Aprilia Racing Team rider Eugene Laverty secured his first win of 2013 at the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ Circuit van Drenthe in Assen, Holland this afternoon. In a calculated race the Irishman held station behind MAHI Kawasaki’s race one winner Tom Sykes until lap nineteen when Laverty made the telling pass with a great move through the fast De Strubben chicane.
|Eugene Laverty on his way to victory in Assen
Photo: Aprilia Racing Team
The front row for race two was again Sykes on pole then Rea and Laverty. Sykes took the holeshot and lead in to turn one with Laverty tucked up close behind with Rea, Baz, Melandri and Davide Giugliano with a poor starting Guintoli down in 7th. Sykes and Laverty make a slight escape on lap 2 as Rea and Giugliano battled hard for third while Baz and Melandri looked on.
By lap five three clear groups had formed with Sykes and Laverty out front with Giugliano, Rea and Baz fighting for third and Melandri , Guintoli and Davies for sixth. The race one woes suffered by Goldbet BMW’s Marco Melandri returned to haunt him as he was passed by the Frenchman and the Welshman in quick succession after seeing the bike lock up twice in two corners and costing him valuable time. The Italian eventually dropped back to eleventh place behind Althea Ducati’s struggling Carlos Checa.
Guigliano departed the podium chase on lap six after losing the front of his Althea Ducati Panigale, sliding out unhurt, but unfortunatley the bike caught fire with the still heavy fuel load however great work from the Marshals kept damage to a minimum.
ART man Guintoli got his head down and began to drag Davies up to the podium group of Rea and Baz whilst behind them Fixi Crescent Suzuki team mates Jules Cluzel and the still-injured Leon Camier and Michele Fabrizio fought hard for seventh, eighth and ninth place.
Baz went through on Rea on lap nine in to turn one but Rea immediately fought back but Baz didn’t give up and put in an identical pass on Rea as Rea did to Guintoli in race one, the Frenchman showing his potential in the class once again. Guintoli bridged the gap on lap ten and slipped through on Rea at the final chicane as Rea ran wide and by half distance it was Sykes, Laverty, Baz, Guintoli, Rea, Davies, Camier, Cluzel, Fabrizio and Checa rounding out the top ten.
Guintoli passed Baz up the inside at turn one on lap 15 as Cluzel retired with a technical problem a lap later but Baz didn’t give up and retook his fellow Frenchman on the following lap as Guintoli looked to have used his tyres in crossing the gap earlier in the race, Pata Honda’s Rea slipped his CBR1000RR up the inside of the Aprilia RSV4 three laps from the end.
The race winning pass came on lap nineteen as Laverty swept underneath Sykes at the supremely quick De Strubben and tried to make a break from the Englishman but Sykes wouldn’t let go and hung on to the coat-tails of the new leader. Behind them a tough late move from Rea, with his back wheel off the ground, on Guintoli going in to the final chicane at the end of lap 20, almost a true ‘Hail Mary’ pass, and in turn giving Baz a little breathing space in third. Laverty lead on to last lap with Sykes pushing hard, even locking up the rear at turn one but the Aprilia had the drive over the Kawasaki through the middle third of the lap, and it was going to go down to the Gert Timmer Chicane. Unfortunately Sykes had big slide on the final left hander before the chicane, losing vital ground, then ran in a little hot to the chicane to close up but suffered another slide as he ran on to the kerb as Laverty beats him to the line to take his first win of 2013.
Baz took a fine third just a hairs breadth ahead of Jonathan Rea as Davies edged out the championship leader Guintoli for 5th by 0.050s.