Huddersfield's reigning champion Tom Sykes maintained his lead in the World Superbikes Championship, but could not come up with a win in the third round at Assen.

Sykes finished second in race one and fourth in race two and now leads nearest challenger Sylvain Guintoli by 12 points in the standings, with his Kawasaki Racing Team colleague Loris Baz a further three points back.

The 28-year-old will now look to keep himself ahead of the chasing pack and Sykes benefited from the points being shared out across the two races in Holland.

Britain’s Jonathan Rea overcame wet conditions to register his first victory of the season in the World Superbikes in race two.

The Honda rider finished 2.222 seconds ahead of fellow Briton Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) to claim his 12th career win, while Ducati’s Davide Giugliano came third.

The first attempt to start the race had to be abandoned after just three laps due to heavy rain and the race was delayed two hours and subsequently shortened to 10 laps.

Once under way, the tricky conditions seemed to suit Rea, who made the best of the slippy track to pull away from the field after a chaotic start which saw race one winner Guintoli (Aprilia) and Toni Elias (Red Devils Roma Aprilia) both fall.

 

Sykes was 13.089 seconds behind Giugliano in fourth, while Honda’s Leon Haslam came fifth ahead of both Marco Melandri, of Aprilia Baz, who had started the day in pole.

World Superbike Championship Three Round (Assen), Race One: 1 Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia), 2 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), 3 Jonathan Rea (Honda), 4 Loris Baz (Kawasaki), 5 Toni Elias (Aprilia), 6 Marco Melandri (Aprilia), 7 Chaz Davies (Ducati), 8 Leon Haslam (Honda), 9 Alex Lowes (Suzuki), 10 Niccolo Canepa (Ducati).

Race Two: 1 Jonathan Rea (Honda), 2 Alex Lowes (Suzuki), 3 Davide Giugliano (Ducati), 4 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki), 5 Leon Haslam (Honda), 6 Marco Melandri (Aprilia), 7 Loris Baz (Kawasaki ), 8 Chaz Davies (Ducati), 9 Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia), 10 Niccolo Canepa (Ducati).

World Superbikes Championship standings: 1 Tom Sykes (Kawasaki)108pts, 2 Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 96, 3 Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 93, 4 Jonathan Rea (Honda) 89, 5 Marco Melandri (Aprilia) 69, 6 Davide Giugliano (Ducati 59), 7 Chaz Davies (Ducati) 47, 8 Eugene Laverty (Suzuki) 46, 9 Leon Haslam (Honda) 44, 10 Alex Lowes (Suzuki) 36.

There was no joy for Kyle Smith in the FIM Stock 1000cc Cup the Dutch track.

The 22-year-old from Fenay Bridge, who is riding the Agro-On Racedays team’s Honda this season, was running in second before crashing, and remounted only to fall again a lap later.

Dutchman Kevin Valk (MTM Kawasaki) sailed to his first podium and first career victory.

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