Jonathan Rea Wins In Assen as the race is red-flagged with two laps to go.
Jonathan Rea lined up on pole in front of a capacity crowd at the Cathedral of Speed with Yamaha’s whizz kid Toprak Razgatlioglu in second and Ducati’s Scott Redding in third. Rinaldi, Lowes and Folger were on Row two
As they plunged into Turn one, Toprak got the jump with Rea and Rinaldi behind. Scott Redding dropped to fourth in front of Alex Lowes. As they got to the De Strubben hairpin, Rea slotted his Kawasaki back up the inside of the Turkish rider to retake the lead onto the back straight. On lap two, Alvaro Bautista had a fast crash at Turn seven. He tucked the front as he tipped into the corner and his bike spectacularly bounced through the gravel. Alex Lowes went down on Lap three at Turn five.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi fell out of third on Lap three as he tucked the front at Turn seven. He was further through the corner than Bautista, but the outcome was the same. Going into Lap four, Toprak took the lead from Rea into Turn one, with a very neat move on the brakes. Redding tagged to the back of the leading pair and there was a clear breakaway of three riders.
Rea performed a very brave move into the kink at the end of the back straight on Toprak to retake the lead. He took the inside line and didn’t really give Toprak any chance of turning in. Redding also started pressuring the Pata Yamaha rider.
Garrett Gerloff started at the back of the grid and was up to ninth by the middle of lap five and was bringing the BMW of Tom Sykes with him with a great ride. Michael van der Mark was fourth at his home race and was on the same pace as the lead trio and was giving the home crowd something to shout about.
Scott Redding took second as he saw Jonathan Rea start to put a small gap into Toprak with a neat move into the fast kink at the back of the circuit. He set after Rea with 13 laps to go and was right on the Kawasaki’s rear wheel through the first section of the track. Rea was incredibly fast out of the De Strubben hairpin, but Redding closed on the straight, into Turns six and seven, so the gap was yoyoing between the two. Toprak wasn’t being dropped.
With 11 laps to go, Jonathan Rea started to gap the Redding-Toprak battle. Toprak moved into second to try and close the gap on the six-time World Champion.
Newcomer, Andrea Mantovani was awarded a ride-through penalty, after missing his double-long lap penalty within the six-lap limit.
Lucas Mahias destroyed his bike with a crash in the fast kink just before the final chicane. He locked the front and went barrelling off into the gravel. He was holding his arm and walked away but he wll miss tomorrow’s races with a broken left scaphoid. A corner later, Kota Nozane lost the front going into the Geert Timmer Chicane as he was chasing Isaac Vinales. He walked away unhurt.
Garrett Gerloff and Tom Sykes continued to make ground and were in seventh and eighth respectively with seven laps to go. Really promising rides from both riders. s
With six laps to go Scott Redding took second out of the De Strubben hairpin, using the Ducati power. He ran wide through the quick chicane after the back straight but managed to fend off the attack of Toprak. Michael van der Mark started to eat into the gap and was hunting a home podium with five laps to go.
Rookie Andrea Locatelli was having a brilliant ride in fifth in front of now-sixth-place man, Garrett Gerloff.
German, Jonas Folger was also having a great ride in seventh which would be by far his best result of the year. Unfortunately, he fell with two laps to go. The race was red-flagged because of his crash at Turns six-seven as the medical staff attended to him. He was taken to hospital and was conscious, but he will also miss Sunday due to being diagnosed with multiple back contusions.
So, Jonathan Rea won the race from Scott Redding and Toprak Razgalioglu. A valiant effort from Michael van der Mark in fourth, followed by Andrea Locatelli and the brilliant Garrett Gerloff. Tom Sykes was seventh from Honda’s Leon Haslam and Chaz Davies. 10th was the Ducati of Axel Bassani.
A brilliant ride from Jonathan Rea to put him seven points clear of Toprak going into tomorrow.
Featured Image: Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK.