MOTORCYCLING: Double Dutch for Wilson at Assen

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IT was a case of double Dutch for Ben Wilson at round ten of the British Supersport Championship over the weekend.

The Kirton rider scored a brace of seventh places as the series visited Assen in Holland for the first time, meaning he’s now fifth place in the overall standings.

It was always going to be a stiff learning curve for the Lincolnshire rider, who had never been to the European circuit before.

But he set about familiarising himself with the track layout and began his free practice on Friday gradually building up speed, as he got to grips with the unfamiliar circuit.

Qualifying went well and Wilson powered the Gearlink Kawasaki through to fourth place to start the short sprint race from a front row grid position.

As the lights went out, Wilson settled into his stride and completed the first lap in fifth place – before making a move forward by passing David Paton for fourth.

The action at the front was frantic with the top seven riders all circulating more or less together. Wilson maintained fourth place throughout the first ten laps, but was eventually pushed to the back of the group and at the end of the 12 laps he crossed the finish line in seventh place.

Starting the 15-lap feature race from the second row, he maintained seventh place during the first five laps before benefiting from a crash by the race leader Jack Kennedy.

That promoted him up a place to sixth, but again the action was fast and furious and eventually this began to take its toll on the tyres.

Wilson was forced to slow and lost touch with the leaders, although he remained in sixth place.

That was until the very last lap when Glenn Irwin reeled him in snatched sixth on the drag to the finish, meaning the 29-year-old finished just seven hundredths of a second adrift in seventh place once again.

Wilson said: “My tyre went off towards the end of that race. For some reason the temperature seems to affect the tyres more than some other circuits.

“Apart from that I enjoyed the visit to Assen and managed to get up to speed quite quickly.

“I have learned a lot from the experience, so if we come back again next year at least I won’t have to learn my way around.

“I put in some good, fast lap times, so I have to be happy with that.”

It’s a quick turnaround for Wilson, as he travels to Silverstone in Northamptonshire for the penultimate round of the series at the weekend.

Free practice takes place on Friday ahead of the solitary qualifying session on Saturday at 11am.

The nine-lap sprint race is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3.45pm and the feature race is to run over 12 laps on Sunday at 3.40pm.

Rider standings: 1st J Kennedy 330.5pts; 2nd G Richards 326pts; 3rd B Mcconnell 271pts; 4th C Iddon 231.5pts; 5th B Wilson 203pts.