May 12, 2016
Coming into this second round at the famed Assen circuit we were looking forward to a solid race taking good share points with us for the weekend.
Friday’s free practice 1 saw us in wet conditions. Straight off the bat the bike setup worked well. We had a good feeling. This was the first time we had ridden the Ben Jan Agro on Kawasaki XZ10R in the wet and we were very impressed. It was working really great. Free Practice 2 on Friday was also wet and we ended up finishing both sessions in P12. We were happy with our pace and feeling. We knew that if we had wet qualifying we had a strong chance.
Saturday decided not to play along and for Qualifying it was totally dry. The first few dry laps were pretty good. We had a good feel from the bike and the track was feeling ok as well. We started off with a pretty strong first few laps, hovering around the top 10. But as the session went on we started dropping positions. The biggest issue we have at the moment is when we want to push really hard to post a lap time the set up doesn’t seem to want to work for us. The boys have been working and continue to work around the clock to get a better understanding of the bike, to find a way to get the absolute best out of it. We qualified in P24 which was a huge disappointment to us as we had seen our potential in the wet.
On race day we arrived ready to turn the job around and make up for the disappointing qualifying. As we left pit lane to line up on the grid for the race, the heavens opened and it started to rain. The team was ready for this possibility and were well prepared. We fitted wets on the grid we were ready for a wet race. The race started and it was immediately red flagged due to a few riders going down in the first turn. As we lined up on the grid for the 2nd time the start was cancelled due to an oil spill on the warm up lap. Finally, after waiting over 30 minutes in pit lane for the track to be cleaned all the time wondering what the weather was going to do, we got back to the grid. We got to the grid only to realize that the weather had dealt us another one and we had taken the wrong tire choice. We started with a wet front and intermediate rear tire. The track pretty much dried up after two laps. We suffered terribly with grip in the fast corners with the wet front. We decided to settle in and just finish the race. It was a very frustrating weekend dealing with constantly changing weather and ended up with an 18th place finish.
Now we move on to the Imola circuit with hopes of a solid result and good weekend. We all know we have it. Again, all credit must go to the team for working relentlessly to keep us improving.