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The first three rounds of this year's WSBK saw every podium spot go to a British rider over six thrilling races, but round four saw the first crack in the Brits' dominance with two unexpected shake-ups to a previously unassailable top four.

 

Honda's Michael van der Mark, on his home course at the legendary TT circuit in Assen, the Netherlands, stole third out of the hands of Aprilia's Leon Haslam by a split-second on both occasions, leaving Kawasaki's Jonathan Rea free and clear to claim two more top spots after fending off competition from his Ducati rival Chaz Davies.

 

Rea's track record this season has been remarkable in the face of fierce competition, with a career-best run of nine consecutive podium finishes, and a new title as the second-most successful rider in the history of the WSBK Dutch round behind Carl Fogarty.

 

Haslam's hard-fought unlucky streak up against Van der Mark hasn't unseated him from his admirable second-place position in the season's standings, but Rea's 50-point lead means the Aprilia Red Devil has got his work cut out if he wants to claim the title.

 

Davies also begins to pose a threat to the top two, comfortably in third only 17 points behind Haslam. With nine more races left to go, there's no place for complacency! Van der Mark's home performance boosts him up the table but otherwise there's not much change to the top 20 after round four:

 

1

J. REA

KAWASAKI

190

2

L. HASLAM

APRILIA

140

3

C. DAVIES

DUCATI

123

4

T. SYKES

KAWASAKI

88

5

J. TORRES

APRILIA

83

6

S. GUINTOLI

HONDA

65

7

M. VD MARK

HONDA

60

8

N. TEROL

DUCATI

48

9

M. BAIOCCO

DUCATI

48

10

L. MERCADO

DUCATI

45

11

A. LOWES

SUZUKI

41

12

X. FORES

DUCATI

38

13

L. CAMIER

MV AGUSTA

33

14

D. SALOM

KAWASAKI

30

15

R. RAMOS

KAWASAKI

20

16

R. DE PUNIET

SUZUKI

15

17

T. BAYLISS

DUCATI

15

18

A. BADOVINI

BMW

11

19

S. BARRIER

BMW

10

20

S. BARRAGÁN

KAWASAKI

8

For the next round, our riders head to sunny Italy on the 10th of May to tackle the Autodromo Imola for even more two-wheeled excitement. Can Rea keep up his impressive streak or will Haslam give him a real run for his money at last? We can't wait to find out!

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