British Talent Cup, Assen, Race 1: Rory Skinner wins and takes back the top spot of the Championship

Skinner was passed fit to race but he’s not at 100%. Breaking some bones in his foot ahead of the event, the Scot rode through the pain barrier for the impressive win, taking back the top of the standings.

Rory Skinner took another impressive win at the TT Circuit Assen in Race 1, coming out on top in a four-way fight for victory and taking back the Championship lead. In second, Storm Stacey took his first ever British Talent Cup podium as he caught the front group and defended his position at the final chicane to perfection, with Max Cook completing the rostrum.

Skinner took the holeshot from pole and it was initially the Scot followed by Thomas Strudwick at the head of the field, with Cook tagging into third as he recovered some momentum after a slightly slower start. They began to break away, with Cameron Horsman in fourth and Storm Stacey in fifth on the chase, and it soon seemed sure that it would be a three-way fight for the win…

By mid-race, Horsman, Stacey and Fenton Seabright were a couple of seconds adrift – but then the front group began to fight it out. Horsman sadly crashed out of contention soon after, but Stacey was able to eat into the gap and get into that battle for the podium. By Lap 12 he was up into third, knocking on the door to a first rostrum finish.

As the final two laps dawned, Stacey put in the fastest lap and made it up into second before challenging for the lead. But Skinner had a few tricks left up his sleeve, and the Scot took the lead heading into the final lap – from then on, defending it to perfection and pulling the pin. He crossed the line for another spectacular win, with Stacey vs Cook going down to the final chicane but Stacey holding on to take second. Cook took P3, with Strudwick the man to lose out in P4 – also moving down to second in the standings.

Fenton Seabright made a competitive return to the British Talent Cup to complete the top five. Seabright was on the podium in the first round – from a pitlane start no less – but had then struggled with injury and had been forced to miss a few rounds. Back in the game, he was back on the pace and ended Race 1 a good margin ahead of P6. Jack Nixon was the man who took that sixth, having a somewhat lonely finish to the race but a solid one nevertheless.

Joshua Whatley came out on top in a big fight for seventh, with the youngest rider in the Cup beating back Scott Swann, Brian Hart and Scott Ogden in the latter half of the top ten. The four were split by only four tenths and everything was on the line at that final chicane, with Whatley taking the spoils.

That’s it from Assen for Race 1, but there’s more action on Sunday as the field gear up for another fight around one of the most legendary tracks in Europe. Skinner now leads on 135 points, ahead of Strudwick on 127 and Cook on 101 – so don’t miss the final showdown ahead of the season finale in Valencia! The lights go out at 11:40 (GMT +2).

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