The Mondial Superbike sets fire to Assen !
Yesterday in Assen, Rea, Toseland, Camier, Haslam, Corser and their comrades gave us two of the most beautiful races in the history of the World Superbike. In Supersport, the three strong men of the championship also fought hard… Reports !
Kenan Sofuoglu takes the best start and passes the first corner in the lead ahead of Joan Lascorz, Eugene Laverty, Michele Pirro, Fabien Foret, Katsuaki Fujiwara, Chaz Davies, Robbin Harms, etc. Laverty climbs to 2nd position after a few turns: the Irishman does not want to let the Turkish slip away and brings in his wake the Kawa n ° 26, the Honda n ° 51 and the Kawa n ° 99 !
Pirro is lost in the last chicane of the 2nd lap and is overtaken by our compatriot Fabien Foret, which gives the leading trio a little air. The fight is as beautiful as in Superbike: in quick succession, Sofuoglu is overtaken by Laverty then Lascorz! Foret is not left out: he joins the leading group in the 4th lap.
Michele Pirro is definitely doing too much: he falls and has to give up … "I am really disappointed to have crashed again", the Italian rider will remark, "I widened in the last corner of the 2nd lap and maybe I picked up a little dust on the left sidewalls of my tires because when I entered the chicane I lost the bike".
Salom also goes to the mat, taken aback by a Daytona 675 obviously not a fan of the Supermoto discipline … "My goal today was to cross the finish line without forcing too much given my physical condition following my fall the day before.", David will say,"but I widened and my rear wheel went off the track and I fell".
In front, Laverty prints a hellish rhythm, which does not allow him to separate from Lascorz. Sofuoglu and Foret follow a few lengths but the 5th, Chaz Davies, is already out of sight. The Briton fights Harms, far ahead of Fujiwara, Rea and Roccoli.
Matthieu Lagrive is currently in 10th position: "the black point of the weekend was my departure. To speak clearly: I fucked up !", will honestly admit the n ° 14. Fortunately, once launched, this Endurance specialist works wonders…
Lascorz momentarily takes control of the race at the start of the 7th lap but Laverty quickly calls him to order! A loop later, Lascorz tries an improbable outside in the entrance of the chicane commanding the straight line: it does not pass, but it is beautiful !
Behind the two fiery leaders, Sofuoglu and Foret do not panic and line up the laps conscientiously. Were the two Champions biding their time? "When the others walked past I decided to wait and see what they were capable of", will unveil the pilot Ten Kate n ° 54…
Behind, Matt Lagrive makes his way through the peloton: between the 7th and 11th lap, the Frenchman climbs from 10th to 6th place. "I had a lot of fun and seized the potential of the bike", will rejoice the French rider when he gets off his motorcycle.
Matt will specify later on his official website: "after a complicated offseason, everything is starting to return to normal. I received my All One suits in the team colors and I feel good in them. Helmets, gloves, boots… everything is now OK. It may seem trivial, but it’s very important to be able to focus fully on your driving and I thank all my partners for the efforts they have provided".
Lascorz for his part, continued to annoy Laverty during the braking of the last chicane by placing himself on the outside of the Honda n ° 50. The halfway mark is crossed: four men are still racing for victory: Eugene Laverty, Joan Lascorz, Kenan Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret !
Eight laps from the end, unfortunately, the Kawasaki prepared by Team Lorenzini gives up the ghost: his Ninja releases a plume of smoke at the end of a small straight line and sends his driver waltz a few seconds later … The fight for the victory will therefore be played between Laverty, Lascorz and Sofuoglu.
Two laps later, Lascorz swerves a little and goes off the track briefly, letting Laverty and Sofuoglu slip away: "I had to go out because the yellow flag was waved and to be sure not to overtake anyone, I had to brake hard and straighten the bike", will defend the Spanish pilot.
In this 16th lap, latecomers have already been overtaken: Imre Toth then Paola Cazzola give up a lap to the leading men. Davies, posted more than 15 seconds from the leaders, can only count on a foul or bad luck of his three men to get on the podium.
At the same time, Lagrive for its part continues its comeback: it is now 5th, less than two seconds behind the same Chaz Davies. Faster than his teammate, Matt can hope for a superb 4th place! Further on, Fujiwara takes 8th place from the deficit of the two Honda Intermoto Czechs of Roccoli and Rea.
There are only four laps left to go and Laverty has a good second ahead of Sofuoglu, more than two over Lascorz. "Every time Lascorz passed me, I answered tit-for-tat and I was able to escape", Eugene will welcome.
In the last few laps, the three leading men fight each other with hundredths of a second, if they do not fight indoors – outdoors as well as in the middle of the race. Behind Davies and keep his two seconds ahead of Lagrive.
"I couldn’t find the right settings for the whole weekend", will complain wearing the British pilot,"the bike was very rigid and I had to force it a bit, it had lost its fluidity".
On the first braking of the last lap, Lascorz brakes at Sofuoglu. However, the Spaniard knows how strong, incisive and even aggressive the Turkish is at the very end of the races. The Kawa n ° 26 therefore tries to widen the gap on the Honda n ° 54. Laverty for his part can refine his trajectories and wins the race – relatively – quietly !
"My last lap was easier than last year", observed Eugene, a few minutes after winning his second victory of the season, which earned him 19 points behind Lascorz in the provisional standings, and 11 points behind Sofuoglu.
Because behind him, Joan Lascorz managed to contain the "local" of the Sofuoglu stage. "I was having trouble braking really hard, maybe because of the warmer conditions", regrets Kenan, disappointed not to be able to offer the victory to his team Ten Kate.
Two Triumphs complete the Assen Top 5: Chaz Davies and Matthieu Lagrive cross the finish line in that order, more than 20 seconds behind the winner. The French knows what he must do to progress: take more muscular starts !
" I know it’s from me. I’m too cool, lacking in aggression and taking too long to get into the rhythm and start overtaking. I have to work hard on this … and this is what I will do !", warns n ° 14. Check in two weeks at Monza !
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