BRITS RULE SUPERSPORT SHOWDOWN
The eventual six-lap wet-weather World Supersport race at Assen saw two British riders in the top two places. CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith took his first race win of the year; his first since his debut victory at Qatar last year for Pata Honda, and the first for his British team since 2012.
In second, Gino Rea (GRT MV Agusta) was just 0.831 seconds back. Both beat four-time WSS champ Kenan Sofuoglu to third place with last lap pushes.
Smith was unsure of his prospects at the re-start, but knew the wet could work for him: “It might sound a bit cocky but in the garage when I knew it was a six-lap race in the wet, I did not know I could do it, but I thought I stood a good chance of winning because my pace is always good in the wet,” said Smith. “But when I set off I thought I was going to have to settle for fourth, because it was so slippery. As soon as I got a bit of heat into the tyre I just gained on them and I came away with the win.”
Even if the first attempted start had remained dry there would have been a British representative on the podium, as recent CIA Landlord Insurance rider Luke Stapleford, who split with Simon Buckmaster’s outfit at Aragon and reformed his own Profile Triumph racing team, was in a strong third place before the rain cancelled the result of the first race completely. He was a revelation on his British triple-cylinder machine all weekend having qualified second, eventually finishing 12th.