Superbike statements and analysis in Assen
The third round of the World SBK 2013 took place yesterday in Assen, the Netherlands. To complete our live reports, here are the statements of the Superbike riders as well as the Site analysis of the two Dutch races.
Analysis of the World Superbike in Assen
The 2012 World Superbike vice-champion is indeed back! Reduced by an injury in Australia – he had almost missed the opening round of Phillip Island -, Tom Sykes had started his "comeback" two weeks ago in Aragon by signing his first Superpole of the season and riding on the podium in the second round…
Friday in the wet and Saturday during the Superpole, the Kawasaki rider confirmed his return to business by humiliating his opponents on a track in Assen which is particularly demanding for the riders! But the festival continued on Sunday noon..
Sykes is back
In the first round, the rivals of Sykes did not see the light of day … Only Jonathan Rea, author of a better start than Tom, allowed himself to post his Fireblade in front of the Ninja on a few hectometers, after which the n ° 66 has taken the reins of the race to never let go.
Impressive in mastery but above all in consistency, Tom Sykes increased his lead to almost 10 seconds at the end of the race, only allowing himself to give up the gas in the final loop. To say that a year ago, the English Ninja frustrated his fans with his cannon starts and his dying endings !
The only driver to have dropped below 1 ’36 in the race, Tom Sykes therefore provides irrefutable proof that the management of tires on the ZX-10R, significantly improved at the end of the 2012 season, is now perfectly understood by the Greens..
Admittedly, Eugene Laverty prevented Sykes from securing his first double, betting on a slightly different nature of the rubber, which allowed the Irishman to stay comfortably in the Englishman’s asp for most of the race. and surprise him at the very end of the journey.
But the n ° 66 did not lose everything, far from it: it carried out the best operation of the weekend by collecting 45 points out of the 50 maximum. Tom Sykes thus doubles his stake in the championship and propels himself to second place in the "charts" with a total of 83 points, which is as much as Chaz Davies and Eugene Laverty….
Laverty was therefore the big surprise on Sunday afternoon. Betrayed by his RSV4 while leading the first race in Aragon – seconds after Sykes retired due to a technical problem on his own ZX-10R! -, and victim of a fall during the second Spanish round, "Youdjine" wanted to forget his double zero.
This is what he was able to do at Assen, taking advantage of his flawless Aprilia and channeling his legendary ardor as best as possible, especially in the second round where the n ° 58 delivered a race full of wisdom and measure. . then pure attack !
You had to have faith in your skills and those of your machine to follow the fastest man of the weekend (Tom Sykes, who else?) And open the hostilities three laps before the checkered flag was lowered! Without a little kick from the ZX-10R moreover, victory could have escaped Eugene.
But the Aprilia rider flirted with limits: trying to overtake him meant pulling himself out, which the Kawasaki rider did – by just a few centimeters … At this level of competition, victory comes down to little . Sykes, who missed the coronation last year by half a point, knows it better than anyone !
On the other side of the Aprilia box, Sunday ended up going rather well. First of all, Sylvain Guintoli rewarded his supporters with two particularly intense endings. Masterful in the first round, the Frenchie failed in the second round to extend his superb series of podiums to eight…
The Aprilia still there
In addition to his first five podiums this year, "Guinters" had indeed completed its 2012 season – a bit disjointed, – on two podiums, "home" at Magny-Cours! Overtaken by three competitors in the final loops of the second Dutch race, Sylvain nevertheless displayed a broad smile on the podium, then on Twitter. !
"Mixed feelings today in Assen. A new podium and an epic battle in the first race with Jonathan Rea and Eugene Laverty", posted @SylvainGuintoli as he got off the third step."In the second race, I destroyed my front tire by braking like a brute to get back up. Unable to fight to the end: D".
"But beware, all is not bad: I lead the championship by 28 points"remarked Sylvain (111 points on the clock), who unlike his three main rivals, has scored points in every race since the start of the year.
"Can’t wait to try to break the WSBK speed record at Monza on the RSV4", concluded our favorite n ° 50. For the record, this record belongs to Tom Sykes: on the same Italian track, at the aspi ‘of Max Biaggi !
Despite its unusual size – common among motorcycle racers! -, Loris Baz could well be the next speed record holder since he manages to take the wheel of the greatest drivers better and better – "big" by talent this time…
P1, P2, P3, Kawa !
Promoted to World Superbike in the middle of last season (replacing the unfortunate Joan Lascorz, read), the French rookie never ceases to impress. Imperial in the wet and "drying" in 2012, it is now also effective in the dry.
