his final result, even if Crutchlow’s little blunder cut him off, fabien is above all "glad to have regained my confidenceHis painful shoulder following his Australian highside and his fall in Qatar are therefore well forgotten. !
Kenan Sofuoglu finished less than two seconds "from" the winners and nearly 4 seconds ahead of Marc Aitchison. Matthieu Lagrive’s teammate at Honda Althea therefore finished in 6th place while Anthony West had to fight hard against Barry Veneman – local of the stage handicapped by a bad start – to obtain 7th place.
In the championship, Cal Crutchlow (74 points) retains 1st place but is caught by Eugene Laverty (68), the only driver to have won two races so far. Kenan Sofuoglu, who shared the lead of the provisional with Cal before this race, occupies 3rd place with 65 points.
The Australians West (52) and Pitt (still 43) slightly mark time, on the contrary, Aitchison (34), Foret (28) and Lascorz (27) accelerate! On the constructors’ side, Honda still dominates with 95 points, followed by Yamaha (74), Kawasaki (38), Suzuki (25) and Triumph (19).
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