Max Neukirchner raced to third place in the first race at the fourth-round World Superbike Championship round in Assen, Holland today.
The young German was a contender throughout the 22-lapper and finished strongly behind series leader Troy Bayliss (Ducati) and Carlos Checa (Honda). He was also a podium contender in the second race until a small brake problem forced him to slow, but he kept charging hard and finished fifth to record his best weekend of the season.
Team mate Yukio Kagayama took fourth place in race one and then suffered a tyre problem in race two which forced him down the order to sixth, but Fonsi Nieto had a weekend to forget, with a crash and a DNF in race one and an 11th in race two.
Max Neukirchner - Race 1: 3rd, Race 2: 5th:
"Race one was a fantastic race and a fantastic result for me.
I was always with the front runners and felt very comfortable with them. I had some small problems with two right turns and maybe it was because I was using the rear brake too much that the front was moving around a bit. In race two, I think I overdid the front braking and after 10 laps, had a lot of problems with grip in the fast corners. So instead of pushing too hard, I decided to ride safely and get as many points as possible."
Yukio Kagayama - Race 1: 4th, Race 2: 6th:
"Race one was better for me than race two because the bike feeling was better. I made a small mistake in the chicane and went into the gravel. I recovered OK but lost two positions and after that it was hard to catch up again. I used the same bike in race two, but the rear tyre feeling was not so good and there was quite a bit of vibration or chattering. If I tried to go any faster, the vibration got worse, so I just had to ride as hard as I could and finish the race."
Fonsi Nieto - Race 1: DNF, Race 2: 11th:
"This was a weekend to forget. I don't why I highsided and crashed in the first race because it happened without any warning. I hit my left knee pretty badly and had to have a painkilling injection so that I could start the second race. But the problem was that there was not enough strength in my legs to move the bike around and I had to use my upper body instead - and that wasn't so easy."
Race 1: Bayliss (Aus-Ducati), 2 Checa (E-Honda), 3 Max Neukirchner (D-Alstare Suzuki), 4 Yukio Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare), 5 Corser (Aus-Yamaha), 6 Smrz (CZ-Ducati). Fonsi Nieto (E-Suzuki Alstare) DNF.
Race 2: Bayliss, 2 Haga (J-Yamaha), 3 Checa, 4 Xaus (E-Ducati), 5 Max Neukirchner (D-Alstare Suzuki), 6 Yukio Kagayama (J-Suzuki Alstare), 11 Fonsi Nieto (E-Suzuki Alstare).
Points: 1 Bayliss 178, 2 Checa 108, 3 Corser 89, 4 Fonsi Nieto 85, 5 Xaus 81, 6 Haga 67, 7 Max Neukirchner 66. 11 Yukio Kagayama 41.
Team Alstare Suzuki rider Xavi Simeon made it two podiums in two races with a superb third place in today's Superstock 1000 race at Assen.
The young Belgian used his head throughout the 13 lap race and took advantage of mistakes by early race leader Corti (Yamaha) and Burrell (Honda) to be in contention at the end. Frenchman Maxime Berger (Honda) won the race with Italian Michele Pirro (Yamaha) second.
Xavi Simeon - 3rd:
"I am happy and not happy. Happy to get another podium, but not happy because I got it because Corti and Burrell crashed out and I was able to take advantage. But racing is like that and sometimes the luck will go the other way, so I'll take my third today with pleasure.
"My bike suffered some grip problems after about four laps, but I just kept pushing as hard as I could. On lap five, I had a high-side, but l was able to stay on the bike. I lost two places because of that and contact with Pirro. I tried to get close again, but he was too far away, so I just made sure of my third place and 16 points. So I've had two races, two podiums and I'm second in the championship and that's good going into the next round in Monza. I think that our bike will go well there and I'm hoping to improve on third place!"
Superstock 1000 result: 1 Berger (F-Honda), 2 Pirro (I-Yamaha), 3 Xavi Simeon (B-Alstare Suzuki), 4 Polita (I-Ducati), 5 Antonelli (I-Honda), 6 Schouten (NL-Yamaha).
Points: 1 Berger 34, 2 Xavi Simeon (B-Alstare Suzuki) 32, 3 Pirro 30, 4 Giugliano 28, 5 Polita 26, 6 Roberts 25.