Smith wins six-lap sprint in Assen

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British rider Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) won what was a final six lap wet race, from his countryman Gino Rea (GRT Racing Team MV Agusta) and four-time champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing).

The first attempted running was led by PJ Jacobsen (Honda World Supersport Team) until the rains arrived, and brought out the red flags, shortly before he crashed out.

In the restart, which scored full points, Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was fourth, Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25 MV Agusta) fifth and ESS rider Ilya Mikhalchik (DS Junior Team Kawasaki) sixth. Jacobsen fell once more, no-scoring on the day.

In the first dry ‘race’, that would finally not count, Sofuoglu took the holeshot, with Jacobsen, Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing Triumph) and Krummenacher behind. It soon became a three-rider podium battle in the first part of the race, with three different makes of machine in the top three places.

Rain started to fall on lap nine of the 18, and the red and white flag was soon replaced by the red flag. Leader Jacobsen crashed out having not reacted to the red flags in time, and finding a fully wet track under him.

There was a six-lap restart called, as preparations were made in pitlane for a wet race, the only one that would count for points.

With Nicky Hayden in his pitbox for moral support Jacobsen awaited his bike to be repaired as the pace car exited pitlane to check on the track conditions.

A 12.00 restart was scheduled.

Jacobsen cleared pitlane after the time limit had been called, but he was allowed to take to the track.

The six laps started with Krummenacher leading over the line first time, Sofuoglu second, Rea third.

Krummenacher ran wide into the final chicane on lap three, dropping to fifth place, run wide after getting close with his team-mate Sofuoglu.

Jacobsen worked his way forward passing Sofuoglu in the process. Krummenacher’s pace dropped off after his run across the gravel, leaving a four that would soon be three as Jacobsen fell at turn 7, on lap five of six.

Smith took it home for his first win of 2016, with Rea second and Sofuoglu third. Krummenacher ran home fourth and Baldolini fifth.

In the championship points, Krummenacher still leads, with 71 points. Sofuoglu has 61 and Smith is now third, on 41.

Gordon Ritchie

By Gordon Ritchie