Home Supersport World Championship Podium For Pata Honda

The Netherlands-based Pata Honda team secured its second podium of the FIM Supersport World Championship season thanks to the race-long efforts of Kyle Smith at the team`s home round in Assen.

The leader for the first two laps, Smith`s attempts to run away at the front were not to last but he battled back from fourth place in the middle of the 18-lap race to take his second podium finish of the year, and his second third place score in succession.

Kenan Sofuoglu won the race today, from Jules Cluzel, with Smith only 0.029 seconds from taking what would have been a career best second place finish.

Smith`s strong Assen push had a beneficial effect on his overall ranking after four rounds, as he is now technically fourth in the championship – although on the same 45 points level as the third placed rider Cluzel.

Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini Honda) had a positive fifth place finish today after he and his team found increased rear traction and control over full race distance at Assen. His 11 points take him to eighth in the championship.

After struggling with suspension set-up for a time in practice Riccardo Russo (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) scored a top ten finish on race day, his best result of the season so far. He was chased to the finish line all the way by his team-mate Martin Cardenas (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda), who was just over a tenth of a second behind.

Opening round podium finisher Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) suffered niggling issues in the Assen race and had to settle for 14th place and two more championship points.

It was a tough weekend for Buriram WSS race winner Ratthapark Wilairot (Core” Motorsport Thailand) who fell in practice and then qualifying. He had a clutch operation issue in the race and had to enter the pits for repairs. He returned to the action at strong pace but was classified 19th, having lost two laps in the pits.

Kevin Wahr (SMS Racing Honda) was a faller after a collision with another rider.

The fifth round of the FIM Supersport World Championship takes place at Imola in Italy, between the 8th and 10th of May.

Honda rider quotes:

Kyle Smith (Pata Honda)
I had a cracking start and got the front. I knew all weekend that Kenan and Jules were a little bit faster than me and that I may struggle to hold the pace. I pushed as hard as I could at the beginning and I knew I could be strong towards the end. I lost the front into turn one at one stage, which allowed Sofuoglu past and then Jacobsen came through too. I just had to settle into the race. I got back into a good rhythm and caught PJ up. I felt a little bit stronger, passed him, and held a good pace. I just was not strong enough to catch the front two. Two podiums now so that`s not bad at all.

Roberto Rolfo (Team Lorini Honda)
Our race was better than in Aragon, and also compared to the beginning of the season, because we improved the rear tyre wear first of all. It dropped down but it was easy to control. I think the worst part was the middle of the race because the bike feels very heavy to ride, difficult to move from one side to the other. In the fast parts of the chicanes it was more noticeable. I am happy with the work of the team and we hope to improve once again at Imola.

Riccardo Russo (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)
My race was good and I finished tenth, my best of the year so far. The start was not so good but I finished with a nice feeling from the bike and I was able to set strong laps. I was able to pass people and had good concentration. We ended up with good feeling with the machine so thanks to everyone for the good work they all did. Next race is Imola – my home round – so I hope for a positive finishing position there.

Gino Rea (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda)
In the race we had a similar problem to Thailand where the engine would not rev out. It got worse and I had to pull over sometimes on the straight because I was scared somebody would hit me from behind. We did not have a great start to the race anyway because somebody came past me on the inside and we both ran wide. That pushed us right back and I was struggling a bit. So we were lucky to get two points, in a way. It is frustrating but we are still in the hunt for third in the championship. We have to have a stronger weekend from the beginning at the next round.”

Ratthapark Wilairot (Core” Motorsport Thailand Honda)
It was not our day but the start was not bad. I could pass many riders and was in the second group. We could have got some good points here, inside the top six for sure. I had the pace but there was a problem with the clutch and I had no lever. After the mechanics repaired the bike I went out again and stayed behind the same second group I had been racing in. I could have passed them again. I was disappointing but we could have had a good race today and thanks to all for the hard work they had to put in this weekend.

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