Jonathan Rea’s domination of the 2015 Superbike World Championship continued with victory in race one at Assen. Despite coming under persistent pressure, the championship leader led every single lap ahead of Ducati’s Chaz Davies while Michael van der Mark delighted the home fans with a maiden WSBK podium.
The stage was set for a duel between the two Kawasakis with Tom Sykes starting from pole but his teammate seized control of the race immediately by outdragging him on the approach to the first corner. Instead of launching a counter attack, the 2013 champion had his hands full with Davies’ Ducati and second would switch hands on lap nine.
To make matters worse for Sykes, the home favourite van der Mark was now on his case and the PATA Honda rider barged his way through into third at De Strubben on lap thirteen, forcing the Kawasaki so wide that Leon Haslam would also sneak through, demoting Tom to fifth where he would stay until the finish.
Rea didn’t enjoy a comfortable advantage at the front but in the closing laps, the Northern Irishman upped his pace in devastating fashion to win by a shade over a second. Van der Mark edged out Haslam and Sykes for third while Jordi Torres recovered from a poor first lap to finish sixth.
Xavi Fores saw off reigning champion Sylvain Guintoli for seventh with Nicolas Terol and Leon Camier rounding out the top ten but Suzuki failed to get either of their riders to the finish as the GSX-R1000 continued to lack reliability.