Team HRC has completed the fifth Superbike World Championship round at the Assen TT Circuit with Alvaro Bautista crossing the line fifth in race 2, to score his strongest result of the season to date. Leon Haslam finished the day’s races in twelfth and tenth place.
The 10-lap Tissot Superpole race got underway at 11.00 am local time. Bautista made a strong start and was lying sixth before a crash unfortunately put paid to his plans towards the end of lap one. Haslam was lying twelfth through the opening stages and ran a steady albeit rather solitary race. Unable to make up further positions, the Brit crossed the line twelfth.
Lining up for race 2 later in the afternoon, the HRC riders were lying ninth (Bautista) and twelfth (Haslam) through the first turns. Both Team HRC riders gained a position in the early stages, Bautista going on to pass both Lowes and Van der Mark to place sixth by lap nine. The Spaniard was able to lap quite fast and consistently to get past Rinaldi on lap fifteen and move into fifth place. He kept gaining ground on Davies, reducing the gap from 2.549 to 0.889 seconds before crossing the line to secure his best result of the season so far. Haslam worked hard to catch those immediately ahead of him but was only able to make up one more position throughout the course of the race, rounding out the Dutch weekend with a tenth-place finish.
Bautista now places eleventh in the championship standings with 68 points, Haslam lies thirteenth with a tally of 55. Team HRC will be back in action during the sixth WorldSBK round at the Most Circuit in the Czech Republic over the weekend of 6-8 August.