Courtesy of KRT – Kawasaki Racing Team
The first race of the WorldSBK weekend at Assen in the Netherlands was not run after a combination of returning heavy sleet and snow showers, leading to a bitterly cold and wet track surface, combined to convince Race Direction to cancel Saturday’s race in order to guarantee the riders’ safety.
On a dry but very cold track surface
this morning Rea finished on top of the FP3 times, 0.212 seconds faster
than his nearest opponent, with Haslam third quickest around the 4.542km
In the Tissot-Superpole qualifying session this afternoon a red flag was shown to halt the track action after two riders crashed. The session was not restarted and the riders had to take their best lap at that point as their personal Superpole best.
After this unexpected event neither Rea nor Haslam could go for a faster time, leaving Leon fifth and Jonathan eighth on the grid for Sunday’s races.
In a day laden with weather and incident inspired stoppages, the final result was no Saturday race for the WorldSBK class, despite two attempted starts, leaving all in the WorldSBK paddock looking forward to Sunday.
There will now be two full races for the WorldSBK class on Sunday, the first at 11.00hrs and the second at 14.00hrs.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Unfortunately we haven’t been able to get a race today after Race Direction cancelled the race due to the weather conditions. Of course, they were very extreme conditions with sleet and snow but I feel for all the fans out here that came and didn’t really get to see a race. The track temperature was in a decent ballpark to go and at least try in the wet but let’s see the race schedule tomorrow. I feel really strong with the bike, the team has given me a good set-up and this morning was confirmation of this. Unfortunately we got a little bit of bad luck in Superpole so let’s just see how it plays out tomorrow with the new schedule and the start positions for both races.”
Leon Haslam, stated: “Obviously I love Assen and I hope we can have as much racing all in one day tomorrow. I think it was the right call, even if it really rained really hard, the track conditions in terms of temperature would not have made it safe. Obviously we did not have a chance to race in dry conditions. We will reset analyse a little bit more data from Superpole to make a few little changes. I am ready for anything tomorrow.”
Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) qualified ninth in Superpole, but was penalised for an infraction of the yellow flag rules and now drops to tenth in the race starting order after his fastest lap was cancelled. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) fell in Superpole qualifying and was ruled out of the race even before it was cancelled. Hector Barbera (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) will start his first WorldSBK races on Sunday from the back of the grid after suffering the same kind of penalty as Torres.
2019 KRT Rider WorldSBK Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018
2019: Races 9, Wins 0, Podiums 9, Superpoles 1
Career Race Wins: 71 (56 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 143 (101 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 17 (13 for Kawasaki)
2019: Races: 9, Wins 0, Podiums 2, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 5 (0 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 41 (3 for Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 3 (0 for Kawasaki)
6 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Tom Sykes 2013, Rea 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
4 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016, Ninja ZX-10RR 2017 & 2018)
4 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018)
Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 127 – second overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 391 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 82 – second overall