Bautista on pole for Sunday's Races at TT Assen

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In cold, windy conditions the 2019 WorldSBK continued to put on a phenomenal show at the Dutch Round during their Superpole session.

Alvaro Bautista sneaked pole position with a minute to go but big crashes involving Ryuichi Kiyonari and Toprak Razgatlioglu at Turn 15 brought the red flags out and a premature end to the session.

Championship leader Alvaro Bautista was back up the sharp end of proceedings on Saturday, having endured a difficult opening day by his own standards. The Spaniard was a persistent top three runner throughout the session and maintained his front row starting record, placing on pole position for a third consecutive round.

Teammate Chaz Davies, who has never had a pole position or win at the TT Assen, featured inside the top ten for the entirety of the session, completing it in seventh position and without setting a fast time on the Superpole tyre.

Michael van der Mark enjoyed a positive Superpole session, finishing second at the end. The Dutch rider will look to add to his win tally from the front row, with his first front row starting place after Superpole since his only pole position in Thailand, back in 2016! It was a positive start to the session for Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) as he led the session for the most of the first half. Having suffered two big crashes on the opening day of action on Friday, it was a pleasant return to the front for the third-placed man in the championship. Lowes finished in fourth at the end of the session.

It was a fantastic session for the BMW WorldSBK Team, as Tom Sykes and Markus Reiterberger continued their progress throughout the session. Before the red flag, Tom Sykes had been inside the top four but eventually slipped to sixth having not set a time with the Superpole tyre, whilst Markus Reiterberger bolted in a lap time for his best ever Superpole starting position of third – becoming the first German rider to start on the front row at Assen. It is BMW’s first front row at Assen since Troy Corser in third in 2010.

It was another difficult Tissot Superpole session for Kawasaki riders, as fifth was the best that Tom Sykesould manage. The British rider will be looking to mount the podium from the second row on his return to WorldSBK racing at TT Circuit Assen.

His teammate Jonathan Rea was outside of the front row for the second consecutive round, with an eighth place – the red flag hindering his progress at the end. The reigning four-time WorldSBK Champion had beaten Bautista across all session leading up to Superpole, so expect a race charge from the Northern Irishman.

Once again there were two Independent team riders who made the top ten, with Jordi Torres  achieving his second consecutive ninth place start after the Tissot Superpole session. The Spaniard will be looking to remain inside the top ten during the races. Toprak Razgatlioglu completes the top ten but the Turkish rider was taken to the medical centre after his Turn 15 crash that brought a red flag out to the session.

Other notable positions included Leon Camier who was in 11th, whilst rookie Hector Barbera was 14th, and Alessandro Delbianco secured a career-best 15th. Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) was a shock down the order in 17th.

Following a snowstorm hitting the TT Circuit Assen early in the afternoon during the WorldSBK grid, Race 1 start had been delayed twice before being rescheduled at 11:00 AM on Sunday morning, to guarantee riders’ safety.

Sunday’s will see a new schedule that will include WorldSBK Race 1 at 11:00 AM LT (GMT +2.00) and WorldSBK Race 2 at 14:00 LT (GMT +2.00). Thus, cancelling the Tissot Superpole Race.

Starting grid positions for WorldSBK Race 1 and Race 2 will be following the results of today’s WorldSBK Superpole.

 

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