WSB Assen: Baz sticks in his first ever pole with Sykes third

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The rains that had been predicted at Assen came just at the right time to stop most of the SBK leading riders from getting in a final fast lap in Superpole two, but given the pace of Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) and his new track best of 1’34.357 set just before the track conditions changed, there was no guarantee that anybody would have beaten this time in any case.

Second quickest after a slow start on Friday was Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing) who was still around half a second behind his 21-year-old countryman Baz after Superpole 2.

Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) led the British charge in third and now starts off the first row for Sunday’s races. Sykes was almost a second off Baz as he returned to the pits after the rain had started.

Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) slotted in fifth, with Eugene Laverty (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) eighth and his team-mate Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) ninth and the last British rider in the top ten.

Davide Giugliano (Ducati World Superbike Team) was sixth, and the first Evo rider was Althea Ducati runner Niccolo Canepa.

Leon Haslam (Pata Honda World Superbike) placed 11th.

Chaz Davies (Ducati World Superbike) was eventually 12th but had to get himself out of Superpole one and did so with the best time of 1’35.507, beating Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing). Melandri would eventually recover to finish fourth overall on the grid after Superpole two.

Leon Camier took his BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Evo bike to 13th place and the charging Christian Iddon (Bimota BB3 Evo) was 16th after Superpole one.

Baz said after: “It was a very good day and I’m happy. We made a good choice to start early in the session, with the drop of rain coming after my lap. We’ve found something new with the tyres, and it should be a good race tomorrow.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer