Sunday, April 25


HANNspree Ten Kate Honda rider Jonathan Rea grabbed pole position for round four of the HANNspree Superbike World Championship at Assen after emerging from Superpole with the only sub-1m 35s lap of the weekend.
Rea's time, 1m 34.944s, was well under the old lap record, and faster than Texan Ben Spies' pole time from last year. However, all lap times are faster at Assen this year due to an alteration to the circuit.

In giving Honda its first pole position of the year, Rea pipped early pace-setter Jakub Smrz (Pata B&G Racing Ducati 1198R) and Australian Troy Corser, who was fastest in the second qualifying session as well as the warm-up session before the three Superpole sessions.

Corser's efforts highlight just how much progress BMW has made with the S1000RR since the start of the season, particularly with the electronics, which have been tweaked to provide better traction. The BMW makes prodigious power, but harnessing it has been a major problem.

After snatching the holeshot at the start of the first race at Valencia early in the month, Corser hung on to scrore an eventual fourth place finish, the German bike's best ever result in the championship so far. They will be looking for a podium tonight.

Rounding out the front row is championship leader Leon Haslam on the Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000. The British rider had topped the time sheets in the first Superpole session but was bettered by Rea in the second session and then Corser and Smrz as well in the final Superpole. Still, Haslam will not be unhappy with a front row start at a circuit where he podiumed twice on the Stiggy Honda last year with 3-2 finishes.

2010 WSB The Netherlands - Assen 24/04/2010

Pos. Rider Manu. Nat. Lap Time
1 Jonathan Rea Honda GBR 1'34.944
2 Jakub Smrz Ducati CZE 1'35.062
3 Troy Corser BMW AUS 1'35.306
4 Leon Haslam Suzuki GBR 1'35.330
5 Leon Camier Aprilia GBR 1'35.633
6 Carlos Checa Ducati ESP 1'35.892
7 Shane Byrne Ducati GBR 1'35.909
8 Michel Fabrizio Ducati ITA 1'36.405
9 Cal Crutchlow Yamaha GBR 1'36.027
10 James Toseland Yamaha GBR 1'36.061
11 Max Biaggi Aprilia ITA 1'36.069
12 Ruben Xaus BMW ESP 1'36.094
13 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki FRA 1'36.327
14 Tom Sykes Kawasaki GBR 1'36.348
15 Noriyuki Haga Ducati JPN 1'36.574

Meantime, here is Yamaha's version of events:

Crutchlow and Toseland take ninth and tenth on the grid at Assen for raceday

Yamaha Sterilgarda riders Cal Crutchlow and James Toseland made it through the first Superpole heat this afternoon to secure ninth and tenth place on the third row of the grid for Saturday's two World Superbike races at the Assen TT circuit. Both riders had spent the previous qualifying sessions working on their set ups for the afternoon's Superpole heats and had headed in to the Superbike shootout with confidence. They both made it through the first heat comfortably on race tyres, then switched to qualifiers midway through the second session. Crutchlow struggled to improve on his time in the second session leaving him just outside the top eight at the end. Team mate Toseland was on form and had nearly completed a hot lap which would have taken him through to the final eight when a violent wheelie three corners from the end at high speed disrupted his time.

Cal Cruchlow

Cal Crutchlow, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team (9th, 1'36.027)
"I struggled with my qualifier tyre in the second Superpole heat, and couldn't make it through to the third. Both James and I are still working on some stability issues which could be seen on track as well. We need to work hard in tomorrow morning's session to see what we can change in the set up to make another step forward. We're all working really hard, and on the positive side the electronics issues we've had in the past are now working very well for us."

James Toseland

James Toseland, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team (10th, 1'36.061)
"Frustrated is the word! It was a real surprise for the bike to do that in a place where I've never had that before, it kicked up and wheelied at over 180mph in fifth gear, it was a bit touch and go there but luckily I was able to save it. The lap was good up to that point, I only had two corners left to go and would have been through to the top eight and the third session. We've had so much work to do to get where we are, the team has done a great job trying to get the bike to work here. Tenth on the grid is not ideal and we're not sure about tyre life, depending on temperature tomorrow we might not be able to use the softer race tyre, everyone is waiting to see how warm it will be. I'm not too worried about race pace, it's all about what happens in those first few laps. The new fast section has effectively deleted a passing place so I'll have to get off the line well and see how we go."

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike Team Manager
"We still have one practice session left tomorrow morning, for sure we will never give up so we will spend the session working hard to make more improvements ahead of the two races. We will definitely find something to help us. James was very unlucky on his hot lap in the second Superpole session, it was good he managed to save it safely. He's got a good race pace so needs a good start tomorrow and we will see what he can do. Cal has shown this weekend that he also has a competitive pace, especially on worn tyres so we are confident both riders can perform tomorrow."