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Sykes uncatchable on wet Day 1 at Assen

Assen (The Netherlands), Friday 26 April 2013 - Tom Sykes is renowned for his amazing skills on the wet and in World Superbike Qualifying 1 the Kawasaki Racing Team rider has shown his whole potential with these track conditions. Sykes has topped the timesheets courtesy of a 1’57.190 lap-time, 1.634 seconds faster than current Championship leader Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), who scored his maiden WSBK victory on the wet at Assen last year. The two riders finished same way in the morning’s Free Practice 1, dominating the field on Day 1 at the TT Circuit.

Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) ended up Q1 in 3rd position, showing renewed confidence after the unfortunate race day at Aragon. The Toomebridge-born rider finished ahead of Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who proved to be more at ease on the wet than his team mate and double-race winner at Aragon Chaz Davies, 14th at the chequered flag.

After a small crash in the morning’s Free Practice 1 at the Turn 5, Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing Aprilia) was 5th followed by Ayrton Badovini (Team Alstare Ducati) – who lost control of his 1199 Panigale at Turn 16 with 3 minutes to go.

A stoic Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki), after the early week doubts on his participation to the round, was on track today – despite his left knee injury – to complete Qualifying 1 with an encouraging 10th place behind Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), team mate Jules Cluzel and Carlos Checa (Team Ducati Alstare).

Bad news for Pata Honda Team following Leon Haslam’s Free Practice 1 crash at Turn 7: Haslam was taken to hospital in Assen where X-rays confirmed fractures to both his tibia and fibula in his lower left leg. The 29-year-old British rider is being transferred to hospital in Groningen where a specialist will operate later today to pin Haslam’s leg.

Times: 1. Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’57.190 average 139.527 kph; 2. Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’58.824; 3. Laverty (Aprilia) 1’59.068; 4. Melandri (BMW) 1’59.316; 5. Giugliano (Aprilia) 1’59.317; 6. Badovini (Ducati) 1’59.754; 7. Rea (Honda) 2’00.197; 8. Cluzel (Suzuki) 2’00.553; 9. Checa (Ducati) 2’01.706; 10. Camier (Suzuki) 2’01.728; 11. Fabrizio (Aprilia) 2’02.039; 12. Aitchison (Ducati) 2’02.685; 13. Baz (Kawasaki) 2’02.915; 14. Davies (BMW) 2’03.384; 15. Lundh (Kawasaki) 2’04.401; 16. Neukirchner (Ducati) 2’04.582; 17. Clementi (BMW) 2’04.849; 18. Iannuzzo (BMW) 2’19.197; NC. Sandi (Kawasaki) 2’07.893.

World Supersport – Antonelli storms to the top in Q1

Andrea Antonelli (Team Goeleven Kawasaki) stormed to the first place at the very end of a rain-soaked Q1, snatching the top-spot in the timesheets from Christian Iddon (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse) – who led morning’s Free Practice 1 ahead of the Italian – for just 0.085 seconds. Assen is not a new track for the English rookie, as Iddon raced last year the British Supersport round on the Dutch track with impressive results (a win and second place in the two races).

Mathew Scholtz brought his Suriano Racing Team Suzuki up to 3rd place, to precede defending champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki), Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport), who crashed at Turn 10 in the early minutes, and Alex Baldolini (Team Lorini Honda). 7th place for Roberto Rolfo (ParkinGO MV Agusta Corse), a rider well known for his skills on the wet.

Italy’s Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing Yamaha) had to undergo further checks at the Medical Centre after crashing out of Turn 8 and was diagnosed with an AC joint dislocation. No major consequences for Nacho Calero Perez (Honda PTR), Matt Davies (PTR Honda), Luca Scassa (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) and Balasz Nemeth (Com Plus SMS Racing Honda), who fell off their bikes during the session.

Championship leader Fabien Foret (Intermoto Ponyexpres Kawasaki) chose to remain in the garage due to the adverse weather conditions.

Times: 1. Antonelli (Kawasaki) 2’04.455 average 131.382 kph; 2. Iddon (MV Agusta) 2’04.540; 3. Scholtz (Suzuki) 2’04.562; 4. Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 2’04.818; 5. Vd Mark (Honda) 2’04.944; 6. Baldolini (Honda) 2’05.091; 7. Rolfo (MV Agusta) 2’05.302; 8. De Rosa (Honda) 2’05.673; 9. Leonov (Yamaha) 2’05.823; 10. Talmacsi (Honda) 2’06.260; etc.

