The previous weekend’s WSBK races at Assen were the usual bomb, starting with a 3-way battle up front in the premier class, race 1. Haga spent most of the race leading Spies and and fast-riding Leon Haslam until the last lap, when Spies made a last ditch effort in a very fast part of the circuit to move past Haga for the win. Haslam finished 3rd also recording the fastest lap of the race.
The 2nd race went almost in the same direction with Spies sprinting out the blocks to lead the rest of the field on the first lap. Unfortunately he went into lap 2 too hot and slid out on a corner leaving Haga with a good lead which he kept to the end. Haslam, now in second, went on to finish in the same position increasing his tally of points and keeping him in contention for the championship.
The Supersport 600 race was the usual start-to-finish mad dash with Laverty just pipping Cal Crutchlow at the last. Lascorz came 3rd, even though he led almost to the end but was overtaken by both Laverty and Crutchlow on the last lap.
Rossi put on a splendid display of riding at Jerez this weekend past, chipping away at Danni Pedrosa’s lead initially and then going past to stay out in front. Stoner brought his under-par Ducati home in 3rd after nearly having some attention from a slow starting Lorenzo, who tipped his bike in on a corner and lost the front end. Du Puniet finished in 4th and Melandri brought the non-developed Hayate Kawasaki home in 5th – a great result for the team. This leaves a very tight field at the top of the championship but I think that Rossi’s consistency might take him to another title at the end of this year.
The racing in the 250cc class was as fierce as ever with 4 riders battling at the front for the whole race – Bautista, Aoyama, Simoncelli and Barbera. The lead changed continuously throughout most of the race with Simoncelli and Barbera starting to fall of the pace near the end. Bautista wanted this home win badly but Aoyama moved in front of him on the very last corner to take the victory; just as Bautista had taken the win in Motegi, Aoyama’s home race.
Bradley Smith took his first win in 125cc racing with a huge margin over the rest of the field. Not known for his starts, Smith got away well with Simon in tow but on lap 5 Simon has a nasty high side and Smith spent the rest of the race up front and alone. Iannone, championship leader, fell off on lap 1 so things are very tight at the top of the log.