| What to look out for in Assen
Alvaro Bautista – Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
Back to winning in Aragon after nearly two years without victory, Alvaro Bautista is leading again the WorldSBK Championship standings after his first round back with Ducati. In 2019, his last season with Ducati, the Spanish rider won both races at the TT Circuit Assen; and hopes to repeat this performance in 2022 to consolidate his Championship lead. “We were fast at this track in the past. We were fast as well at all tracks during winter tests, so this means we’re not only fast at Aragon. We are strong to be fast at all tracks. After this weekend, we have some data and I’ve noticed some areas where I can improve as a rider. I will work to arrive in Assen in better conditions.” said Bautista.
Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK
Rea heads to the TT Circuit Assen second in the standings. He has a great record at the Dutch track as he stood on the podium in his last 15 races at Assen. Last year, he scored his most recent triple in WorldSBK meaning the six-time WorldSBK Champion will be one to look out for at the Dutch venue. “Instead of letting a weekend ride out, I should always have reset, believed in myself and my team, and comeback the next race weekend. At the end of last year, we’ve started to do that, and I could finish the year strong. So, this year, it’s just about trying to forget what happened now, move to Assen, everyone starts from zero and it’s Superbike racing, anything can happen!” explained Rea. Also, to note, Jonathan Rea is two wins away from achieving his 100th win with Kawasaki.
Toprak Razgatlioglu – Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK
The Reigning WorldSBK Champion, Toprak Razgatlioglu, stands third in the rankings heading to Assen. The Dutch venue is one of just three circuits on the calendar that he hasn’t won at and his main focus will be on chasing his first win of 2022. “Last year, Assen was not good for me. I think we can come back very strong and also, I think we will come back to the 2021 bike completely, as it will feel much better at Assen” he explained.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi – Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
Michael Ruben Rinaldi started his 2022 season with three fourth places in Aragon. He will look to overcome the front-end problems of Aragon when the tyres drop off, in order to fight for a first victory of the 2022 season. In 2021, he scored a podium finish there and will capitalise on his past experience to achieve a solid weekend.
Iker Lecuona & Xavi Vierge– Team HRC
After a solid first WorldSBK round, both Lecuona and Vierge will hope to consolidate their pace at the TT Circuit Assen, a circuit they’ve not tested at. “Hopefully now, in the run up to Assen, I can recover and be fully fit for the next round so that I can focus solely on the track action“ said Vierge.
BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team
Scott Redding (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) will hope to rebound after a challenging season opening round with the German manufacturer, as it’s the first time since his WorldSBK debut that he classified outside the Championship top five. “We need to work, understand and try to come back stronger because we don’t deserve to be in this position,” he explained. Teammate Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) hopes to start his 2022 season at his home round, depending on the evolution of his recovery.
To keep an eye on:
Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) took his first WorldSBK podium in Race 2 at Assen in 2021 and will aim to claim his first 2022 one at the Dutch venue.
Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) stands as the first BWM rider and best Independent riders in ninth in the Championship standings. The Frenchman expect the Dutch circuit to “be a track that suits us better” with the BMW M 1000 RR.
Also fighting for the best Independent rider position, Garrett Gerloff (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) declared “we’ll look forward to Assen – I enjoy the track a lot and I think Yamaha works better there” while Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) said “we still have lots of work to do but I think we are on the right path. I am looking forward to going to Assen to improve our results, but we are there”.