Kaito Toba #27

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2024 WSSP Assen, weekend

The Assen round was rather hectic, to say the least. The weather was totally unpredictable and in each session we had track conditions changing over and over again. Temperatures were also extremely low, but overall I have to say that there was always enough grip to push, both in dry and in wet conditions.
Honda brought over a couple of developments for the bike, however with the changeable conditions we didn’t really get to make the most out of it. We needed more dry time to review the updates, but this weekend wasn’t really meant to be a sunny one.
In qualifying we did not score the perfect timing to go out when the track was at its best, which meant that we ended up on the back of the grid.
In the first race on Saturday, we decided to stay on slick tyres despite the wet patches. I don’t regret this decision, as it was the best way to push through. However right at the beginning I was in the top-20 and another rider crashed out. To avoid him, I had to go wide and lost the group. Without a reference I didn’t manage to do much then.
On Sunday for the second race things worked out differently. We were on slick tyres right before the start of the race, and rain came all of a sudden. On the first lap I got back to the pit box to change to rain tyres. The team did a superb job, as they were incredibly fast and got me out again in no time. We really nailed it. It was just few riders that got in so early, and it was the perfect chance to make a comeback. In just a few laps I found myself in the top group and I got to lead the race in a couple of occasions. That was fun! Unfortunately it stopped raining and the track started drying up really fast. I did my best to stay in the leading pack and eventually I crossed the finishing line in sixth.

Of course I wanted more, but it was great to show that I can be there, too. With Honda we’re working to close the gap with the other bikes on the grid, and with Sunday’s race we proved that this is worth it. We can be fast and fight for good results. 
We’ll continue working in this direction and hope for more chances to showcase our speed.