Soomer Shines In The Snow As MPM WILSport Racedays Look Ahead To Imola
The MPM WILSport Racedays squad have a lot to be proud of as the FIM Supersport World Championship heads to round five in Italy in a few weeks’ time despite both riders failing to score in last Sunday’s Dutch round at the legendary TT Circuit Assen.
Estonia’s Hannes Soomer put on a stunning display in a Superpole that pushed everyone to their limits. Freezing cold temperatures and a mid-session snow storm, something never before seen in the WorldSBK paddock saw many riders fall but for the Baltic Bullet, as the #38 rider is affectionately known, he was in his element, securing a career best fourth on the grid.
An aggressive start saw him maintaining position, Soomer relishing the chance to run in the leading group. Things sadly didn’t end as positively with Hannes crashing out of what looked like another well-earned top ten finish.
For Jaimie van Sikkelerus, Assen was his home race, the Dutchman keen to add to his season’s point’s tally. Qualifying nineteenth the #74 gave it his all narrowly missing a top fifteen finish. He crossed the line seventeenth.
The third European race of 2019 takes place at another iconic circuit, Imola in Italy, in three weeks.
Hannes Soomer: “Honestly race day was a great shame. We did an incredible job all weekend despite some problems with the bike and managed to qualify P4. In the race unfortunately I made a mistake and crashed out before the end. I want to say sorry and a huge thanks to the team as they did a brilliant job all weekend, working long nights to keep the bike running. The good thing from this weekend is that we now have a very well handling bike and in the technical sectors we were again very fast. When we can fix the problem, we have with top speed then for sure we can fight for top positions.”
Jaimie Van Sikkelerus: “It was a hard weekend, Assen is not my favourite track and I didn't have the pace on Friday. FP3 was a better session with time improvements but in qualifying I could not get what I wanted. I was focused for the second outing but after the tyre change, we immediately had the red flag and then due to the snow nobody was able to be fast on track when it re-opened. The race was hard, but the first couple of laps were good! I recorded my personal best lap time at Assen, and I was riding close to the group in front of me when I started to have issues with downshifting. It was harsh to finish in this way; I was forced to brake earlier due to the downshifting and I lost time and good lines. It was mentally frustrating, but I am already looking forward to Imola.”
Emanuele D'Artibale - Team Manager: “Unexpectedly, our team leaves Assen with disappointment. Our performance was promising across all of the FP and Qualifying sessions, so we were confident to confirm under race conditions what we had shown with the lap-times and track-splits, both here and at Aragon. However, Jaimie struggled to find a pace to close in the point zone, and a mistake ended the race prematurely for Hannes while he was in eighth position. We see the potential we have; this makes us ambitious and we will continue to work very hard to reach what we deserve.”