The second European round of World Supersport and the 300cc World Supersport championship took place yesterday at the iconic Dutch circuit of Assen.
Known as the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ WilSport Raceday Honda riders Hannes Soomer #38 and Mika Perez #8 were each able to once again show front running pace throughout the event.
Soomer aboard his CBR600cc machine arrived at Assen as the best classified rider within the European Supersport standings after a stunning ride in Spain and the young Estonian was once at the sharp end. Qualifying for Tissot-Superpole he was involved in the early stages of the 18 lap race in a multi-rider fight for the top ten before eventually finishing 13th at the flag with another 3 World Championship points and the joint lead in the European standings after two rounds.
World Supersport 300 is the new category within the World Superbike series and after a podium last time out in Aragon, Spain’s Mika Perez was looking for a repeat performance until disaster struck and he was taken out by Robert Schotman who fell in front of him. Despite a valiant sprint to retrieve his stricken CBR500R machine from the gravel he was unable to rejoin. Nevertheless his 6th place in qualifying coupled with his front running ride until the incident show once again that he’s a title contender.
Mika Perez – DNF: “It was in general a good weekend, we had a good pace and did a great superpole (P4). We were confident for the race victory. I made a good start and was fighting in the main group, when another rider crashed into me and unfortunately I crashed too. I am very disappointed but we have to think positive and move on to the next round in Imola.”
Hannes Soomer – 13th: “It was a difficult weekend with ups and downs. We struggled a lot on Friday trying to find the correct setup. We made a big step for Superpole and had good speed for the race. We are now consistently in the top 15 and top 3 of the European championship. P13 isn’t bad but I was hoping for a bit more after qualifying. P2 in the European championship means I am still leading the championship. A big thanks goes to the team, massive work was done this weekend and we will continue to work like this at Imola in two weeks.”
Mike Dickinson – Team Manager: “Racing is all about ups and downs. This weekend we achieved a goal set for later in the year by qualifying for Superpole 2, it was a great feeling and the whole team worked so hard and got the reward they deserved. Hannes then did a great job in the race with a top 13 result, world championship points and P2 in ESS. Mika did an excellent job all weekend and looked liked he was the one to beat in the Supersport 300 race. The team and Ten Kate Racing really worked hard to give him a package he could win the race with. Unfortunately the best plans go horribly wrong with Mika being taken out in turn 5 on the 4th lap by another rider. No fault of his own meant the first non score this year… a very disappointing end to the weekend, but as a team we are growing stronger and moving forward every practice session. We now move on to Imola which both riders are looking forward too.”