23. April 2012
Under poor weather conditions in the Netherlands, the best showings among the Akrapovič-supported racers were by Eugene Laverty with a third-place finish in the Superbike class and Sylvain Barrier, who stood at the top of the podium in the Superstock class for the second time.
The April weather wasn’t smiling on this racing Sunday in northern Europe, where the third round of the World Superbike Championship took place on the Assen racetrack in the Netherlands. The races took place under quickly changing conditions, in which the best showing among the racers using Akrapovič exhaust systems on their machines was by Eugene Laverty of the Aprilia Racing Team. He finished the first race in sixth place behind his teammate Max Biaggi, and the second in third place for his first podium finish this year. Two members of the BMW Motorrad Motorsport factory team, Marco Melandri and Leon Haslam, crossed the finish line behind him to place fifth and sixth.
Laverty’s satisfied with his performance and the team’s work: “We worked really hard this weekend and after a difficult start I knew I could fight for the podium. The two races were difficult, especially the restart in Race 1 in the driving rain and truly precarious grip conditions, but in the end we’re leaving Assen with more certainty and my first podium for Aprilia. In Race 2 I had fun. I battled from the first to the last lap for third place. Now we’ll need to be good enough to continue on this path, earning important points for morale and the championship standings.”
Among the racers whose machines breathe through Akrapovič exhaust systems, the best result in Assen was secured by Sylvain Barrier in the Superstock 1000 class. His victory earned him an additional 25 points and with this the highest possible number of points in the overall rankings because he already won the first race in Imola.
Barrier, who rides a BMW with the starting number 20, said after the race: “I got a bad start, as I did at Imola, but at turn one I managed to get up to third position and I was watching the two riders ahead of me. After Staring’s crash I was second with a gap between myself and the race leader. I quickly closed the gap and once at the front I pushed to the limit to get the biggest margin possible. I’m happy that I put in another good performance here at Assen. I want to thank my team for the wonderful job they did.”
After two races in the Superstock class, Barrier holds a convincing lead and, after three rounds in the Superbike championship, Max Biaggi with Aprilia is in the lead despite only one victory this season.
The next race will take place on 6 May in Monza, Italy.
Photo: Aprilia Racing, BMW Motorrad Motorsport