Double Dutch

Paul Carruthers | April 25, 2010

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda’s Jonathan Rea earned the first World Superbike double of his career today at the Circuit van Drenthe in Assen, Holland, the Nortern Irelander taking the lead for the final time on the 15th of 22 laps and holding off the chasing pack to again lead an all-British podium.A wild exchange at the front on the 15th lap saw Rea go to the front ahead of Alstare Suzuki’s Leon Haslam, but then Haslam came back at him, before Rea passed again, then Haslam one more time before Rea shot back to the front – all in one lap. From that point on it appeared as though Rea decided he’d had enough and he was able to slowly pull away – a 10th of a second here, a 10th of a second there. At the finish he was 1.9 seconds ahead.”It’s been great,” Rea said. “I couldn’t have done this without my team. They gave me a fantastic bike today. We made it more comfortoable and you could say that both races were the smartest races I’ve ridden. I’m proud as punch.”Haslam rebounded from his first-race 11th to finish second, gaining more points on Aprilia’s Max Biaggi, the Italian near the front this time around as he barely missed out on a podium position. Haslam now leads Biaggi by 20 points.”Race one was one of the hardest races I’ve ever had,” Haslam said., “We had a puncture and we don’t know why. To get back on the podium in the second race after good battle with Johnny [Rea] is really good.”With Rea and Haslam pulling away in the final laps, the battle for third went to the bitter end with Sterilgarda Yamaha’s James Toseland getting the nod over Biaggi by just a tenth of a second. BMW’s Troy Corser, who again led portions of the race, was a shadow fifth with Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa and Jakub Smrz right behind in sixth and seventh.Then there was some three seconds to Checa’s teammate Byrne with Rea’s teammate Max Neukirchner and BMW’s Ruben Xaus rounding out the top 10.American Roger Lee Hayden ended up 16th on the Pedercini Kawasaki.Among the notables not finishing were Aprilia’s Leon Camier and Ducati Xerox’s Noriyuki Haga. Camier was in the mix for a podium finish when he crashed out of third place on the 21st lap at high speed, handing the spot to Toseland. Haga went out early with a mechanical failure.While the top three riders were all from the U.K., the top six motorcycles were all from different manufacturers – Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Aprilia, BMW and Ducati.

Race 2

1.                  Jonathan Rea (Honda)

2.                  Leon Haslam (Suzuki)

3.                  James Toseland (Yamaha)

4.                  Max Biaggi (Aprilia)

5.                  Troy Corser (BMW)

6.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati)

7.                  Jakub Smrz (Ducati)

8.                  Shane Byrne (Ducati)

9.                  Max Neukirchner (Honda)

10.                  Ruben Xaus (BMW)16. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki)

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.