Top six for Tuuli & first World Championship points for Irwin at Assen

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda riders Niki Tuuli and Andrew Irwin delivered a double points finish in today’s World Supersport race at Assen.

Starting from eighth position on the grid Tuuli made a bad start and lost touch with the leading group but he won the hard battle with Hartog to achieve his aim of a top six finish and retains seventh in the Championship standings.

From a qualifying position of 20th Irwin made a huge confidence boosting leap into the points finishing a strong 12th in the 18-lap Dutch race.

Tuuli said: “The race wasn’t what I expected.  I think I missed the light or something and I dropped a couple of places and after 2 or 3 corners I dropped back from the front group which is where I was supposed to be.  I struggled a little bit with grip, that’s been my problem but by the end of the race my lap times were coming better.  We need to find something small that we can improve with the new tyre that will give a little more grip.  It was a hard fight with Hartog, he pushed me off the track four times.  Next race I have to be better this was the right direction but we still have a lot of work to do.  Thanks to the team.”

Irwin said: “The race was much better than practice and qualifying.  I got a good start, made maybe seven places and ended twelfth.  A few people crashed but it’s points and it’s my first World Championship points so I’m really happy with that.  I’m looking forward to Imola.  I’ll work hard, keep focused and relaxed to stay in the points and keep progressing.”

CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “I’m happy for Niki that he’s broken into the top six.  He made a bad start but with 3 laps to go he did a 1’39.4 and was at that point the fastest man on the track.  Like I told him if he can do a lap time like that at the end of a race then he has the potential to run with the leading group.  We are happy we are going in the right direction.  We have a little more to find and Niki has to find the pace throughout the race.”

“Really pleased for Andrew he got a fantastic start and rode a good race dicing with some good people to finish well inside the points.  After the setback from injury at the start of the season this is just what he needs as a springboard to go forward for the rest of the season.  It was a great job by him and his crew.”

Results Race

1 J. Cluzel

2 R. Krummenacher +0.291

3 R. De Rosa +0.315

4 L. Mahias +0.341

5 S. Cortese +1.122

6 N. Tuuli CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +17.160

7 R. Hartog +17.293

8 T. Gradinger +17.659

9 L. Cresson +26.132

10 H. Soomer +26.328

12 A. Irwin CIA Landlord Insurance Honda +28.666