REA TAKES A PODIUM BEFORE MISFORTUNE STRIKES
Jonathan Rea secured his third podium finish of the season with second place in the Superpole race at Assen. He would then fall in Race Two while chasing the leading duo. Alex Lowes was fourth and then ninth, after going through his own moment of high drama before Race Two.
A delayed start to the WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race meant it was run over eight laps, not the customary ten. Rea led in the first part of lap one but eventual winner Alvaro Bautista would pass in the final sector and hold his lead to the flag.
Rea was a clear second while his team-mate Lowes took a lonely fourth, having been in the leading mix early on while chasing his own podium ambition.
In the second race of the day, and the third WorldSBK race of the weekend, there was an unexpected turn even before the start of the 21-lap race itself. Lowes crashed on the sighting lap and had to come back to the pits to use a second bike for the 21-lap race.
Lowes moved up strongly from his last place starting position (imposed on him due to his late bike change) to finish ninth and salvage good championship points.
Rea was still fighting for the podium places with Alvaro Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu in Race Two when he fell on lap six, at the fast Turn Nine, and he was unable to re-start. Despite this misfortune Rea moved up one place in the championship standings at the end of the Assen race weekend.
In the championship standings, after three rounds and nine individual races, Bautista has 174 points Razgatlioglu 118, Locatelli 104, Bassani 77 and Rea 73. Lowes is tenth, with 44 points.
The next round takes place at KRT’s home circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya, between 5-7 May.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team Rider): “It was one of those days, unfortunately, but I have got to take some positives from this weekend. The bike was really comfortable to ride, and I did some things at Assen that I have not been able to do for a few years. The starts were great, but I missed the jump a little bit in Race Two. We checked the data to understand the crash and for some reason, all weekend, I have had some pressure on the gearshift. This one time in T9, as soon as I opened the gas, it engaged third gear and that was enough to crash. I went down in probably the most graceful crash I have ever had! I was so frustrated because I felt like we could fight for a podium again. I felt much more comfortable in that race, compared to Race One and also the Superpole Race earlier today. The Superpole Race was maximum attack for eight laps. Alvaro just broke me with two laps to go.”