Race of the Year: 4th - Assen BSB Race 2
After another epic season of racing, MCN’s sports team of Michael Guy (Sports Editor), Simon Patterson (MotoGP reporter) and Oli Rushby (Superbike reporter) sat down to discuss their favourite races of the year across MotoGP, World Superbike, British Superbike and road racing.
It’s been a year of huge action across all classes – and it wasn’t an easy decision to cut down the 120-odd races we’ve seen this year to a mere five. Here’s what we think - but feel free to disagree with us in the comments!
4th – Assen BSB Race 2
If there’s a venue that’s going to deliver up a good race every time, it has to be Assen. You don’t have to think too hard to cast your mind back to some of the great Assen, Bayliss vs Toseland, Rossi vs Marquez and many more.
So when British Superbike first headed to the Dutch venue in 2011, I for one was thrilled because we could see some top level riders fight it out on one of the best circuits in the world, and that was exactly what happened in Race 2 this year.
Sylvain Guintoli, Leon Haslam, Shane Byrne and James Ellison all led the race at points, with the Anvil Hire TAG Yamaha of Josh Brookes close in tow.
It was Shane Byrne who led most of the race as he looked to reignite his championship fight, but when Ellison overtook him and the duo began scrapping for the lead, the pack behind closed in and a titanic battle ensued.
The race-winning moves would come when the four leading riders were neck and neck at the braking point for turn one, with Haslam and Byrne letting off the brakes to try and take advantage. However, both title fighters ran on.
Byrne came off the worst, re-joining in fifth but it was Guintoli who took advantage at the front to build a gap on the four riders behind.
Brookes was also able to take advantage of the turn one melee to finish second and re-gain second in the series standings, with Haslam completing the podium ahead of Ellison and a devastated Byrne.