This weekend the third round of the World Superbike and World Supersport Championships took place at Assen in the Netherlands. SHARK-riders enjoyed a successful weekend with two race wins and a host of podium and top-ten finishes between them.
In the World Supersport class Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport) claimed his first win of the season, after starting from pole position and leading the field for most of the 21-lap race. Kenan Sofuoglu challenged Lowes for the top spot, however the young-Brit held strong and swiftly passed Sofuoglu to claim the win. Fellow SHARK-supported Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India) finished the race in third place. Foret currently holds the overall championship lead with 54 points; Lowes is third with 49 points.
Meanwhile in the World Superbike races Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) came close to a double win, with a first and second place finish. Sykes led race one from the moment the flag dropped, setting a new lap record
on his second lap, he eventually crossed the line over eight seconds ahead of the second placed rider. In race two, Sykes again held the lead for the majority of the race and only lost out on a double win by just 0.089 seconds. It was also a successful weekend for further SHARK-supported racers; Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) finished third in race one, and sixth in race two; he currently leads the overall championship. Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), team-mate of Sykes, finished fifth and third in race two, while Jules Cluzel (Fixi Crescent Suzuki) finished race one in eighth.
The next round of SBK will take place 10-12 May from Monza, Italy. This weekend the British Superbike Championship continues from Oulton Park, and MotoGP from Jerez, Spain.
Sam Lowes, World Supersport:
« I want to say thank you to Alexander Yakhnich and to the whole team for this fantastic bike that they have given to me. We work consistently and became quicker and more stable. I’m sure that we can get more victories before the end of the season. I want to enjoy this victory with my team as we deserved it ».
Tom Sykes, World Superbike:
“Almost the perfect race weekend for us after winning Superpole as well. We have made progress after a slow start to the season so we will build more momentum now to move it all forward again. It would have been great to win race two as well but I am happy with the day and we had and the great support at Assen. Race one was great for us and we did all we could. We have had a very strong winter test programme, learned a lot and have a lot of information and data. That first race was nice and believe me, to see that pit board gap get bigger every lap is magical for a rider.”
Loris Baz, World Superbike:
“The last lap was just too long for me because I wanted to get it finished. We went top five and then onto the podium today in dry conditions so I just want to thank all the team and the people in Kawasaki who have made a good job on this bike to make it better for my style and my weight. I thought my pace was good enough to fight in the group ahead of me in race one but I do not know what happened because I had no grip in the rear right at the start so maybe I did not warm the tyre enough. It was strange and it has never happened before, so I lost one or two second and that was already too much to come back. But to finish P5 was good and my pace was strong, as we saw in race two when I got away better.”