Superstock 1000

2007 Champion Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Team Ducati) rode his Ducati 1199 Panigale to an impressive 2’01.830 on the wet Dutch track in QP1, that meant a 1st place for the Italian rider. The difficult weather condition proved to work well for Eddi La Marra as well, as 2012 runner-up finished second despite a 0.957 gap from his team mate. A completely turn around in terms of performance for current Champion Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet), who has been by far the quickest in the morning Free Practice on in-between track conditions: the French rider ended up Qualifying 1 with an unusual 11th place and a crash at Turn 8.

Recent Bol d’Or winner Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) was 3rd followed by another 1199 Panigale rider, Czech Ondrej Jezek (SK Energy – Fany Gastro Ducati), Italian Marco Bussolotti (Rider Promotion by T. Trasimeno BMW) and Christoffer Bergman (BWG Racing Kawasaki).

An unlucky Qualifying 1 for Aragon podium finisher Leandro Mercado (Team Pedercini Kawasaki), who crashed at Turn 9 and had to go to the Medical Centre.

Times: 1. Canepa (Ducati) 2’01.830 average 134.213 kph; 2. La Marra (Ducati) 2’02.787; 3. Guarnoni (Kawasaki) 2’03.719; 4. Jezek (Ducati) 2’04.381; 5. Bussolotti (BMW) 2’04.726; 6. Bergman (Kawasaki) 2’04.776; 7. Lussiana (Kawasaki) 2’04.997; 8. Savadori (Kawasaki) 2’05.326; 9. Andreozzi (Kawasaki) 2’05.362; 10. Lanusse (Kawasaki) 2’05.810; etc.

Superstock 600

Light but continuous rain and strong winds hampered the 4542m of the Dutch track during STK600 Qualifying 1, with red flags displayed four times during the 45 minutes on track due to several crashes.

Gauthier Duwelz (MTM Racing Yamaha) led the way thanks to a 2’05.892 ahead of Dutch wild-card Rob Hartog (NIWA Racing Team Suzuki). The current STK600 Championship Leader – who was also quickest in the morning’s Free Practice 1 – and Hartog made a big difference by lapping in the 2’05 bracket, while the rest of the field was far behind in terms of lap-times.

Randy Mamola’s son Dakota finished 3rd onboard his Yakhnich Motorsport Yamaha after a quick last-lap attempt, followed by Swiss Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team), Italy’s Riccardo Cecchini (Team Lorini Honda) and Aussie Adrian Nestorovic (MTM Racing Team Yamaha). Rookie and former European Junior Cup rider Jean Francois Demoulin (JFA Performance Honda) was one of the many riders to lose control of their bikes, but the only one had to be taken to the Medical Centre (right hip concussion).

Times: 1. Duwelz (Yamaha) 2’05.892 average 129.883 kph; 2. Hartog (Suzuki) 2’05.966; 3. Mamola (Yamaha) 2’08.154; 4. Chesaux (Honda) 2’08.703; 5. Cecchini (Honda) 2’08.899; 6. Nestorovic (Yamaha) 2’09.412; 7. Morbidelli (Kawasaki) 2’09.809; 8. Basic (Yamaha) 2’10.030; 9. Gamarino (Kawasaki) 2’10.673; 10. D’Annunzio (Yamaha) 2’10.830; etc.

European Junior Cup

Italian youngster Kevin Manfredi (Newton Trasformatori) has dominated the opening free practice of the Pata European Junior Cup, powered by Honda today. Manfredi, who finished the opening round in Aragon in 9th looked smooth and comfortable from the start and was never headed throughout the 45 minute session eventually securing over a second advantage from his nearest rival, Hungary’s Peter Sebestyen (World Management).

Times: 1. Manfredi (Honda) 2’13.357 average 122.612 kph; 2. Sebestyen 2’14.549; 3. Ebehard 2’15.809; 4. Raymond 2’15.832; 5. Fernandez 2’16.176; 6. Hubner 2’16.268; 7. Harland 2’16.327; 8. Pittet 2’16.384; 9. Fernandez 2’16.473; 10. Orellana 2’16.543; etc.