Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) said he had the pace on Friday to win, but he started too far back to compete for a podium in the final laps.
Today, from pole under the reverse grid rules, Sykes showed stunning pace for all 21 laps and won by a massive 5.445 seconds from the modern-era Assen great, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team).
The Kawasaki 1-2 was only threatened, but really threatened, for a time by the flying local Dutch rider, Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK) who finished 7.5 seconds from Sykes, and just too far from Rea to challenge him.
Sykes said, “The feeling is incredible and I have had a bit of the struggle at times, so what can I say but thank you to the team. This is a gentle reminder of where we have come from, which was priceless. A bit like the old Sykes is back. The bike was working good but suffered a bit with the front tyre and then rear tyre, but I controlled the race from my pit board. I have got that one off my back and hopefully we can carry on.”
Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team Ducati) was fourth, after shadowing Sykes in the first half of the race, but succumbing to Rea and VDM in quick succession.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was really struggling for pace in the final laps but held on for a fifth place, over 18 seconds from Sykes on another warm day in the Assen sunshine.
Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) had a close dice at the end, with Torres sixth and Melandri seventh.
Loris Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team) was eighth, leading a three rider group home, from Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia).
PJ Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team) was the only Honda rider in the race after Jake Gagne’s injuries, and he was 13th.
In the championship Rea has 159 points, Davies has 129, Melandri 115, Van Der Mark 103 and Sykes now up to fifth with 101.
By Gordon Ritchie