Kawasaki leads Honda
Thanks to second and third place finishes by Jonathan Rea in the Netherlands, Kawasaki has passed Honda in the number of rostrums recorded in the Superbike World Championship.
The vagaries of the weather somewhat disrupted the fourth round of the Superbike World Championship at the Assen circuit in the Netherlands. The snow and a chill wind forced the organizers to postpone the first race scheduled for Saturday afternoon. The Sprint of the Superpole was cancelled and the starts of both races were given on Sunday, the grid for both heats being based on the classification after the free practice sessions. Qualified in eighth place, Jonathan Rea only took two laps to climb back to third place in the first race. He kept it until the chequered flag by fighting it out with Michael Van der Mark. In the second race, the Kawasaki rider completed five laps in the lead before being overtaken by Alvaro Bautista. Second at the finish, Rea gave Kawasaki their 393th rostrum, allowing the Japanese brand to pass in front of Honda and climb to the second place in the manufacturers’ championship having recorded the greatest number of rostrums in the Superbike World Championship. “With both races organized on Sunday, we had an old-fashioned weekend,” grinned the quadruple world champion.“I had a good bike and I was able to fight on to the end of both races. I had a good grip despite the cold; it was only in the last laps that the bike became a little more difficult to ride.” Fifth in the free practice sessions, Leon Haslam was fifth in the first race after a grand fight with Alex Lowes. A tire problem in the second race then forced him to settle for eighth place. Despite a heavy fall during the practice test sessions, Toprak Razgatlioglu managed to finish ninth in both races. In Supersport, Lucas Mahias was fifth and Hikari Okubo seventh.
Of the eleven races since the start of the season, Jonathan Rea has finished ten in second place and one in third place. Well anchored in second place in the MotoGP Championship, the Kawasaki rider is now fifty-five points behind leader Alvaro Bautista. Fifth overall, Leon Haslam has so far scored 93 points. Toprak Razgatlioglu has gained a position, climbing to eleventh place overall. In Supersport, Hikari Okubo has slipped into fifth place while Lucas Mahias has climbed to seventh place.