WSBK Assen 2016 race 2: a wet strategy

As always forgive my grammar and typing errors.. it is after all 5am in California and I haven’t slept a wink.  I wish our editor was awake to check this… but its not the case.

You can check the race results at WSBK’s website.  I would rather focus on the circumstances surrounding the tire changes and pit stops.  It was not such a spectacular race.. not nearly as exciting as race 1.  The wet conditions had the field on wet tires, with the smarter teams planning for a pit change.  With any wet race the underdog has a more equal footing, and it was so today in Assen.  Honda riders Nicky Hayden and van der Mark moved to the front while Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes fell behind to 5th and 6th.  Josh Brooks, last year’s BSB champion showed that he truly is a wet weather master as he easily overtook everyone and lead for more than half the race.  Nicky Hayden followed him as the track continued to dry…  while everyone else pitted I was surprised to find Hayden did not pit.  Lap after lap Nicky did not pit, I kept wondering what the hell he and his team could be thinking.  Rea, Sykes and van der Mark had all pitted and with new tires were quickly gaining on Hayden and Brooks.  At one point they were losing nearly 10 seconds a lap to Rea and Sykes.  Hayden and Brooks finally pitted but it was way too late for them…   Rea, Sykes and van der Mark, 1,2,3… Brooks crashed pushing hard on the cold new tire and Hayden struggles to catch up reaching 6th.  Definitely, frustrating for the American and his fans.  I can only wonder who is to blame in the Honda garage, was it Hayden himself who decided to wait?  Was it a team decision?  A team manager? It seems with van der Mark coming in early it was not a team decision for Nicky to stay out so long… I think in the end it must have been Nicky himself who failed… hopefully he will discuss it in the days to come.


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