U.K. sweeps Assen rounds


Troy Corser on the BMW shows Jon Rea (Ten Kate Honda) and Jakob Smyrz (top Ducati privateer) that German bikes make more horsepower.

was great to see Race 2 from my position!" declared Carlos
Checa, after finishing sixth in the second WSB race at Assen April
25. Checa, who had a good chance to win the contest from his viewing
slot, had the best seat in the house for what was undoubtedly one of
the best WSB races ever run.

the end, Jonathan Rea took his Ten Kate Hannspree Honda to both wins,
easing away slightly in the final few laps each time to deliver a
massive boost to his championship hopes and also to his Dutch Ten
Kate team, which is based near the Assen circuit.

Rea was on top of the world after doubling his total WSB win record
(not to mention taking pole and setting fastest lap for a perfect
weekend), BMW’s Troy Corser must have had a severe mixture of
elation and depression. The veteran Australian got the holeshot in
both races, led the most number of laps overall, but just missed out
on the team’s first podiums in the dogfight to the end of both
races and had to be content with two fifths on the day.

The BMW still
seems to eat rear tires as the race goes on. "In the
first race the rear tire just did not last long enough. I changed the
electronics a bit, but that was pretty much it," Corser said. "For
the second race we decided to run the bike a little more controlled
at the beginning to save the tires," he added. "It definitely seemed to work
better, and my lap times were more consistent … I am pretty happy
[and] looking forward to Monza."


Haslam, Rae, Corser, Toseland, and Camier: one hell of a show in race 2.

podiums were all-U.K. affairs for the first time since 2003, with
a resurgent James Toseland (two-time WSB champ) on the Sterilgarda
Yamaha and Leon Camier on the Alitalia Aprilia following Rae in the
first race, while championship leader Leon Haslam (Alstare Suzuki)
and Toseland filled out the podium in the second.

Camier — who was
ahead of his famous team-mate Max Biaggi all weekend — was gutted
to crash out on the last lap of the second race while banging elbows
with Toseland for third. He was lucky to walk away from a huge
high-speed crash that destroyed the Aprilia.

Both he and Biaggi still
seem to have trouble getting the Italian V-4 turned; several times
this weekend Camier would make a pass, then run wide on the exit and
get repassed — he ran wide off the track causing his crash.

Haslam’s series lead was narrowed due to a leaky front tire that wrecked
his first race, although he grimly hung on for 11th
to salvage some points before coming back strong in the second race.

who had a rough ride the last two seasons in Moto GP and has had a
rocky start to 2010, was clearly delighted to be back at the pointy
end of the field, especially after having qualified only 10th
in Superpole. The piano-playing racer said, "To come from
on the grid to take a second and a third was a great result for the
team and myself. It has been coming slowly but it was nice to get two
consistent podium results."

Checa, who finished fourth in the first race on his Althea Ducati, is
the top-placed Ducati rider in the championship, the factory riders
of Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio once again having horrible
weekends. Bad Superpole qualifying and crummy starts relegated them
to 10th
and 13th
in the first race, while Haga retired with engine problems in the
second and Fabrizio looked uncomfortable running to ninth. It may
well be that losing long-time Ducati team boss Davide Tardozzi to BMW
has affected the team more than was first expected.

is still despairing at the bottom of the standings, although the grid
was pleased to welcome Chris Vermeulen back from his knee injury at
the first race. A 17th
and a 14th for
the talented Aussie indicate that the team still has a long way to
go, particularly since Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Aprilia, Ducati, and
now BMW are all scrapping for the win each weekend.

Point Standings (after eight of 26 races): 1.
Leon Haslam, U.K., Alstare Suzuki, 148 points; 2. Max Biaggi, Italy,
Alitalia Aprilia, 128; 3. Jonathan Rea, Ireland, Ten Kate Hannspree
Honda, 110; 4. Carlos Checa, Spain, Althea Ducati, 103; 5. James
Toseland, U.K., Sterilgarda Yamaha, 86; 6.
Noriyuki Haga, Japan, Xerox Ducati, 85; 7. Troy Corser, Australia,
BMW Motorrad, 68; 8. Sylvain Guintoli, France, Alstare Suzuki, 55; 9.
Michel Fabrizio, Italy, Xerox Ducati, 53; 10. Cal Crutchlow, U.K.,
Sterilgarda Yamaha, 49.

race: Monza, Italy, May 9.


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