For all things motorcycling
For all things motorcycling

2016 WorldSBK The Netherlands - Assen

Race 1

Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK riders Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli were left rueing the changeable conditions at the Assen TT Circuit today after Friday's heavy rain and this morning's wet track made way for dry and therefore unknown conditions in race one. Lowes concluded the opening battle in eighth position but his teammate suffered an unfortunate crash, falling at turn three on the fifth lap.

An accident in qualifying had left Lowes determined for a good start from 12th position as the lights went out for Saturday's race. Immediately picking his way through the pack, the British rider advanced his YZF-R1 to seventh by the second lap and took a further two positions by the race's half-distance. The last third of the contest saw Lowes' pace slow as he battled the circuit's low-grip and tricky conditions, choosing to secure a points-scoring-finish rather than chance another fall by pushing beyond the limits. Eight championship points promotes Lowes to 11th in the rider standings and hungry for more in tomorrow's second 21-lap battle.

Guintoli started the day in fine form, making the most of the 'green' circuit during the Superpole session by securing second position and a front row start with his 1.36.073 lap time, despite his YZF-R1 never having turned a wheel on the Dutch surface in the dry until the session began. Looking to capitalise on his continuing run of strong qualifying performances, the Frenchman began the weekend's first race firmly in the front group, running fourth for the initial laps. The difficult combination of strong winds and low-grip surface, however, caught the Yamaha rider out and his race ended prematurely. Guintoli returns to the Assen TT Circuit tomorrow for the weekend's second race at 13:00 local time.


Race 2

It was a case of tyre gambles and pit stop strategies for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team at the Assen TT Circuit in The Netherlands today as the lights went out for the final MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship race of the weekend. After a bright and sunny start, a short but heavy downpour just minutes before the grid formed for the afternoon's contest left Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli lining up on a wet but drying track and under threatening skies. Lowes led the Yamaha charge with a hard-fought seventh in the challenging conditions, as Guintoli finished 11th.

With the unknown elements of how quickly the track would dry and if the rain would return, Lowes started race two on a fully wet setup. Quickly gaining from his 12th place grid position, the British rider used his knowledge of the track, and its difficult conditions, to his advantage. Running his YZF-R1 in the top ten from the outset, Lowes advanced to fifth by the 10th lap before deciding his optimal moment to change tyres. Returning to the track on slick rubber he quickly regrouped and was back in the battle for sixth by lap 16, collecting nine points from his seventh place finish as the chequered flag waved. Lowes leaves the fourth round having boosted himself to a top-ten championship position overall and looking to continue the development as the team move on to Imola, in Italy, in a fortnight's time.

Believing the surface would dry almost immediately, as is normally the case at the Dutch track, Guintoli gambled on an intermediate rear tyre choice. Unfortunately for the Frenchman the conditions failed to comply. Struggling to generate the desired level of heat and grip in his rear tyres, Guintoli lost time at the start of the race preventing him from utilising the pit-stop window with the majority of the field. Picking up speed and positions at mid-race distance he concluded the 21-laps in 11th place, claiming five points and sitting eighth in the rider standings.

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