Jonathan Rea equalled Carl Fogarty’s record of 12 World Superbike wins at Assen with a tenacious performance on Saturday.
The Kawasaki rider clinched a stunning eighth win in a row at the legendary Dutch TT circuit in The Netherlands, fending off challenges from home hero Michael van der Mark (PATA Yamaha) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Ducati) to bag his third triumph of the 2018 season.
Rea, who is now 21 points clear at the top of the standings, requires only two more victories to match Fogarty’s all-time career record of 59 World Superbike wins.
The Ulster rider can also join Fogarty as the most successful rider ever in the history of the championship if he manages to secure a fourth crown this season.
He led for the majority of the opening race on Saturday after starting from second place on the front row, although van der Mark enjoyed a spell at the front to the delight of the Dutch fans.
Rea, though, soon reclaimed the lead and was never headed again, despite coming under pressure from Davies as van der Mark was bumped back to third.
The three-time champion closed out the win by 0.981s from van der Mark, who fought his way past Davies in the closing stages to claim the runner-up spot.
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Xavi Fores (Barni Ducati) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Ducati) were the top six.
Race is scheduled for 12:00 BST on Sunday.