Only a week after Donington Park the Ducati Clubraces took place at Assen, always a great event, and fractured shin or not I wouldn't miss it! Originally I was to compete in 3 races, considering my injury we opted to only ride the Ladies Cup and Twin Cup (due to my top 4 position in the overall championship).
Saturday - QP
It was very busy on track, and being one of the few non-superbikes, I found it hard to get enough clear track to put in a good lap. Not only that, I was a good 2-3 seconds off pace due to my shin. Nonetheless I placed 2nd on the grid for Ladies Cup, and 11th (out of 41!) for Twin Cup.
Sunday - Race day!
The Ladies Cup was simple, because of my shin I could not compete with Jolanda van Westrenen on her 1299. I finished a lonely race in 2nd position. Twin Cup was more interesting, as rain was coming but no one knew when exactly - tire choice was a gamble. We opted for slicks as it was dry when we left pit lane, sadly it then started raining on the warm up lap! Lucky for me, only 3 riders set out on rain tires. I came over the finish line in 4th position, riding smooth and confident, consistently 2.5-3 seconds a lap quicker than Rob Kiewiet in 5th.
Having solidified my 4th place in the overall Twin Cup championship, I again opted to race the following Saturday (6 June), instead of taking time off to rest my shin. The trophy all top 5 riders receive at the end of the season would be worth it! ;) I did however make an extra trip to the UK during the week, to get magnetic/laser treatment and speed up recovery.
All alone I traveled up to Assen Friday evening, got set up and prepared the bike. Saturday morning, the treatment proved to have been worth it straight away. In qualifying it still hurt, but I could easily set the pain aside and found myself 30th on the overall Supercup 1000 grid, the 3rd Twin Cup rider. I quickly changed the wheels and made sure to get some ice on my shin before the race.
Due to the high temperatures, I knew the race would be tough, as the 899 is very sensitive to heat and would lose a lot of power. As expected I got through the turns quicker than the guys on 1000s, yet I saw P3 & P4 slip away bit by bit every time we all got on the throttle. Settling for 5th, I was black flagged for no apparent reason with only 2 laps to go.
As it turned out, the noise meter at Assen was giving out extremely high values for everyone that afternoon. All riders not lucky enough to be in a group, got a completely unjustified black flag (regulations say first offense = warning, not disqualification). No points meant a lot of blood, sweat and tears spent on nothing. I have yet to receive an apology from the organisation, thus ending my run in the OW Twin Cup.
On the bright side, I'd now have 4 weeks off until the next round of BSB at Knockhill, surely enough time for my shin to recover!