This first podium under these "normal" conditions attests to the giant progress – green, inevitably – made by the No. 76 tricolor during winter testing. Slower than Tom "Superpole" Sykes on a single lap, our "Bazooka" bombs almost as well as his teammate in the race.
Loris now has 58 points, which earned him a superb 6th place in the provisional standings. His name appears before those of Fabrizio, Melandri, Giugliano, Checa or Camier in particular. With the next event scheduled at Monza, a circuit cut out for overpowered 4-cylinders, Baz has an excellent chance of continuing to perform well…..
His concern about the lack of heat on the right side on his rear tire should not be reflected: the parabolic followed by the long straight line of Monza will naturally increase the temperature … Pirelli gums are also expected at the turn. !
Our third representative, Jules Cluzel, will fight more at the controls of his Suzuki. The men of Yoshimura, who are in charge of the engine development of the GSX-R1000 of the Fixi Crescent team, know that it is on their work that the successes of Jules and his teammate Leon Camier will depend almost entirely..
But the two Suzuki riders naturally rely on their entire team to provide them with reliable and fast motorcycles in Italy, which unfortunately was not the case this weekend in the Netherlands, neither for one nor for the other…
Already handicapped by a nasty cut to the left knee, "Kamir" was unable to take part in the only qualifying session disputed in the dry. De facto removed from the Superpole, the English n ° 2 was forced to start from the back of the grid this Sunday: his 9th and 7th places in the race are therefore not strictly speaking bad results. !
Seeds more or less hard to swallow
For his part, Jules Cluzel was unable to finish the second Dutch race due to an electronic problem. This technical problem arose when he was in "his" eighth position and was heckling happily with his teammate. Pity.
Chaz Davies, him, congratulated himself last night on the efficiency of his mechanics and the solidarity of those of Marco who did not hesitate to give a hand to their colleagues. We note that the irony wanted the n ° 33 to retire even before the start of the first race !
The tremendous work of the BMW Italia Goldbet teams still allowed the Welshman to take the start of the first race despite a motorcycle scattered in little bits, puzzle style, during the morning warm-up.
As a reminder, each World Superbike rider is only allowed to own one complete motorcycle in his garage, which forces the mechanics to work hard in the event of a major breakage. This explains the satisfaction of "Chazie" about his Top 5 in the second round, a result rather unexpected according to him starting from the 13th place on the grid at the controls of a whole "new" bike. !
Honda and Ducati lagging behind
Carlos Checa for once, rides on a completely new motorcycle: the 1199 Panigale! But the Italian continues to play the divas. The Ducati nevertheless seems well born: in Superstock configuration, the Belle de Bologne does not blush against the beasts that are the S1000RR HP4 and the ZX-10R.
At Assen, a circuit that favors driving and chassis rather than engine performance, Eddi La Marra and Niccolo Canepa even managed to finish the STK1000 race in the same tenth of a second as Sylvain Barrier: Eddi in front, Niccolo behind !
In the Superbike category, however, the situation is much less glowing for the Italian firm. Even Carlos Checa Himself, 2011 WSBK champion with the 1198, struggled to reach tenth place in both races in the Netherlands !
But the Spaniard openly complains about the rear end of his machine, while the latter is precisely supposed to pull out of the game with its unique monocoque chassis, inspired by MotoGP … where Ducati is struggling, hey, hey !
As for the twin-cylinder 1200 cc "Superquadro", it still lacks speed in the stretches compared to its 1000 cc four-piston competitors … The difference should be even more striking in two short weeks at Monza: Checa, Badovini and Neukirchner will still struggle to hang on to the Top 10, in the dry anyway … Because in the rain, you never know, Ducati could benefit from a new ?!
Bad luck, however, for Leon Haslam who broke his leg on Friday following a big fall in the wet on the handlebars of his CBR1000RR. The Englishman relied on the home event of his Honda Pata Ten Kate team to collect big points and get back to the championship. Instead, the n ° 91 is passed today on the billiards … (dirty) business to be continued.
His team-mate Jonathan Rea took more advantage of this stint at Assen, but he still failed to secure his usual victory (which he had doubled in 2010). Second behind the unbeatable Tom Sykes in the first round then fourth in a very lively second round, the n ° 65 climbed to 5th place in the general classification and is 48 points behind Guintoli, 20 over his compatriots Laverty, Davies and Sykes.
At Monza, Johnny will have to do his best not to be dumped – on the track as in the provisional classification – by the leading quartet and give up as few points as possible to Baz, Fabrizio and Melandri have devilishly fast motorcycles and Rea precedes the championship by nothing.
See you in two weeks in Italy, therefore, to follow the fourth round of the 2013 Superbike world championship: stay tuned !
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