MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Who’s cheating now?
So that’s the 2014 MotoGP championship dusted, best talk about something else…
We’re going to talk about rules, not MotoGP rules, World Superbike rules, and not so much the rules themselves, but the breaking of those rules. There’s been quite a lot of that going on in WSB during recent years, if paddock whispers are to be believed.
Race-winning and title-winning factory teams have been running cheater frames, trying to find an edge over their rivals. It’s got to the stage where pretty everyone is doing it, but all that’s about to change.
Everyone knew the rain was coming eventually, but the volume of water that turned up to watch the afternoon's race was more than expected.
Press releases from the organizer and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the semi-dry and soaking wet races at Assen:
World Supersport at Assen was free of rain, even though the edges were still damp from the early morning rain, and the grandstands were packed to the gunwales.
World Superbike's new early start has created two race climates, and we could be in for both cold and wet tomorrow. And if it rains, who stands to benefit?
Press releases from the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after qualifying at Assen:
The Supersport Qualifying was run under a constant threat of rain.
Kenan Sofuoglu was fastest in this session, as almost everyone set their fastest times of the weekend. Michael Van Der Mark, Florian Marino and Kev Coghlan all set times under 1'39. Jules Cluzel was just outside that time, fifth fastest, but he set a 1'38 time yesterday and is the only top rider unable to improve on his best time from Friday's sessions.
It threatened to rain at Assen, but the weather behaved for once. A cold morning, 16ºC and drying from overnight rain, gave way to a warm afternoon, reaching 24ºC for the second Superbike session.
Press releases from the series organizer and some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the first day of practice at Assen:
Florian Marino sets the fastest time in the second session, beating Michael Van Der Mark's time from this morning. Van Der Mark was only third fastest with a time slower than his first session's best while Jules Cluzel was second fastest in this session and third fastest of the day overall.
Michael Van Der Mark opened the weekend with the fastest time, over four tenths quicker than Kenan Sofuoglu and the only rider under the 1'39 mark.
Press release previews from the series organizers and the World Superbike and World Supersport teams ahead of this weekend's races at Assen:
With the shift to a 10:30 start, World Superbike now has to deal with colder temperatures in the mornings. Last year, the noon start meant the race was held at 22ºC compared to today's 16ºC, meaning tyres would play a big part and that settings from the first race would be invalid by the second.