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Marco Melandri will be on the pole for the conclusion of race one Marco Melandri will be on the pole for the conclusion of race one Story and Photos by Colin Fraser

Assen Race One - Updated Final Report

Written by  on Sunday, 22 April 2012 07:01

French born, UK-based Effenbert Liberty Ducati racer Sylvain Guintoli gave the squad their first victory in the restarted opening race at round three of the eni Superbike World Series at Assen in the Netherlands. After a dry initial run, the restart took place in treacherously wet and rainy conditions, and Guintoli pushed through the pack to take the lead with just over two laps to go.

“We’ve been trying for a while now,” explained Guintoli in his British accent of the break through success of the Czech-based team. “We had the pace, we’ve been there, we knew finally that we could do it. I really need to thank the whole team; everyone has worked so hard, everyone. There were a lot of crashes today, I almost crashed many times.”

Among the front runners to tumble was Leon Haslam, who had the race under control for BMW until he high-sided entering a turn on lap three of nine. Haslam’s only breakaway companion, Honda’s Johnny Rea, fell from the lead dispute on the very first lap.

Ayrton Badovini looked ready for a break through win on the Motorrad Italia Goldbet entry, before he crashed at the same spot as Haslam on lap six. At this point, Guintoli moved past the Ducati of points leader Carlos Checa and took control of the fifth race of the 2012 eni-backed Championship.

Second after another come-from-behind effort was rising Italian ace Davide Giugliano, Checa’s Althea Ducati 1098R teammate,  who got the best of a careful Checa in a last lap battle for the runner-up position. Checa netted third, ahead of the Aprilia of Max Biaggi. Former SBK title holder Biaggi worked up from mid-grid after problems in qualifying Friday.

Canadian Superbike Champion Brett McCormick, the newest member of the victorious squad, was not classified as a finisher after falling early in the busy 22-lap, two-part event. McCormick was running well when he collided with the Kawasaki of David Salom in the right hand first turn, causing the 20 year old Ducati pilot to fall. Although McCormick is dealing with an injured hip from a previous incident, his team expect him to take part in today’s second race.

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Last modified on Sunday, 22 April 2012 11:54
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