2017 Chang Thailand World Superbike Race One Results: A New Lap Record

Kawasaki haven’t lost a World Superbike race since the track opened to international racing two years ago. Race one would be a hot twenty laps.

Jonathan Rea showed his intention to keep winning here, leading Marco Melandri, Tom Sykes and Chaz Davies into the first turn. Davies passed Sykes but Davies followed Melandri wide and Sykes slipped under both Ducatis to briefly hold second place behind his Kawasaki teammate, but Melandri snuck right back past. The Yamahas of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark watched the green and red battle in front with Eugene Laverty in seventh place behind them.

Lap two had no changes, but at the front Rea kept pushing, intending to set a hard pace and break away from the field as he knew from last year how difficult it could be to pass. He set a new lap record and put seven tenths of a second of air between himself and Melandri. A lap later, van der Mark got past Lowes and Laverty put enough of a gap between himself and the battle for eighth place that he wouldn’t be hampered by them.

Marco Melandri closed the gap up to Jonathan Rea and held on to the runaway leader for a couple of laps while Chaz Davies made a thrusting stab past Tom Sykes at turn seven and settled in a second behind his teammate. On lap five, Rea set the lap record again, with a 1'33.436, and broke Melandri’s tow.

For the next six laps, Rea eked out a few tenths from Melandri each lap while Davies, losing a tenth a lap couldn’t shake Sykes from under his shadow until lap eleven when Melandri lost a second over the lap, losing out fourteen tenths of a second to Rea in the lead and getting caught by Davies.

Chaz Davies, reawoken by the sight of his teammate in front of him, turned up his pace, looking for a pass. On lap fourteen, he stuck a pass under Melandri on turn three and tried to break free, dropping under 1’34, but it took until two laps from the end before he could get a second of freedom. Melandri, losing the clean air of Davies, lost enough pace for Sykes to close and, on the last lap, Sykes was on the Ducati’s rear Pirelli.

Jonathan Rea led Davies by six seconds and had raced every lap but the first under 1’34 and took pole position, a flag to flag win and the lap record. Wheelieing over the line cost him a few tenths and he recorded his first flying 1’34 lap of the race.

Chaz Davies took a convincing second place while Tom Sykes sought and found a way past Marco Melandri to steal the podium off the Italian and gift him pole position for the second race.

Eugene Laverty crashed out of a certain seventh place on the last lap, over eight seconds behind the Yamahas of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes.

Jonathan Rea has now led for thirty seven of the sixty four laps he’s raced this year and won every race. The only thing that looks like it can stop his onslaught is the revised grid tomorrow where he starts ninth. Chaz Davies has been second every race and trails Rea by fifteen points.

The changes in the front three rows of the grid for tomorrow are as follows:

1:   Melandri   van der Mark   Lowes
2:   Torres   Camier   Hayden  
3:   Sykes   Davies   Rea  


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R  
2 7 C. DAVIES Ducati Panigale R 6.279
3 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R 8.165
4 33 M. MELANDRI Ducati Panigale R 8.239
5 60 M. VAN DER MARK Yamaha YZF R1 11.384
6 22 A. LOWES Yamaha YZF R1 14.862
7 81 J. TORRES BMW S 1000 RR 26.035
8 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta 1000 F4 31.755
9 69 N. HAYDEN Honda CBR1000RR 33.305
10 6 S. BRADL Honda CBR1000RR 35.208
11 12 X. FORÉS Ducati Panigale R 35.428
12 88 R. KRUMMENACHER Kawasaki ZX-10R 38.865
13 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 39.869
14 21 M. REITERBERGER BMW S 1000 RR 40.140
15 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 47.407
16 15 A. DE ANGELIS Kawasaki ZX-10R 57.203
17 84 R. RUSSO Yamaha YZF R1 1'00.996
18 37 O. JEZEK Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'05.330
RET 50 E. LAVERTY Aprilia RSV4 RF 1 Lap
RET 86 A. BADOVINI Kawasaki ZX-10R 14 Laps


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1st paragraph, 3rd sentence: 

"The Yamahas of Alex Loses and Michael van der Mark ..."

C'mon now. He's not that bad. ;-) 

Not intentional - he's not bad at all, what with being fourth in the championship.

Good to see Kawasaki going fast even after the return of the big boys to the WSBK series. Yamaha, Aprilia, Ducati and Honda are there with Suzuki the only missing marque.