The first race weekend of the year took place at Assen on the 5th and 6th of April. For the Open Dutch Championship we started on Friday with free training. It was typical Assen weather, cold and wet, so the team decided to wait till it got a little bit better. In the afternoon we got to ride 1,5 sessions, so not much riding time.
On Saturday it was still freezing cold and only Jan Houbraken#35 got out in the first qualifying at 9:00 and finished on 15th place. Second qualifying was a little warmer, but still the track was very cold. With 42 riders on the track it was not easy to get a quick lap in. There was also a possibility that the quickest riders in Qualifying would get promoted into the supercup class, so Greg Barnes#67 and Mark van Bunnik#77 decided to take it easy and aim for a place around tenth place. That was our strategy..however, after stopping in the pits for a few moments, Greg found out he was around 18th place and went out for a quicker lap in the last few minutes. The lap was quick enough….he was on pole! Mark van Bunnik#77 ended on 18th, Jan Houbraken#35 on the 25th place. None of the riders got promoted to the Supercup.
The race started from the book for Greg Barnes#67…the lights went out and he was first into the first corner and was not passed by anyone again. During the race he got a lead up to 6 seconds, which he controlled all the time and he won with a 4 second lead. Also our “Gin Tonic” rode the fastest lap of the race! What a start of the year!
Mark van Bunnik#77 got a good start and entered the top 10 after one lap, but had to pull in during the 3rd lap due to a loose shiftrod. Jan Houbraken#35 got a terrible start and had to fought his way through the grid and ended the race 27th.
Next race for us is at the beginning of June, first 2 days of testing in Oschersleben at the beginning of May, do you want to come along? Check our events page!