Jonathan Rea moved further clear at the top of the World Superbike Championship after winning race one on a controversial day at Assen. The reigning champion was involved in a fiery bust-up with Chaz Davies at the end of Superpole before a battle for victory between the two was settled when Davies hit mechanical trouble a lap before the finish.
The drama began late in SP2 with Rea smashing the lap record on his way to pole position, going faster than the MotoGP race lap record at the same circuit. On his slow-down lap though, Rea was caught by Davies who was still looking to better his third-place grid position and the pair almost collided. The pair would clash verbally in parc ferme with Davies venting his anger and the Kawasaki rider was subsequently handed a three-place grid penalty, promoting team-mate Tom Sykes onto pole position.
Predictably given the tension between the two, race one proved to be a head-to-head between Rea and Davies but Ducati’s team leader was deprived of a final lap shootout when his Panigale broke down at the chicane, moments after Rea had overtaken him for the lead. As a result, Jonathan eased to victory with Sykes completing a Kawasaki 1-2.
Marco Melandri rode a lonely race to the podium in third while Xavi Fores recovered from a disappointing Friday to finish fourth, securing race two pole. Lorenzo Savadori showed Aprilia’s best form so far with fifth ahead of Stefan Bradl who provided Honda with their best showing of the season. Roman Ramos denied Eugene Laverty and Leandro Mercado on the final lap to snatch seventh but Yamaha endured a nightmare afternoon with Alex Lowes and home favourite Michael van der Mark both crashing out.
WorldSBK 2017: Acerbis Dutch Round – Race One Result
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