The KRT duo ready for action in the Netherlands.
KRT's Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes will arrive at one of their joint favourite circuits this coming weekend as the fourth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship is set to take place at historic Assen, located in the north of the Netherlands.
Both riders have won races there before – Rea five times and Sykes once in his championship winning year of 2013. And both are keen to add to their haul of race wins at the unique Circuit van Drenthe on the latest-specification Ninja ZX-10R.
Rea enters Assen hot on the heels of another strong display at the front of the field since he joined Kawasaki this winter. He took a win and then a second place at Motorland Aragon last weekend to extend his championship lead over Leon Haslam to 26 points. He has four wins and two second places in all so far in 2015 and a career total of 19 WSB race victories.
Sykes, now fourth in the championship standings, had one third place and then a heavy highside crash at Motorland but he escaped uninjured and is now focusing all his energies to getting his bike ready for the challenge of the iconic Assen circuit. With two third places in 2015, and 22 race victories on his career record, long-term Kawasaki rider Sykes is making continual improvements to his machine set-up after extensive technical rule changes came into force over the winter.
Assen has been the scene of many redesigns and renewals over the decades but it still features the heart and soul of its original format as a roads circuit, albeit with modern levels of runoff and gravel traps. Featuring strong cambers, fast sweeps and many corners that feed into one and other, Assen is an all-time classic venue for bike race fans and riders of all generations.
Jonathan Rea: “I am really excited about Assen because it is a circuit I really enjoy and I have had some good success at in the past. This year with a new team and a new bike we need to see how we perform on Friday but Assen is somewhere I think we can try and win again. There is always close racing there, which I am looking forward to. It is cool to go there each year because there are always a lot of British fans that make the trip over to watch the race. I have some family coming as well. Aside from Phillip Island this is going to be the race that most feels a little bit like home because I have spent so much time there in the past.”
Tom Sykes: “I’m now looking forward to a track that we have gone well at in previous years. The layout is really exciting from a rider’s point of view. Obviously I was not fortunate enough to use the old layout but basically on most of the track, if we exclude the relatively new early section, it has real nice cambered corners and gives you a great feeling with the bike. The cambers add to the speed and feel through the corners. There are some real fast flowing sections. We had a big knock last Sunday at Motorland Aragon but to be honest I came out of it pretty well. I feel better already.”