Jonathan Rea produced a tactical masterclass to claim victory in changeable conditions in race two at Assen. The reigning champion coped best with the drying track and picked the perfect time to switch tyres midway through, giving him the platform to take his fifth win of the year ahead of teammate Tom Sykes.
A torrential downpour midway through the World Supersport race, won by Britain’s Kyle Smith, left the circuit sodden when WSBK race two got underway. The entire field chose for wet tyres with the exception of Sylvain Guintoli on intermediates but the Frenchman quickly fell to the back of the field due to the lack of early grip.
The man clearly coping best was Josh Brookes who stormed through from fourteenth on the grid to lead on lap five, passing Nicky Hayden, Michael van der Mark and Sykes in the space of half a lap. The eighth lap would prove decisive though with Sykes following teammate Rea into the pits, moments after being overtaken. Rea switched to slicks while the polesitter returned to the fray on intermediates.
As rider after rider realised that a tyre change was imperative, the running order continued to change through the pitstop phase. Brookes was among the last to switch, handing an unlikely lead to the wet-shod Lucas Mahias, but the BSB champion soon dropped out of the race altogether following a crash at turn nine.
With so much more grip, Rea and Sykes made short work of Mahias and resumed their season-long rivalry but the Yorkshireman’s intermediates began to fade in the closing laps, allowing Rea to claim victory by just over two seconds. Van der Mark took third to the delight of the home crowd while Lorenzo Savadori rode superbly to finish a career-best fourth.
After running in the leading group on wets, Chaz Davies fell to fifth after a late change to slicks while Nicky Hayden saw off Alex Lowes for sixth. Davide Giugliano was eighth while Mahias’ joy was short-lived as he tumbled to thirteenth.
WorldSBK 2016: Prosecco DOC Dutch Round – Race Two Result
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