MV Agusta New Zealand News
MV Agusta New Zealand News

Assen brings Cluzel back into the running for the title

The Frenchman finished second after a heated duel with Sofuoglu which moves him into third place in the overall standings. Zanetti finished sixth across the wire and fifth in the overall standings. In WSBK Camier is increasingly stable in the top-ten. The fourth WSBK round arrived at one of the nicest and most legendary tracks…

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Assen brings Cluzel back into the running for the title

The Frenchman finished second after a heated duel with Sofuoglu which moves him into third place in the overall standings. Zanetti finished sixth across the wire and fifth in the overall standings.

In WSBK Camier is increasingly stable in the top-ten.

The fourth WSBK round arrived at one of the nicest and most legendary tracks in the history of motorcycle racing: the TT circuit Assen.

The weekend got off to a great start for Reparto Corse with Cluzel taking his third pole position of the season (1’38.015) and Zanetti (1’38.685) on the second row with the fifth best time. A brilliant performance for Leon Camier as well who, for the first time this season, qualified for SP2 with the eleventh best time (1’36.402) which earned him a spot on the fourth row between the two Ducatis ridden by Mercado and Terol.

At the start of the WSS race Smith and his Honda smoked the rest and moved into the lead ahead of Sofuoglu, Cluzel, Jacobsen and Zanetti. In the lap the Frenchman took care of both his Turkish rival and the Englishman from team Pata to move into the lead, on the following lap putting in the best lap time (1’38.976).

Once in the lead Cluzel began to push, opening up a gap between himself and Sofuoglu of more than six tenths, a gap that the tough team Kawasaki Puccetti rider reduced lap by lap, moving back into the lead during the ninth.

It was the start of a duel and lightning fast laps with Cluzel coming out on top when, on the 15th lap, he set the new track record (in a race) at 1’38.184.

The two riders in the lead began to size one another up as they awaited the chequered flag, with Cluzel overtaking Sofuoglu on the outside and then losing grip in the direction change on the “S” just before the finish. It seemed like an insurmountable gap but Cluzel managed to close it and during the last lap he pulled the pin on his final attack at the last turn just before the home stretch but he was stopped by contact with his adversary who abruptly shut the door on him.

Cluzel was forced off the track but managed to re-enter and hold onto second place ahead of Smith. Zanetti finished sixth, 15.093 behind, with the satellite MV F3 ridden by Baldolini finishing in ninth place.

In the overall standings Cluzel moves back into third place with 45 points behind American Jacobsen (55 points) and current leader Sofuoglu with 80 points. Zanetti fifth with 41 points.

At the finish the Frenchman had this to say: “I’m quite happy with the race and my pace. We took the fast lap and the track record. I knew that Kenan would do anything to win and that’s what we saw. Too bad, but I’m pleased that the next race is at Imola because it’s a track that particularly suits my riding style.”

In WSBK the F4 RC/Leon Camier duo reconfirmed their solid placement in the top-ten. In a race characterised by a dominating Johnny Rea who took the double win and the hometown hero’s podium finishes (2014 WSS champion), Van De Mark, the Brit finished both races in tenth place thanks to some excellent riding.

In Race 1 Leon finished ahead of Mercado, whereas in Race 2 he crossed the wire in front of Baiocco’s Ducati, lapping during the race (1’36.652) with times quite close to those on the sheets during qualifying (1’36.402).

The next round is scheduled for 10 May at Imola, the first of two Italian rounds on the 2015 calendar.