Sykes heads Assen grid after Rea penalty

Saturday, 29 April 2017 09:35 GMT

Heated SP2 saw Rea set record lap before a penalty relegated him to fourth, leaving Sykes, Davies and Savadori on front row

World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) set a superb pole time at the Acerbis Dutch Round in Tissot Superpole 2 - with a rapid 1’33.505 lap of the TT Assen Circuit – initially putting him ahead of Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies ( Racing - Ducati) on the front row. But a penalty for Rea due to a late incident with Davies in SP2 saw the KRT man given a three place penalty and moved back to fourth on the grid.

Rea’s time was a new record lap of the Dutch track, breaking the previous record set by Loris Baz in 2014 by a huge 0.852s margin. However, after Rea was adjudged to have impeded Davies in the final seconds of SP2 the reigning title holder was moved down the grid as a result.

Sykes also produced a solid lap, going round in 1’33.715 to initially qualify second - despite his recent stomach illness – the lap eventually giving him pole after Rea’s penalty.

Davies was third fastest in the session, registering a time just under a second off Rea’s pole pace. The Welshman angrily gestured at Rea towards the end of the session as the Ducati man felt the KRT rider was impeding his line, with the disagreement continuing in parc ferme afterwards. Davies would ultimately move up to second on the grid.

Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was fourth quickest but will complete row one, benefitting from Rea’s punishment. Just behind Rea on row two are Italian rider Marco Melandri ( Racing - Ducati) and Irishman Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia), in fifth and sixth.

Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team) will head row three, in front of home rider Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) - who qualified eighth and ninth respectively.

Nicky Hayden (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team), Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) will all start Race 1 on the fourth row.

Fores and Hayden were the two riders to make it through from SP1, Spaniard Fores topping the timesheet in that session by 0.076s from the American. Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) was third in that session, missing out on SP2 by just under a tenth of a second.

Race 1 in the Netherlands will commence at 1pm local time.