Jonathan Rea won his second World Superbike race of the season in Assen, beating Alvaro Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu in a thrilling three-way battle.
Rea, a Kawasaki rider, edged over Bautista by 0.103 seconds to reclaim the championship lead from the Ducati rider, with poleman Razgatlioglu falling out of contention in the closing stages.
Razgatlioglu took the lead from the start, but Rea quickly passed the reigning champion’s Yamaha teammate Andrea Locatelli to take second.
Rea took the lead on lap three of the 21st, diving up the inside of the final chicane and seemingly dictating the pace thereafter, with a six-rider train developing at the front of the pack, including Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Ducati factory riders.
At this point, Bautista was fifth behind Alex Lowes’ second Kawasaki, but he managed to pass Lowes and Locatelli on consecutive laps until Lowes experienced a race-ending mechanical failure on lap 11.
With Locatelli dropping out of the lead pack, the race quickly devolved into a three-way struggle, with Razgatlioglu regaining the lead from Rea by the end of lap 13.
However, the Turkish rider was unable to go clear at the front of the field, and Rea was able to reclaim the lead on lap 16 with a bold late-braking move into Turn 1.
Several turns later, Bautista passed Razgatlioglu to take over as Rea’s main rival, and on lap 18, the Spaniard briefly took the lead with a pass at the high-speed Ruskenhoek chicane – only for Rea to respond immediately by going around the outside at the Stekkenwal right-hander.
After regaining the lead, Rea held off Bautista’s efforts to win his 16th WSBK race in Assen.
Razgatlioglu had to settle for third place, a second behind the leaders, with colleague Locatelli finishing in a lonely fourth place, nine seconds behind.
Iker Lecuona finished fifth for Honda, followed by top BMW rider Loris Baz and Philipp Oettl on the satellite GoEleven Ducati, following an accident for Ducati’s Michael Ruben Rinaldi in the closing stages.
Garrett Gerloff of the GRT Yamaha fell back in the early stages after opting for a harder rear tyre than the SCX compound used by the majority, but he caught Scott Redding on the final lap for eighth.
Redding finished ninth, his best finish as a BMW rider, while teammate Michael van der Mark finished 13th in his return from injury.
Despite a last-lap collision, Puccetti Kawasaki’s Lucas Mahias finished 15th, just holding off Pedercini Kawasaki’s Leon Haslam, who was brought in late as a substitute for Loris Cresson this weekend.
2022 WORLD SUPERBIKE ASSEN, NETHERLANDS – RACE RESULTS (1)
|1||Jonathan Rea||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||21 Laps|
|2||Alvaro Bautista||SPA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||+0.103s|
|3||Toprak Razgatlioglu||TUR||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||+1.014s|
|4||Andrea Locatelli||ITA||PATA Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK||+9.712s|
|5||Iker Lecuona||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+17.451s|
|6||Loris Baz||FRA||Bonovo Action BMW||+17.983s|
|7||Philipp Oettl||GER||GoEleven Ducati||+22.002s|
|8||Garrett Gerloff||USA||GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+24.545s|
|9||Scott Redding||GBR||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||+25.188s|
|10||Axel Bassani||ITA||Motocorsa Ducati||+26.938s|
|11||Xavi Vierge||SPA||Team HRC WorldSBK||+35.566s|
|12||Christophe Ponsson||FRA||Gil Motor Sport Yamaha||+41.901s|
|13||Michael Van Der Mark||NED||BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team||41.967s|
|14||Roberto Tamburini||ITA||Motoxracing Yamaha WorldSBK Team||+42.014s|
|15||Lucas Mahias||FRA||Puccetti Kawasaki||+45.699s|
|16||Leon Haslam||GBR||Pedercini Kawasaki||+45.882s|
|17||Kohta Nozane||JPN||GRT Yamaha||+45.972s|
|18||Luca Bernardi||SM||Barni Spark Ducati Team||+45.975s|
|19||Leandro Mercado||ARG||MIE Honda Racing||+48.144s|
|20||Hafizh Syahrin||MAL||MIE Honda Racing||+58.169s|
|21||Oliver Konig||CZE||Orelac Racing Kawasaki||+1 Lap|
|22||Michael Rinaldi||ITA||Aruba.It Racing Ducati||DNF|
|23||Alex Lowes||GBR||Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK||DNF|
|24||Gabriele Ruiu||ITA||Bmax Racing||DNF|