NETHERLANDS

MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 Netherlands

NDLGreen lights for Tom Sykes
One win and two podiums after the Dutch round of the Superbike World Championship for Tom Sykes and Loris Baz: Assen was all sun for the two official riders of the Kawasaki team.

The races
His early season problems seem well and truly behind him. At Assen, for the third event of the season, Tom Sykes won hands down in the first leg and only gave way in the second on the very last lap to Laverty on the loose. The day before, the British rider had already caused a sensation by winning the Superpole once again. Loris Baz was also on form, taking his first podium of the season after placing fifth in the first race. In the Supersport category, Kenan Sofuoglu and Fabien Foret both made it to the podium alongside Sam Lowes.

The Championship
After winning 45 points in the Netherlands, Tom Sykes is back in fourth place overall, tying on points with the two riders ahead of him, Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies. Loris Baz has also made headway in the overall classification. The French rider now stands in sixth place with 53 points on the clock. In Supersport, Fabien Foret is still firmly in the lead. The rider of the Mahi Racing Team currently is five points ahead of the flying Dutchman Michael Van Der Mark. Fourth in the championship, Kenan Sofuoglu is only nine points behind his teammate.

The Background
Loris Baz’ timetable for April is particularly well loaded. Only a few days after winning the Bol d’Or along with Grégory Leblanc and Jérémy Guarnoni, the Kawasaki rider rejoined the Superbike World Championship on the Assen circuit. “After racing for 24 hours, I was out for the count,” said the Savoyard driver. “My back ached, my feet and ankles were sore… In Endurance, you share the bike with teammates who are not the same size. So you have to adapt to a position which is not always ideal. At six feet four, I was a little cramped. Still, I recovered faster than I thought. Perhaps it was because I made sure I was sufficiently hydrated throughout the race. Not to mention the time I spent in the hands of the osteopath for the Kawasaki team.” In good shape and sharp, Baz was just as quick to find his marks on his Superbike: “I was ready. We finished the last two laps of the Bol d’Or fairly slowly just to keep our lead. I knew I was going to have to quickly forget the race. So I concentrated on visualizing the next one before arriving at Assen. I wanted to get back my Superbike reflexes as quickly as possible by focusing on the race for this weekend.” What’s more, even if the machines he rides in the two disciplines have both been developed using the Kawasaki ZX10R, each has its own specific features because of the different race regulations. “My position on the Superbike motorcycle is different,” says the Savoyard rider. “Like the electronics, the chassis and suspension settings are perfectly suited to my size and style. And the engine has 30 more horsepower.” A motorcycle made for a sprint, not a long-distance race.

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