Very cold and often windy conditions have made it a tough Assen weekend so far for all the competitors, with air and track temperatures often in single figures along with snow at some points.
On Friday Mahias was an impressive third fastest with Okubo a strong sixth, ready to make further progress in Superpole. But misfortune struck when Lucas suffered a technical problem in Superpole, and Hikari was unlucky enough to fall on oil.
After a long delay for track cleaning, and even a short fall of snow due to the cold weather, the track action got underway again without Lucas or Hikari. A slight fall of rain ensured that the finishing order would not progress being that already set.
Now starting the race on Sunday from the second and third rows respectively, Okubo and Mahias are still in good positions to make early progress and compete at the most flowing and slipstream-friendly circuit of the season so far.
Lucas Mahias stated: “There is not so much to say. There was a technical problem during the Superpole session and I was forced to stop. This morning the bike was working well and I was confident of doing well in Superpole, so we were really unlucky.”
Hikari Okubo, stated: “I didn’t understand what happened at first and only after my crash I realised that I had fallen on oil from another rider’s machine. Fortunately, I have no physical problem but my bike was damaged and I could not continue. It was a pity because I’m sure I could have taken a good result.”
Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) was the top Kawasaki rider behind the leading duo, in 11th place in Superpole, with local rider Rob Hartog (Team Hartog – Against Cancer Kawasaki) 12th. Another Dutchman, Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team Kawasaki) was 13th.
Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) ended practice and qualifying 16th.
Series regular Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) and ESS rider Gaetan Matern (Flembbo Leader Team Kawasaki) will take 26th and 27th place on the grid respectively.