Race Day: The Socia ICT 5 Hours of Assen



It almost sounds like a joke. A rock solid BMW, a Ducati in disguise and a snail decided to participate in a 5 hour endurance race.. That could only end up badly, one would say. Let me take you with me in this recap of our adventure called; The Socia ICT 5 Hours of Assen.

Let’s point one thing out straight away. We had a blast. Honestly, what a day. It was intense, it was bloody hot, everyone was sweaty all the time and we all were drained at the end of the day. But oh boy, how we enjoyed it.





My first endurance adventure was an awesome one, but not one that went flawless. We encountered some struggles. But how could we not, if you enter a race as team ‘Crashtastic’ and make up such a dynamic trio? But we tackled them. Well, almost all of them. And we did so with a big smile on our faces.

So before we continue; a huge shoutout and massive THANK YOU to everyone out there. To our brilliant friends, who came out to help us and be the best company we could ask for. To all riders out there being so patient with me – and for passing me so safely and nicely. To the photographers, doing your thing so well and capturing us with your magic touch. And to the organisation, doing such a great job putting an event like this together.



So onward we go! Let me tell you all about our experience with the Socia ICT 5 Hours of Assen, an endurance race of well, 5 hours. In case that wasn’t clear yet.

First things first. Let me introduce to you, the team and machinery.

The team:

The team of riders consisted of Ron, Merijn, and myself. Ron is an experienced track rider, who teaches at Racecracks. He used to ride my Yamaha R6, but swopped to the BMW S1000RR last year.

Merijn is a novice track rider, but with some sort of cheat code. Put the man on two wheels and he’s instantly fast. It doesn’t really matter what motorbike it is. He’s just fast with it.

And then there is me. Remember how it told you in the introduction there is a snail in this story? Well.. I don’t have to tell you who that is, do I…



Ron’s BMW S1000RR is probably the only BMW in the world that hasn’t got any errors, malfunctions or engine blow ups. And Merijn’s Suzuki GSX-R 750.. well honestly I don’t think it is a Suzuki at all. I’m convinced it is a Ducati in disguise. He just bought an Italian with Japanese stickers on it. I can say that, because I own an Italian bike..

That blue thing just keeps breaking down. And while Merijn is pretty technical and actually a really smart guy, he has no clue what’s wrong with it. And finally, there is my Yamaha R6. Which is bloody brilliant, I might say. It runs really, really well.

Since I am quite a bit slower than Ron or Merijn – and qualifying for a certain group was based on average lap time of the team – I made us ‘compete’ in the Light group.

Of course, the team didn’t just consist of riders. We had a bunch of lovely friends who came to support us, help us out, call us in with the pit board, provide the bikes with fuel etcetera. And they did an awesome job. The adventure wouldn’t have been half the fun without them.

Socia ICT 5 hours of assen / 5 uren van assen



So let me talk you through it. Ron and I arrived one day early, to set up our camp. We had the pleasure of staying in the same pit box as Road Racing Grunn. A joyful bunch of fellows – and ladies! The bikes underwent the technical check and we put all of our stuff in the pit box (ever stopped to realise how much stuff you take with you on a race day?!).



We set up our ‘camp’ – which meant putting the stability things of the trailer out and we made up our bed. We talked some things over and joined the Road Racing Grunn team for some chats and drinks.

The next day, all of our lovely friends arrived. And Merijn with his girlfriend, and the Ducati in disguise. He arrived and told us ‘Guys, it is not running right’. Not the best way to start the day. But okay, let’s just make the most out of it. And who knows, it might actually not run that bad at all.

First up; free practice. To get the hang of it, get familiar with the track and find some flow and speed. We had one hour to all get out on track one by one. In my case, there wasn’t much speed to be found. But hey, I did my best! It immediately became crystal clear, that I was one of the slowest riders on track.



You may enter the Socia ICT 5 Hours of Assen when you ride a PR of 2:12’00 at TT Assen. Mine was a 2.05, so the guys figured I could join. Well, I could.. but oh boy, the rest of the riders were quick.

Ron rode this exact same endurance race last year in 2022. I came out to help and stood at the pit wall all day. So I checked lap times and the position of the rider on track, basically non stop. And I am telling you; there were a lot more ‘slower’ riders last year.

It seemed like a completely different vibe this year. Things were competitive somehow. While fast riders who complete in this race know there could be some slower riders among them, it still seemed like the average speed and lap times were much faster than last year.

