The fourth round of the 2018 WSBK championship proved to be an exciting one as Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea went on to equal Carl Fogarty’s record of 12 wins at TT Circuit Assen. As the lights went out, Rea was lightning-quick to take the lead from the third row. His blistering pace was matched only by local hero and Pata Yamaha rider, Michael van der Mark, who was right on Rea’s tail for much of the race.
Rea led for a good seven laps before van der Mark overtook the defending champion. However, van der Mark could lead only for a couple of laps before being overtaken by Rea in the exact same corner and in the exact same manner. From here, Rea never looked back as he quickened his pace and kept increasing the gap between him and the chasing pack.
Behind Rea, van der Mark had to defend his position against a fast-charging Chaz Davies of Aruba.it Ducati. Following a race-long fight, which saw the two riders swap places between P2 and P3, it was van der Mark who took P2 at the end of the race. Davies had to be content with P3 as he crossed the line 0.3 seconds after van der Mark.
During race two, Rea was looking forward to breaking
Foggy’s record at Assen; however, things did not turn out as planned for the reigning champion. As the lights went out, it was the second
Kawasaki Racing Team rider,
Tom Sykes, who zoomed past to take the lead and stayed there till the chequered flag.
Sykes had a superb start which saw the Brit slip into the lead on lap one and convert it into a win at the end of the race. The action behind him was worth witnessing.
It was a three-way battle among Jonathan Rea, Michael van der Mark of Pata Yamaha, and Xavi Forés of Barni Racing Ducati for the final two podium places. During the opening laps, Xavi stuck to P2 with van der Mark in third, and Rea in fourth. By lap four, Rea had already moved to P3, pushing van der Mark to P4. On lap six, Rea overtook Xavi and moved into P2, taking van der Mark along. From here, Rea and van der Mark were engaged in a race-long tussle that eventually saw Rea take P2, relegating van der Mark to third. Xavi stayed clear of the fight ahead of him to take P4 with Davies completing the top five.