Rea storms to his sixth victory in Buriram

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WSBK) took an excellent victory in Race One of the Motul Thai WorldSBK Round, continuing a dominant weekend that has now seen him take pole position, a race win and fastest lap.

The three-times World Champion certainly didn´t have things all his own way, with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who was narrowly pipped for pole position in Superpole 1, twice overhauling his teammate to hit the front. But when Rea finally repaid the compliment he was able to stretch away and then manage his advantage to the finish.

Sykes, meanwhile, dropped gradually backwards as the race went on. He was unfortunate to slip from third to first as Rea took command at the front of the peleton, Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) coming through and running second for some time, and Sykes eventually only able to manage sixth.

Camier, meanwhile, was one of the stars of the show, as he put in a masterclass in defensive riding and for some time looked set to end a barren run with a first podium finish since 2013. In the end he lost out to Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), who made a perfect block pass for his second podium of the campaign. But Camier, with fourth position, has the consolation of pole start when the grid positions are re-set for tomorrow’s Race Two.

After a disappointing Tissot Superpole performance and fall, Australia´s double winner Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) rose to fifth position by the end of the opening lap but steadily dropped back to eighth despite showing inconsistently strong pace. Victory for Jonathan Rea means Melandri retains the Championship lead, but the Italian´s advantage is cut to just two points.

Meanwhile Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team), with an excellent runner-up result, moves above Tom Sykes and into third position in the series overall. The independent runner passed Sykes on the track into turn three for a provisional place on the race podium, and picked off Leon Camier on lap twelve to secure his best result in 69 starts.

Meanwhile the line-up´s other main Spaniard, Jordi Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), faded quickly after a strong qualifying, ran wide and off the circuit whilst seventh and was later passed on the penultimate lap for ninth by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia).

The same lap saw Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) take fifth position from Tom Sykes, completing an excellent second half of the race in which he recovered from eighth. Lowes had earlier enjoyed another side-by-side combat with his teammate Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team), before the Dutchman slipped back to seventh.

With the top ten separated by just eleven seconds in Race One, and plenty of change in the rankings compared to results last time out in Australia, Race Two promises to be a similarly entertaining affair.

P1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)

“I am so so happy, where we started the weekend was behind with the set-up but I had 100% faith in my team, so thanks to everyone. We are starting to head in the right direction, and my team have worked really hard all weekend, it was a long 40 minutes for me too, I think I deserve a cold bath after that!”

Jonathan Rea
Jonathan Rea

P2 – Xavi Fores (Barni Racing Team)

“It was a really hard race with the weather and the battle with Leon at the beginning of the race, he was hard to overtake. When I got into my rhythm I was pushing hard to catch Jonny, but he was riding perfectly and I was not able to arrive with him, but this is like a victory for me. It’s like a victory for me and we will see what happens tomorrow.”

Xavi Fores
Xavi Fores

P3 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)

“I made it hard work for myself from the third row, it was a good scrap with Leon in the closing laps, I showed him the wheel a few times and he was so late on the brakes. I was able to bide my time and got past Leon, but then it was too late to do anything about Xavi and Jonny but we will see what we can do tomorrow.”

Chaz Davies
Chaz Davies

P4 – Leon Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)

“Today I was really happy with my performance but not quite happy with the result as I was so close to the podium! Although I missed the podium, there were a lot of positive things to take away from the day and the Fireblade was working really well. We made a small setting adjustment for Superpole which improved my one lap pace and helped put me on the front row, and we also made another small change for the race which was another step forward and meant I could challenge right at the front. Overall I am really happy with how today went – I think we’re close to consistently challenging the front guys – and we’ll see what I can do tomorrow in Race 2 from pole position.”

Leon Camier
Leon Camier

#THAIWorldSBK at Chang International Circuit: Race 1 Results
  1. J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
  2. X. Forés (Barni Racing Team)
  3. C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
  4. L. Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
  5. A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
  6. T. Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
  7. M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
  8. M. Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
  9. E. Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia)
  10. J. Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
  11. L. Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team)
  12. L. Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia)
  13. L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura)
  14. R. Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki)
  15. T. Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
  16. Y. Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing)
  17. P. Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team)
  18. J. Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
    RT) O. Jezek (Guandalini Racing)
WorldSBK Championship Standings after Race 1, Round 2
  1. Marco Melandri (ITA) Ducati (58 points)
    2. Jonthan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (56 points)
    3. Xavi Fores (ESP) Ducati (49 points)

WorldSSP: Mahias continues his perfect season

Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) dominated Tissot Superpole 2 to continue his perfect run in the 2018 FIM World Supersport Championship, with a second pole position and now in a perfect place to chase a second race victory as well. Mahias blitzed the field by eight tenths of a second in the early stages of the session, and only in the closing minutes did any of the other riders get within half a second of his effort.

