Update: Stapleford's time penalty has been cancelled
A remarkable fourth round of the WorldSSP championship unfolded over 18-laps of the Assen circuit with one time leader Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) off the podium altogether and an MV on a podium for the first time this year. And those were not the most dramatic moments.
The race was won by fleeing Frenchman Jules Cluzel (NRT Yamaha) who took a lead he would not lose over the line from lap two to lap 18.
It was his first race win for over a year and it sent him into emotional mode, especially after all his leg injuries worries in the past.
“I was waiting for that one,” said Cluzel from parc ferme. “I think I have been waiting for more than one year! We improved a lot since the last race in Aragon, because we wanted that one. I have an incredible bike but I struggled a lot with the front tyre at the end of the race, but I think everybody did. I am so, so happy.”
The story of the day was who finished second as Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha) suddenly had to start the race from the back of the grid, and battled forward to finish second. Unsurprisingly, he set the new lap record on his way through, of 1’38.108, on lap 11.
The last place on the podium went to Raffaele De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag) who has had plenty of speed but little luck in 2018 until today. His bike was the first non-Yamaha to get a top three in 2018.
De Rosa put in some hard passes, notably on fourth place man Mahias, with the top four across the line inside 0.341 seconds.
Pole man and Aragon race winner Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing Yamaha) finished fifth, 1.122 seconds back.
Such was the pace of the leading Yamaha and MV runners that Niki Tuuli (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) was sixth, but 17 seconds back, heading off the aggressive local ESS rider, Rob Hartog (Team Hartog Against Cancer Kawasaki).
On a good day for the NRT team in general, second rider Thomas Gradinger was eighth. Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing Yamaha) and Hannes Soomer (Racedays Honda) completed the top ten.
Another great ride from Luke Stapleford (Profile Racing Triumph) was penalised after he was adjudged to have been involved in a fast crash suffered by Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team). The Triumph rider was given a Ride Through Automatic time penalty, losing his strong top six place and being finally classified 15th, scoring one point.
In the points table Mahias leads Krummenacher by just one, 71 to 70, with Cortese on 65 and Cluzel on 50 after his first win and one DNF in Thailand. Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki) missed the race in Thailand and is undergoing surgery in Spain to his fractured right forearm. Lachlan Epis retired with a technical problem.