I knew what I was getting myself into when I agreed to ride the Socia ICT 5 Hours of Assen. So I came up with a strategy.

I thought; “If I just stick to my lines, they know exactly where I will go”. While doing so, I kept 3 turns a bit tight. These were the three left handers, after Strubben. First Ruskenhoek, then the Bult and finally Ramshoek. I did let it run wide on corner exit like they would expect, but not all the way to the outside. I kept it a bit in the middle of the track, so faster riders could go on the throttle at corner exit and pass me on the outside.

Honestly, this worked really, really well! Of course, the really fast guys stuck their bikes anywhere they wanted, and passed me on the inside as well, as soon as I gave them space that could barely fit your big toe.

But racers be racers, and I get that. I am new to all this. But a lot of experienced racers joined this endurance race. I knew that on forehand, so I didn’t expect anything less than getting passed everywhere, any time.



Even though I might be new to all this, I feel like they all adopt me like a lost little puppy. And most of the guys were all so friendly. I know quite a lot of them, some better than others. But almost every time I got passed, they did so with respect.

And to my entertainment, most of them gave me an encouraging thumbs up, a quick wave or little ‘foot of appreciation’ whenever they passed me. It put a smile on my face every time. And I got passed A LOT that day. So I basically was smiling all day.

And that’s what I love about this sport and this world. The shared love and passion for it all. The fun in the garages, the chats in the evening, the support on track. I love it.



So I definitely didn’t get us high upon the scoring board. Ron rode well, and set some quick lap times. Merijn did well too, but the Ducati in disguise decided to be a Ducati again. And his ‘guys, it is not running right’ statement came true. After two laps, the GSX-R would stop running on high revs. So basically, it stops around 7.000 rpm. Which means half throttle.

And half throttle is not that quick.

In a race like this, where people expect you to ride fast, that’s not a very safe situation. So Merijn rode two laps per stint, while Ron and I tried to ride 45 minutes per stint.

Every slightly strategic person would say “It would be more efficient if Merijn would not ride at all”. Since it takes more time to swop the transponder and get out of pit lane than he could make up for while riding two laps.

But we didn’t not enter this race to win. We rode this race for fun, and to gain experience. Merijn did, too. So we decided he should just do the laps he wanted and could do.



Let me be honest straight away. It was hard. Riding 45 minutes to the best of your ability is a long time. It is something I am definitely not used to.

On a normal track day, one rides 15 to 20 minutes per session. And I enter the pits before the finish flag is waved during most of those sessions. So yep, definitely not just to doing that same thing for 45 minutes.

It resulted in some slower lap times. Mostly around 2.07 and 2.08. At some point, I got tired and started doing 2.10’s. I knew that wasn’t good, so I stuck my foot out and came in, the next lap.

Socia ICT 5 hours of assen / 5 uren van assen

The guys missed my sign, sadly. So no one was ready. Since we weren’t running for a podium spot anyway, it was no big deal. But a moment to learn from for next year.

Riding wise, we could say Ron saved the day. He definitely rode the most laps and set the best times. But I am extremely proud of our entire team. Merijn handled it well with his blue Duczuki, and I did my best to claim my spot on track and do my own thing.

All of our friends did an amazing job and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we had a really, really great day.



While I felt extremely under qualified to ride this race, I did learn a lot, personally. And honestly, it felt great to not have to pass people a lot, but get passed again. In safe manners! That’s something I can’t always say during a regular track day.

And I did ride a new PR, a 2.04. What also felt really great, was that I could ride 2.07’s and 2.08’s while getting tired and keeping a huge safety margin.

I didn’t want to mess up this day by crashing, so I kept a big safety margin. My ‘normal’ safety margin already fits three people, one elephant and 10 puppies, so it promises great things for my lap times once I finally start to lower that safety margin a bit.

Socia ICT 5 hours of assen / 5 uren van assen
Socia ICT 5 hours of assen / 5 uren van assen
Socia ICT 5 hours of assen / 5 uren van assen


But for now, I am really proud of how we did things. Would I ride the Socia ICT 5 Hours of Assen again? Definitely. But it would be nice if I would ride quicker, so I won’t feel like I’m in someone’s way all the time.

Sorry to all the fast guys for being slow. I did my best. And thank you to all of you, for passing me so nicely. I had a blast. Onto the next one!