With good weather and British rider Alex Lowes starting from “Pole Position”, Race 1 from the World Superbike Championship in Assen saw a dominant Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) winning at the Dutch track for the 12th time in his career, and the triple World Champion also managed to increase his lead in the world standings.
The Northern Irishman had to fend off the strong attacks coming from home rider Michael van der Mark (PATA Yamaha) who didn’t qualify so well but ended up showing a really good race pace early on. His teammate on the other hand, started from “pole” but lost a lot of places, so Alex Lowes crossed the finish line in 12th position.
Van der Mark tried everything he could to overtake Rea, and he even got the lead of the race for a few moments, before the reigning champion passed again to take over top spot onboard his Kawasaki, never losing that place until the checkered flag.
Meanwhile, a further back, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Ducati), who didn’t have the best of Superpole sessions and started Race 1 in the middle of the grid, bounced back with a great race performance and on by the middle of the race distance the Welshman was already fighting for the win.
The Ducati rider seemed to be able to put a good challenge against Jonathan Rea, but Davies eventually lost time fighting with Michael van der Mark, and that left Rea alone at the front, controlling the distance to his pursuers.
Van der Mark also retained second place giving the home crowd reasons to be happy, while the battle for third and las podium spot went down to the finish line, all because Tom Sykes, who didn’t start well this Race 1, eventually fought back up the order and during the final three laps pushed Cahaz Davies to the limits.
Unfortunately for Sykes, it was too late and Davies didn’t make a single mistake, so former World SBK champion had to settle with fourth position.
The Top 5 was completed with the presence of the best independent rider this season, Xavi Forés (Barni Ducati), who didn’t show the pace to fight for the podium like he did in the previous round in Motorland Aragón, but showed he is the best of the non-factory riders.
Championship standings after Assen Race 1 show Jonathan Rea with an increased lead over Chaz Davies, with 21 points now separating the two. Marco Melandri, on the second Aruba.it Ducati had a somewhat bad race in Assen, finishing in sixth, but the veteran Italian still holds on to third in the standings of the World Superbike Championship.