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Manfredi climbs Superstock 600 podium in Assen

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Kevin Manfredi took his Honda CBR600RR to an impressive second place in Saturday’s second round Superstock 600 FIM European Championship yesterday at Assen in the Netherlands.

The Agro-on WIL Racedays Honda, who graduated from last season's European Junior Cup, led for two laps and looked strong before a massive slide at the Geert Timmer chicane dropped him to second place where he eventually finished five seconds behind race winner Niki Tuuli, with local rider Wayne Tessels finishing third.

The race start was delayed as heavy rain fell on the Assen circuit and, as the race finally got underway, several riders fell victim to the difficult riding conditions. Among them were Manfredi’s team-mates Jake Lewis – a fellow European Junior Cup graduate – and young British rider Harry Stafford, both of whom crashed out unhurt.

Similar conditions greeted the Agro-on WIL Racedays Honda Superstock CBR1000RR Fireblade SP riders, Kyle Smith and Josh Day, when they took to the Assen circuit for today’s second round championship race.

Starting from ninth place on the grid, Smith got a remarkable start that saw him in a strong second place before he crashed out unhurt mid-race. Josh Day enjoyed only a slightly less eventful race, finishing in 11th place.

Rider quotes:

Kevin Manfredi – STK600:

We didn’t have a good grid position because of some problems in qualifying, but I felt confident in the rain. I thought it might be possible to win but I made some mistakes when I was leading the race and then had that big moment at the last chicane. I tried to close the gap again but decided that second place was a good result in those conditions.

Jake Lewis – STK600:

They were really difficult conditions, going out to the grid when it started raining heavily. It was a bit of a surprise but I made my way up through the field at a good pace. Unfortunately, I made a small mistake and ended up highsiding, but we were in the points which is pretty good. We’ve just got to move on to Imola now and keeping going forward. I know the team will keep pushing to have us fighting at the front so I’m looking forward to it.

Josh Day – STK1000:

I was really hoping for dry weather conditions after we made a little bit of headway in the setting on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP in practice. Unfortunately, it ended up raining and those aren’t usually my best conditions. I was happy to finish and to come home with some points. Hopefully, Imola will be a lot better where we’ll aim to keep moving forward with the bike and get in the top five, which is where I need to be.

Kyle Smith – STK1000

I normally like riding in the wet and managed to get a good start. We had struggled with bike set-up all weekend, especially with rear grip but we made a few changes for warm-up which felt a bit better. But because it was wet for the race, we went softer again to something we thought would be better for the wet. These are all things we’re learning because everything is so new – it’s just a bummer that I had to crash out of the race.


2014 Superstock 600 FIM European Cup – round two

Assen, Netherlands – results:

1 Niki Tuuli (FIN)

2 Kevin Manfredi (ITA)

3 Wayne Tessels (NED)

4 Rob Hartog (NED)

5 Andrea Tucci (ITA)

6 Gauthier Duwelz (BEL)

7 Eemeli Lahti (FIN)

8 Luca Salvadori (ITA)

9 Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR)

10 Marco Faccani (ITA)

Championship points after two of seven rounds:

Tuuli 38, Tessels 32, Faccani 31, Tucci 31, Manfredi 27, Mikhalchik 18, Duwelz 18, Salvadori 18, Hartog 13, Lahti 10.

Next round: Imola, Italy – 9-11 May

2014 Superstock 1000 FIM Cup – round two

Assen, Netherlands – results:

1 Kevin Valk (NED)

2 Ondrei Jezek (CZE) 3 Matthieu Lussiana (FRA) 4 Lorenzo Savadori (ITA) 5 Leandro Mercado (ARG) 6 David McFadden (RSA)

Championship points after two of seven rounds:

1 Mercado 36, 2 Savadori 33, 3 Valk 32, 4 Lussiana 26, 5 Jezek 20, 6 McFadden 18, 7 Kyle Smith (GRB) Honda 16, 11 Josh Day (USA) Honda 10.

Next round: Imola, Italy – 9-11 May

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