A weekend of uncertainty and misfortune took place at Assen this weekend. The weather affected both practice and the two races, leaving our riders to bring home good positions but with only one podium finish : the 3rd place of Checa (X-lite X-802) in race one.
The first race started in dry conditions and was then stopped on the 13th lap because of a storm and the crash of Melandri, (Nolan X-802) who was in the lead, plus other riders . The restart on a very wet track did not allow Marco to attack the lead again because of the lack of grip. The race ended with Checa on the podium, Fabrizio sixth and in ninth and thirteenth place, Melandri and Salom.
Badovini was unlucky being the victim of a spectacular crash with only two laps to go whilst he was leading the race.
Race 2 was declared wet but there were plenty of black clouds around even though the track was drying in places due to some sunshine. Carlos opted for rain tyres, in contrast to his competitors, and had to stop after only 3 laps to replace them. Melandri, despite an annoying chattering problem, had a good race and just missed the podium in the sprint for the finish taking 4th place. Badovini was 7th, 10th for Fabrizio, Salom 12th with Camier 14th an 17th place for Checa.
Checa is now second in the general standings with Melandri in fifth.
Next race takes place in Monza on May 6.
“I’m more than satisfied with the result in Race 1, because conditions were already tricky in the first phase, let alone in the second! After the restart, there was little traction, little grip, and when I saw some of the others go down, I decided it was better to finish the race than risk a fall. Considering the conditions, probably one of the worst SBK races I’ve ever ridden, we’re happy with third place. Congratulations to Davide too who made a great race – he deserved the result. In race 2 I made a mistake and take full responsibility for it. I chose to go out on a rain tyre as I though rain would come but I was wrong. I’m sorry I didn’t come straight back in to change it during the warm-up lap as, that way, I would have probably been able to close in the top ten but instead I waited and by then it was too late to be able to catch up. We turn the page and look ahead.”
“It has been a very tough weekend. Today, the most important thing was to bring home points. Race one was pretty good for us when it was dry. I had a very good start and I was following Tom Sykes. I was waiting for the best moment to pass him, when he had an engine failure. There was a bit of confusion and after that, Leon was leading, but I passed him. I saw that some drops of rain had come down. My dream was that they would completely stop the race, so I tried to stay at the front. Suddenly there was a turn where it was wet, I did not see the water and went down. Unfortunately our race was compromised by the wet conditions after the re-start. I did not have any grip, so it was difficult to be confident.
For race two we had a good set-up and a good choice of tyres, but unfortunately we got some chatter again. From the first lap on it was very difficult to control the bike so I could not push properly. The last lap was exciting. I tried to pass Eugene and suddenly both Eugene and Leon were in front of me, but I passed them back. It was great fun and Leon, Eugene and me showed respect for each other which was very important. I am disappointed because I missed the podium only by a little bit but we are working hard and we are in a good shape..”