Lucas Mahias
Lucas Mahias

Mahias´ teammate Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), fourth at the Yamaha Finance Australian Round, has some head-scratching to do before Sunday´s WorldSSP race as he finished almost half a second back. Meanwhile Jules Cluzel (NRT) split the GRT Yamaha duo to make it a French 1-2 up front, two tenths of a second behind pole-sitter Mahias.

Federico Caricasulo
Federico Caricasulo

Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), who appeared Mahias´ closest challenger throughout Friday practice, was surprisingly relegated to the second row of the grid in fifth. The Swiss star will start alongside fellow Yamaha Finance Australian Round podium finisher Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing), with Anthony West (EAB antwest Racing) behind him in sixth. The Australian veteran was best-of-the-rest, with a significant gap behind the lead quintet and the remainder of the pack.

Home rider Ratthapong Wilairot (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) leads row three after an excellent day, in which he progressed comfortably from Tissot Superpole 1 and then took seventh in Tissot Superpole 2. Fellow countryman Thitipong Warokorn (CORE Kawasaki Thailand Racing Team) has proven himself similarly matched throughout the weekend, and will share the burden of the home support at the Chang International Circuit come raceday tomorrow.

Lachlan Epis and Ted Collins
Lachlan Epis and Ted Collins

Young Lachlan Epis and Ted Collins qualifieid 21st and 26th respectively. Collins was a last minute draft-in replacement for injured Team GoEleven Kawasaki rider Canducci and has faced a steep learning curve in his international debut.

Ted Collins

“Today we had 1 practice and Qualifying. Overall it was a good day we improved every session , just not as much as I had hoped . I have been working on changing my style of riding as I can see why the world’s best are faster . I’m learning so much here . After discussions with the team and studying replays of today’s session I really believe we are close to some bigger gains . Being on track with these riders who are smashing lap records is fantastic. Plan for the race is obviously get as good a start as possible and hang on to the the pack . Every lap is an education.”

Ted Collins
Ted Collins

World Supersport Superpole Results
  1. L. MAHIAS FRA GRT WorldSSP Team Yamaha YZF R6 1’36.738
  2. J. CLUZEL FRA NRT Yamaha YZF R6 1’36.967
  3. F. CARICASULO ITA GRT Yamaha WorldSSP Yamaha YZF R6 1’37.235
  4. S. CORTESE GER Kallio Racing Yamaha YZF R6 1’37.447
  5. R. KRUMMENACHER Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team Yamaha YZF R6 1’37.505
  6. A. WEST AUS EAB antwest Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’38.031
  7. R. WILAIROT THA Yamaha Thailand Racing Team Yamaha YZF R6 1’38.042
  8. T. WAROKORN THA CORE Kawasaki Thailand Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’38.077
  9. H. OKUBO JPN Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’38.100
  10. L. STAPLEFORD GBR Profile Racing Triumph Daytona 675 1’38.164
  11. K. SMITH GBR GEMAR Team Lorini Honda CBR600RR 1’38.212
  12. R. DE ROSA ITA MV Agusta Reparto Corse MV Agusta F3 675 1’38.417
  13. D. KRAISART THA Yamaha Thailand Yamaha YZF R6 1’38.770
  14. J. KENNEDY IRL Profile Racing Triumph Daytona 675 1’38.785
  15. L. CRESSON BEL Kallio Racing Yamaha YZF R6 1’38.849
  16. A. BADOVINI ITA MV Agusta Reparto Corse MV Agusta F3 675 1’38.936
  17. A. KAMARUZAMAN MAS Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’38.943
  18. N. TUULI FIN CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Honda CBR600RR 1’38.959
  19. T. GRADINGER AUT NRT Yamaha YZF R6 1’39.054
  20. M. DI MEGLIO FRA GMT94 Yamaha Yamaha YZF R6 1’39.262
  21. L. EPIS AUS Team GoEleven Kawasaki Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’39.473
  22.  J. VAN SIKKELERUS NED GEMAR Team Lorini Honda CBR600RR 1’39.501
  23. N. CALERO ESP Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’39.671
  24. H. SOOMER EST Racedays Honda CBR600RR 1’39.683
  25. A. IRWIN GBR CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Honda CBR600RR 1’39.993
  26. T. COLLINS AUS Team GoEleven Kawasaki Kawasaki ZX-6R 1’40.981