Rea asserts authority with Assen double win
Jonathan Rea sent a message to his rivals with an impressive double triumph at Assen to extend his World Superbike Championship lead.
The Kawasaki rider came under plenty of pressure from Aruba Ducati rider Chaz Davies in both encounters, but the Northern Irishman held firm to record his fifth and sixth victories of the season.
Aragon winner Davies shadowed Rea throughout the opening 21 lap race providing plenty for the Kawasaki man to think about.
However, Rea dealt with the growing pressure by posting a couple of blistering of laps towards the end of the race saw him take the chequered flag comfortably from the Welshman.
Michael van Der Mark gave the home crowd a moment to celebrate with the local rider claiming the final place on the podium with a slick move on Leon Haslam with only two laps remaining.
The Pata Honda rider became the first Dutchman to record a podium finish in the World Superbike Championship.
Former world champion Tom Sykes came home in fifth ahead of Jordi Torres, while reigning world champion Sylvain Guintoli finished a lowly eighth behind Xavi Forres.
The second race followed a similar pattern to the opener with Rea seeing off a race long charge from Davies to take a double victory.
Bouyed by his podium in race 1, van Der Mark repeated his third place finish having disposed of Haslam once again earlier in the race.
Sykes had to settle for fifth having faded after leading the early laps, while Guintoli improved on his earlier showing in sixth.
Rea’s double win has extended his championship lead to 50 points from Haslam as the series heads to Imola on May 10.