The MIE Racing Honda Team is already on site at the historic TT Circuit Assen in The Netherlands, where round two of the 2022 Superbike World Championship is taking place this coming weekend.
Riders Leandro ‘Tati’ Mercado and Hafizh Syahrin faced something of an uphill climb during the championship’s opening round at Motorland Aragón ten days ago, but the pair are optimistic heading into this second event, at a track they both enjoy.
During the 2021 edition of the Assen event, Argentinian rider Mercado scored a best of twelfth. Syahrin will be racing the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE at the Dutch track for the first time, although the Malaysian rider does have experience of the circuit, having competed here on both Moto2 and MotoGP bikes. Last year’s WorldSBK races ran in July in dry conditions, but the weather is always something of an unknown at Assen, and even more so during the month of April (the 2019 event brought snow!).
The TT Assen Circuit, also known as the ‘cathedral of speed’, has hosted Superbike events for many years, ever since 1992 in fact. The track is 4.542 km in length and comprises eighteen turns, twelve of which right-handers and six left.
“I’ve always really liked the Assen track and every time it’s nice to come back and race here. It also looks like the weather will be good all weekend and so that’s another positive for us, as we need to cover a lot of kilometres. It’s a track that’s very smooth, with fast sections, exactly the kind of circuit I like and so we’ll try to take a step forward in order to have a good weekend and complete three good races. We will continue to do our job and give it our all so as to achieve that.”
“In Assen we are looking forward to improving further, especially in terms of our feeling and our speed with the bike. Aragón was tough for us, and we finished too far back. We want to reduce the gap to the other guys and so we will try to build on the experience and data we collected over the first race weekend. Nobody has tested at Assen during the winter and so in that respect we’re all starting out on equal terms.”
Country: The Netherlands
Name: TT Assen Circuit
Length: 4.542 km
Pole position: left
Turns: 6 left, 11 right
Race distance: 21 laps/95.382 km
LAP RECORDS: Best lap – Bautista (Ducati) 1’34.564 (2019). Superpole – Rea (Kawasaki) 1’33.505 (2017).
Race 1 – 1. Rea (Kawasaki); 2. Redding (Ducati); 3. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha)
Superpole race – 1. Rea (Kawasaki); 2. Rinaldi (Ducati); 3. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha)
Race 2 – 1. Rea (Kawasaki); 2. Redding (Ducati); 3. Locatelli (Yamaha)
Weekend schedule (CEST):
10.30 – 11.15 – SBK Free Practice 1
15.00 – 15.45 – SBK Free Practice 2
9.00 – 9.30 – SBK Free Practice 3
11.10 – 11.25 – Superpole
14.00 – SBK Race 1
9.00 – 9.15 – SBK Warm-up
11.00 – Superpole race
15.15 – SBK Race 2