Volcano ash won't delay WSBK Assen round

Yoshimura Suzuki to delay WSBK debut

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 21, 2010
The Assen round of the World Superbike Championship will proceed despite the delays in European air travel that already forced the postponement of the Japanese Grand Prix.

Air traffic over Europe was brought to a halt by volcanic ash from an eruption in Iceland. Airports across Europe re-opened April 20 to face a backlog of flights. The delay forced the postponement of the April 23-25 MotoGP round in Motegi, Japan, but the WSBK round in the Netherlands will be held as scheduled over the same dates.

The difference between the two races is the location of the venue. Most racing teams, as well as the race operation crews and their equipment are based around Europe. While flying is the only option for MotoGP to get to Japan, WSBK can travel to the Netherlands through other means.

“The bikes are all in Europe, following the last round at Valencia, and so are the riders,” says Paolo Ciabatti, Infront Motor Sports SBK director. “There should also be no problems either for the fans, who are mainly local, or from Germany and the UK and who can easily reach Assen by bike or car. Many teams are also planning to get there by car as well, so there should be no particular issues for Assen.”

Ducati Xerox's Noriyuki Haga (right) will be at Assen but four-time WSBK race winner Yukio Kagayama and the Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team won't.

At least one team won’t be making the trip to Assen however. The Japan-based Yoshimura Suzuki team had planned to make the first of its three WSBK appearances this season in the Netherlands. The air travel delays however mean the Yoshimura team, rider Yukio Kagayama and the team’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 won’t be able to make their WSBK debut. The team is considering entering the May 9 round in Monza, Italy.

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