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April 25, 2010

Double Dutch Delight for Rea and Ten Kate at Assen


Jonathan Rea's victory.

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda's Jonathan Rea stamped an indelible mark on the 2010 World Superbike championship today by winning both fourth round races at Assen in Holland – his third and fourth championship wins, the first of this season and his debut double.

Rea's stunning weekend performance also included his maiden world championship pole position after yesterday's Superpole and the fastest lap of the weekend in a dramatic and thrilling race two – setting a new lap record for the revised 4.452km Dutch circuit.

In race one, Rea battled with Troy Corser and Leon Camier in the early laps before stretching out a lead from James Toseland, who finished second, with Camier third. Race two was a stunning Assen classic, as the 23-year-old Rea traded places with Corser, Camier and series leader Leon Haslam, eventually leading Haslam home by almost two seconds.

Rea's results today have leapfrogged him from fifth to third in the championship points standings, with 18 points separating him from second placed Max Biaggi.

It was an encouraging weekend, too, for Rea's Hannspree Ten Kate Honda team-mate, Max Neukirchner. The German, who celebrated his birthday just a few days ago, bounced back from a race one crash to record his best result of the season with ninth in race two.

Neukirchner has altered the set up of his Honda CBR1000RR significantly recently and has had to adapted his riding style as well. Starting from 16th place on the grid, the 27-year-old was encouraged to be matching the lap times of the leading riders throughout race two.

Jonathan Rea – 1st and 1st

You know, it's been great, but I couldn't have done it without my team; they gave me a fantastic bike today, so thanks to everyone – my crew chief, data guy, suspension guy, everyone involved. We changed the balance of the bike quite a lot for this weekend and it's made it more comfortable to ride. I guess you could say that today's two races were probably the smartest I've ever ridden; I never got frustrated or caught in traffic and, when it was time to pull the pin, I did, and I'm really, really happy with the double. It's a clean sweep with pole position, a double win and, I think the fastest lap, so I'm as proud as punch and I can't wait to take this home. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and going to Monza but we'll definitely savour the moment and I'll stick around the hospitality this evening and definitely buy the big boss a drink!

Max Neukirchner – 20th and 9th

We have changed the bike a lot this week and I adapted my riding style a bit better this morning in warm-up so we thought we could improve more in the race. The problem was that, although the settings were the same I hadn't ridden this new style, which requires braking further into the corner, with a full tank. Anyway, I ended up losing the front, but brought the bike home. We went harder at the front and the rear for race two and it worked for me, so it feels like a great step forward today. I can't wait to get to Monza – not only to close the book there after last year's crash, but to improve the bike further. I'm also very happy for Johnny, who did a great job here this weekend. In fact, it's been a good step forward for the whole team.

Ronald ten Kate – team manager

It's quite difficult to describe our feelings at the moment. Jonathan's clean sweep this weekend happened to be completed in one of the most exciting races we've seen. His victories also put us back in contention for the championship race. The second outing also showed a breakthrough for Max who has been working so hard to change his riding style this weekend. It's paid off with his best result of the season and the whole performance of the team gives us something solid to build on as we head into the middle part of the season.

2010 World Superbike championship – round four
Assen, Holland (4.452km – 22 laps) – results
Race One:
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 35’38.483s
2. James Toseland (GBR) Yamaha +1.106s
3. Leon Camier (GBR) Aprilia +1.249
4. Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati +1.548
5. Troy Corser (AUS) BMW +2.738
6. Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia +6.296
20. Max Neukirchner (GER) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda

Race Two:
1. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda 35’43.137s
2. Leon Haslam (GBR) Suzuki +1.942s
3. James Toseland (GBR) Yamaha +3.298
4. Max Biaggi (ITA) Aprilia +4.067
5. Troy Corser (AUS) +4.176
6. Carlos Checa (ESP) Ducati +4.525
9. Max Neukirchner (GER) Hannspree Ten Kate Honda +9.903

Championship points after four of 13 rounds:
1. Haslam 148
2. Biaggi 128
3. Rea 110
4. Checa 103
5. Toseland 86

Fourth round of the 2010 World Superbike championship.

Jonathan Rea takes both wins at the fourth round at Assen.


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