On first day of WSBK action at Assen
Championship leader James Toseland (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) took the upper hand in the early exchanges as the World Superbike riders baked in the 27°C temperatures which blessed Assen on day one.
Toseland was one of three competitors
to head the timesheets at various stages, with eventual second placed rider Noriyuki Haga (Yamaha Motor Italia) and third placed Ruben Xaus (Sterilgarda Ducati) each taking their turns at the top earlier in the hour-long session.
Troy Bayliss (Ducati Xerox) scored fourth best time overall, some 0.203 from Toseland, as each rider got consistent conditions to run on thanks to the clear skies and bright sunshine - conditions which are expected to remain through to raceday. Another legendary SBK figure, Troy Corser (Yamaha Motor Italia) scored fifth best time, with the highly experienced privateer Karl Muggeridge (Alto Evolution Honda) sixth, easily the best of the non-factory equipped riders.
Fonsi Nieto (PSG-1 Kawasaki Corse) was an impressive seventh after his Valencia disappointments, with another ex-GP rider, Jakub Smrz (Team Caracchi SC Ducati) eighth on a private 999, one place up on the official machine of Lorenzo Lanzi (Ducati Xerox). A good day for the Alto Evolution team saw them put their second rider, Joshua Brookes, into the top ten.
Fast privateer Suzuki rider Max Neukirchner (Suzuki Germany) scored an early confidence-boosting ride at Assen, setting a pace faster than Max Biaggi (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) and finishing within a second of leading rider Toseland. Biaggi's team-mate Yukio Kagayama (Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra) was a lowly 17th.
WORLD SUPERSPORT - CHARPENTIER BACK ON TOP FORM
Sebastien Charpentier (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda) showed that he has largely recovered form his pelvic and coccyx injuries by posting the fastest time in the first session at Assen, with a 1'42.174 lap.
Another recently injured rider, Broc Parkes (Yamaha World SSP Racing), was a gritty second fastest, only 0.017 behind Charpentier and 0.291 seconds up on runaway championship leader, Kenan Sofuoglu (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda). The ‘dummy' front row was completed by Aussie race winner Fabien Foret (GIL Motorsport Kawasaki).
A great day for the Pioneer Hoogee Suzuki team saw them leave the track with Finn Vesa Kallio fifth fastest and his team-mate Barry Veneman (the highest placed Dutch rider) sixth. Davide Salom scored an early advantage for his Yamaha Spain team with a seventh place, one up on Yamaha Lorenzini by Leoni rider Massimo Roccoli. The third Hannspree Ten Kate Honda of Andrew Pitt was ninth, with Kevin Curtain's stand-in, Steve Martin, 13th.
SBK Press Office