Kawasaki rider Jonny Rea won his 12th WSBK race at Assen, extending his championship lead and closing in on the all-time win total by taking his 57th career victory. In uncharacteristically warm and dry conditions, Rea showed his affinity with the historic Assen circuit by leading across the line in Race One for all but two laps. He won the race by an eventual 0.981 seconds from local hero Michael van der Mark, who led for two laps on his Yamaha. But while Van der Mark was fast, he was also ragged, allowing Rea to control the race. Rea’s third race victory of the year came after some good work in practice and qualifying, and being able to improve the pace in warm conditions, making a gap that he could control in the final few laps of the 4.542km long circuit. Rea said: “I enjoyed that race. I had two or three small attempts to break the group but it just wasn’t happening. I preferred to be at the front of the race anyway, to manage things in the places I was strong. I knocked back a little bit in case I was not able to make a gap in the last laps. “I think with four to go I started to make a couple of strong lap times and that just broke the gap to the others. I was quite lucky because on the last lap I made a little mistake at T8 but by that stage I had already made the gap. I was super-happy because we arrived here with the bike that was quite strong at the start. With consistent weather on Friday I was able to do two race simulations to understand how the tyres would be at the end today.” Rea’s win takes him to within two victories of the outright record of 59, held by WSBK legend Carl Fogarty. This was Rea’s 75th podium for Kawasaki – he is now the second rider, in his own right, in terms of career podiums, with 117.