The iconic TT Circuit in Assen (NED), known as the “Cathedral of Speed”, hosted the fourth round of the 2017MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK). Being the strongest rider in a purely privateer team, Jordi Torres (ESP / Althea BMW Racing Team) fought with the factory teams riders for the front positions. In Saturday’s race one, he set his sights on the top 5, but had to retire on the penultimate lap due to a flat tyre while lying sixth. In Sunday’s second race, Torres crossed the line in seventh. His team-mate Raffaele De Rosa (ITA), who competed his first WorldSBK round of the season in Assen, was 13th and 17th respectively.
Jordi Torres: “On Saturday, we really had bad luck. We could have finished fifth or sixth if we hadn’t had the flat rear tyre. It is always disappointing for the entire team when something like that happens. Sunday’s race was a lot better. We didn’t have the best grid position but we tried to give our best during the race. With the fuel tank getting emptier – and with less grip on the tyres – we were able to go a good pace and I overtook a lot of riders.”
Raffaele De Rosa: “Considering that this was my first race in several months, I started with the intention of completing as many miles as possible, or rather crossing the finish line. I was pleased on Saturday because I was a little more constant than I was in the practices. On Sunday I was feeling quite good with my BMW S 1000 RR until about half way through the race. Once the wind picked up, I had some difficulty managing the bike and I was just trying to get to the finish line.”
The Assen race of the FIM Superstock 1000 European Championship (STK1000) had to be red flagged on lap two after several riders were involved in a crash. After the re-start, nine laps were completed. A wildcard starter was the highest placed BMW S 1000 RR rider: local hero Danny De Boer (NED) who competes with team Van Zon-Remeha-BMW in the Superbike IDM (IDM) this season. After having shown strong performances in practice and qualifying, the Dutch racer finished the race – a home round for him and the team – in fourth position. Sébastian Suchet (SUI / Berclaz Racing Team) was eighth. His team-mate, former GP racer Federico Sandi (ITA), was involved in the incident that resulted in the red flag, but fought his way through the re-started race to finish 11th.
Danny De Boer: “The BMW S 1000 RR was completely new for me, but my first impression is really positive! I am happy to start the new season with a result like this. This was a good warm-up for our IDM season. I want to say thank you to Van Zon-Remeha-BMW!”
Federico Sandi: “The race was really difficult. Marvin Fritz crashed at the end of the first lap and me and several others went down when trying to avoid him. I returned to the garage with some broken parts on the bike. The mechanics were able to repair it in time for the re-start. Physically, I did not feel very well as during the crash I had hit the asphalt with my head. My helmet was really damaged. In the early stages, I was running well in sixth position but then my head and stomach were seriously aching after the crash. I finished 11th. I am disappointed because if it had been a normal race, I could have fought for the win. The bike was really good.”