Aboard the www.supercasino.com, Vent Axia and Kick Energy-backed Kawasaki World Superbike Racing Team Ninja ZX-10R, Stuart Easton, deputising for the injured Broc Parkes, qualified in 23rd place to start from the sixth row of the grid but team-mate Makota Tamada struggled to find a good setting in qualifying and ended up 25th, to start from row seven.
In race one, after both riders made good starts, 32-year-old Tamada improved on his qualifying time and battled into 17th place at the flag. Easton meanwhile ended up one place behind his team-mate in 18th on his debut World Superbike race for the Paul Bird team.
However, race two didn't go quite so well with 24-year-old Easton crashing out on lap four despite making a good start and Tamada suffered problems meaning he retired the Kawasaki on lap ten with a clutch problem.
Makoto Tamada: "It's not been such a good weekend for me. From Friday I had not a good feeling at all from the bike so we tried many different settings but I did not manage to find a solution. Even during warm up I was still not happy with the settings but we made some last minute changes for race one and this was a little better. In race two, I wasn't so lucky off the line and touched another rider and lost a few places. Then I had some problems with the clutch and this eventually put me out of the race. It has been a very frustrating weekend for me and the team and I really hope that we can do better at Monza."
Stuart Easton: "It was a real pleasure to be asked by Paul to replace Broc this weekend and be part of a factory team at this level as I know the team well so it was nice to be working with them again. I qualified as well as I expected seeing it was a new bike and not so familiar to me, and it was a bonus to out-qualify Makoto. In race one I had a good start but I was a bit disappointed with my result as I felt that I was being a bit too cautious and could have maybe pushed a little harder. In race two I wanted to try and grab some points and was pushing a bit too hard and lost the front early on which was unfortunate for me and the team. Overall it was a good experience here for me in Assen and I wish the guys the best of luck in Monza."
Broc Parkes: "I was disappointed for the team this weekend and was frustrated sitting here watching at home, but I'm recovering well and getting back into shape. I have to get my staples out on Tuesday and then I'll be able to start swimming and getting some strength back in the shoulder. I'm glad we've got a couple of weeks to spare so hopefully I'll be ready to go again in Monza."
Paul Risbridger, Team Manager: "It's been a challenging weekend for the team but we felt we improved the bikes during each session and we were relatively pleased with our race pace on Sunday and felt had we qualified better we would have been in a position to score some more points. The second race was particularly disappointing for us however as Stuart was running some good lap times before he crashed and Makoto was also doing some good times prior to his problem. We've come away with not all negatives and we'll be looking a lot more positive for Monza."
The next round of the Hannspree World Superbike Championship takes place on May 9/10th at Monza, Italy. (www.worldsbk.com)
RESULTS - RACE ONE
17, M. Tamada (PBM Kawasaki), 18, S. Easton (PBM Kawasaki)
1, B. Spies (Yamaha WSB), 2, N. Haga (Ducati Xerox Team)?3, L Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda), 4, T. Sykes (Yamaha WSB), 5, M. Biaggi (Aprilia Racing), 6, J. Smrz (Guandalini Racing), 7, J. Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), 8, R. Laconi ( DFX Corse), 9, M. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox Team), 10, T. Corser (BMW Motorrad Motosport)
RESULTS - RACE TWO
M. Tamada (PBM Kawasaki) DNF. S. Easton (PBM Kawasaki) DNF
1, N. Haga (Ducati Xerox Team) 2, L. Haslam (Stiggy Racing Honda), 3, J. Smrz (Guandalini Racing), 4, M. Fabrizio (Ducati Xerox Team), 5, J. Rea (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), 6, T. Sykes (Yamaha WSB), 7, C. Checa (Hannspree Ten Kate Honda), 8, S. Byrne (Sterilgarda), 9, M. Neukirchner (Suzuki Alstare BRUX), 10, T. Corser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport)