Redding returns to the top as Assen WorldSBK FP1 ignites

Friday, 23 July 2021 09:32 GMT

It was a strong opening session for Ducati with three bikes inside the top four, but it was all about Redding vs Rea in the Netherlands this morning

The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is underway at Round 5 of the season with the Prosecco DOC Dutch Round at the TT Circuit Assen. Held in overcast conditions and with moderate temperatures, it was Scott Redding ( Racing – Ducati) who was looking in fine form with the British rider ending the session on top with a 1’34.591. It was a strong opening session of the day for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) who was in second, whilst Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) shone in third.

As the session opened, it was a tentative start following spots of rain earlier on in the morning. However, soon enough it was clear that Redding was in a fighting mood this weekend as he continuously improved through the session to finish on top, setting the fastest sector time in sectors two, three and four. Second place went to Jonathan Rea who was less than a a tenth of a second behind Redding, as he fired in a quick lap time with less than a minute to go, propelling himself ahead of arch-rival Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven). Davies had a very strong opening session and was top Independent rider. Fourth place went to Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati), making it three Ducatis inside the top four, whilst Championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) elevated himself into fifth.

Completing the top half-dozen was Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), who continues his solid form from his Donington Park podium showing. Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) celebrated his Yamaha contract extension with a solid seventh with his first WorldSBK visit to Assen. Leon Haslam (Team HRC) was eighth ahead of another impressive position for Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who was top rookie, ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK).

Notable names having a difficult first session included home-hero Michael van der Mark in 11th, Britain’s Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in 12th and Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) in 15th. There were numerous moments throughout the session, including one for Garrett Gerloff at the final chicane with a fantastic save, but thankfully there were no crashes.

Top six after FP1, full results here:

1.     Scott Redding ( Racing – Ducati) 1’34.591s
2.     Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +0.078s
3.     Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) +0.380s
4.     Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) +0.428s
5.     Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) +0.459s
6.     Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) +0.526s

Watch the 2021 season unfold with the WorldSBK VideoPass, and join the conversation on social media using #NLDWorldSBK!