BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Assen, The Netherlands, 20/04/2016, BMW Motorrad Motorsport FIM Superstock 1000 Cup
With a dominant race performance, Raffaele De Rosa celebrated his first win of the season in the FIM Superstock 1000 Cup (STK1000) on his Althea BMW S 1000 RR. The Italian pulled away from the field at the race in Assen, and ended up crossing the finish line with a lead of more than ten seconds. This also saw him take the lead in the championship standings.
The riders and teams had to exercise patience and keep their nerve before the race finally got underway. The start was aborted twice, due to a fall and an oil spill on the track. The race reduced to nine laps only really got underway at the third attempt. It is difficult for the riders to stay focussed in situations like this. On top of this, it was not easy for the teams to assess the conditions since the track was still wet, but continued to dry as time went on.
The only advantage: The massive delay meant that the track was almost completely dry when the race finally started, even though dark rain clouds continued to cover the "TT Circuit". Althea BMW Racing opted to send De Rosa onto the track with dry tyres, while other teams went for intermediates. This turned out to be the perfect decision.
De Rosa kept a cool head in this chaos and delivered a more than commanding race. Starting from third on the grid, he initially observed his rivals for two laps. Then he turned on the heat on the third lap, took the lead and went on to ride in a league of his own. On the remaining six laps, he extended his lead to more than ten seconds. You can't win a race more dominantly than that.
"I'm happy," said De Rosa afterwards. "The track was almost completely dry after the second red flag, and I had a better feeling in the dry than in the wet. I was able to ride at high speed and remain focussed. I'm delighted with the result. We needed this first win and now head to Imola full of confidence."
In addition to De Rosa, three other BMW riders crossed the finish line in Assen. Luca Vitali finished in 12th place on the 2R Racing BMW S 1000 RR. Belgium's Gauthier Duwelz (D.K. Racing) finished 17th and Eric Vionnet (Motos Vionnet) crossed the finish line in 23rd place. Federico D’Annunzio (FDA Racing Team) was still suffering after his fall at the opener in Spain two weeks ago. He injured his shoulder, which will need an operation at the end of the season. He also suffered heavy bruising. His painful shoulder made itself known increasingly as the race went on and D'Annunzio decided not to take any risks and made an early return to the pits. If he had fallen on his shoulder again, there would have been no avoiding an immediate operation.