ASSEN

Bike India - - SPORT -

Race One

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.

Race Two

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.

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