WorldSBK Assen Race 1 Results | Jonathan Rea celebrates 'lucky 13th' Assen win

Jonathan Rea regains the 2021 WorldSBK Championship lead with a commanding 13th career win at Assen, from Scott Redding and Toprak Razgatlioglu

Jonathan Rea - Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10RR, WorldSBK 2021, Assen

Jonathan Rea has reclaimed the lead in the 2021 WorldSBK Championship standings as he made the most of his squabbling rivals to escape for a sixth victory of the season at Assen.

Getting underway from his fifth consecutive pole position, though Rea shared the lead with title rival Toprak Razgatlioglu initially, a break away midway through the race would enable him to ease home a comfortable winner.

He might have faced a bigger challenge from Scott Redding, who looked to be the fastest of the trio for a time, but he’d spend too long bottled up behind Razgatlioglu before eventually getting the better of the erstwhile championship leader.

A race of high attrition with just 14 of the 21 riders reaching the end, the encounter was ended on a red flag with two laps remaining as the result of a serious accident for Jonas Folger at Turn 6-7.

An absorbing fight between the top three in the standings, it was Razgatlioglu that got the hole-shot into Turn 1, though it was Rea that would end the opening lap in front after getting the better of the Yamaha man on the run down to Turn 7.

Razgatlioglu fought back at the start of lap four after punishing a mistake by Rea into the Geert Timmer chicane to pounce into Turn 1, but the Ulsterman would simply bide his time before slipping back past his rival on Lap 5, the pair exchanging the title advantage as they did so.

It would prove to be the defining moment of the race, Rea putting some immediate air between himself and Razgatlioglu, who instead found his hands full of a frisky Redding. Having suffered initially for a poor start, Redding wasted no time in swamping Razgatlioglu with a pass into Turn 6/7 on Lap 8.

Seemingly with the pace to run with Rea, Redding set about trying to latch onto the Kawasaki man. However, a mistake on lap 11 allowed Razgatlioglu back through.

With the pair engaging in a fierce duel for second position right up to the chequered flag, the spot would eventually go the way of Redding to secure his best result since his victory in Estoril.

Out front though, victory - his 13th at Assen - would fall to Rea, in so doing becoming the ‘winningest’ rider at any one circuit on the WorldSBK schedule.

Ending the race within touching distance of the podium, Michael van der Mark put on a show for the home fans with an impressive charge from ninth to fourth, one that at times had the BMW rider matching the leaders for pace.

Similarly, Andrea Locatelli enjoyed his best WorldSBK race to date with a confident run to fifth position - his best result of the season - while Garrett Gerloff and Tom Sykes recovered from their mishaps in qualifying to recover to sixth and seventh respectively.

Seventh should have gone the way of Folger, who consolidated his season’s best run to sixth on the grid with a solid run well inside the top ten on his privateer BMW. However, a big crash at the fast Turn 6/7 sweep would prompt red flags to be deployed, the German stretchered to the medical centre but understood to be conscious.

He wasn’t the only rider to suffer a big tumble with Alvaro Bautista and Michael Ruben Rinaldi - who was running third - crashing out at Turn 8 on consecutive laps, while Alex Lowes also came down on Lap 3, together with Lucas Mahias and Kohta Nozane on Lap 14. 

With Bautista down and out, Leon Haslam held out for eighth on the sole factory Honda, ahead of Chaz Davies - recovering from a bad start that had him running last initially - and fellow privateer Ducati rider Axel Bassani.

With only 14 riders classified, Isaac Vinales, Leandro Mercado, Loris Cresson and wild-card Andrea Mantovani secured points, the latter three getting off the mark for the first time in 2021.

2021 WorldSBK Assen | Race 1 RESULTS

2021 WorldSBK Assen | Race 1 RESULTS | Round 5 / 13
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasakI ZX-10RR22 Laps
2Scott ReddingGBRAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+3.093s
3Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata Yamaha by BRIXXYamaha YZF-R1+3.214s
4Michael van der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M1000RR+4.478s
5Andrea LocatelliITAPata Yamaha by BRIXXYamaha YZF-R1+6.139s
6Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R1+7.901
7Tom SykesGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M1000RR+11.182
8Leon HaslamGBRTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R+14.945
9Chaz DaviesGBRTeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R+19.044
10Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+19.231
11Isaac VinalesESPOrelac Racing VerdNatura KawasakI ZX-10RR+33.244
12Leandro MercadoARGMIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R+33.482
13Loris CressonBELTPR Team Pedercini RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR+1m >
14Andrea MantovaniITAVince64KawasakI ZX-10RR+1m >
DNFJonas FolgerGERBonovo MGM ActionBMW M1000RRCRASH
DNFTito RabatESPBarni Racing TeamDucati Panigale V4 RTECHNICAL
DNFKohta NozaneJPNGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R1CRASH
DNFLucas MahiasFRAKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasakI ZX-10RRCRASH
DNFMichael Ruben RinaldiESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 RCRASH
DNFAlex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasakI ZX-10RRCRASH
DNFAlvaro BautistaESPTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-RCRASH