After a slow start to the weekend, the changeable weather and track conditions worked in favour of Kyle and Team Ranieri Med SC Racing
A late change for the better
After a somewhat disappointing and ultimately painful Superpole 1, the team spent the whole of Saturday night and Sunday morning tweaking the bikes settings in preparation for Sundays race. It had become apparent that the rapidly changing track conditions at Assen would require a fresh approach and after Sundays warm up, it was clear that the alterations made by everyone involved had made a significant difference. Kyle sliced a full 2 seconds off his fastest lap and finished the session in a much improved 11th position.
Buoyed by the bikes new found pace, Kyle was confident that the mornings race would be different to the practice sessions that had gone before. Sunday morning started calm and clear with rain clouds gathering on the horizon but the incredible outcome of the race couldn’t of been expected by anyone.
Starting from 21st position on the grid, Kyle knew it was going to take a really special performance if he were to get anything from this race, cheered by his performance in the warm up, Kyle was determined to take the race by the scruff of the neck and make the changes to the bike pay where it counted.
The lights changed to green and Kyle got a great start, following Jules Cluzel through the centre of the pack into a promising 11 position. As the race started to pan out the leading bunch of half a dozen riders opened up a sizeable advantage. Kyle continued to carry his speed from practice and frequently changed between 10th and 13th position as the battle for places in the middle of the field started to heat up.
Rain brings the red flag
With 10 laps still to complete the heavens opened and a sudden deluge saw a handful of riders leave the track, forcing the race director to red flag the race. PJ Jacobsen lost the front end of his bike whilst in the lead and the race was brought back to the start with the riders lining up on the grid in the positions that they were in when the red flag came out.
The restart saw the race distance cut to just 6 laps and Kyle start from 12th on the grid.
Race part 2
Another fantastic start from Kyle saw him dive into 8th position while his rivals made a very cautious start, striving to find their confidence on the very wet Assen track.
Another pass by Kyle saw him work his way up to 7th but a big gap was opening up between the leaders and the rest of the following group, as the riders completed the second lap of the restarted race, Mikhalchik took 7th away from Kyle and rode away.
Kyle was sandwiched in a gap of 4 seconds with Mikalchik in front and early front runner Luke Stapleford behind. As the race wore on Kyle started to lose places on the riders around him and gradually slipped down the order. As the race drew to a close, Kyle brought home the Team Ranieri Med SC Racing prepared R6 home in a creditable 14 position.
Given everything that had gone on in the first two days, it was a solid result and another good learning experience for Kyle and the team to build on.
“In the first half of the race I felt really good, I think I was up in 6th at one point before it started raining, but we had the restart which helped me and I got another great start.
I lost some pace in the middle and at the end of the race because I was virtually riding alone for a lot of it, but even just accelerating on the straight, the back end of the bike was moving around under me so, better to come back safely with a couple of points and try again at Imola where hopefully the weather will be a bit better.