Press releases from the teams and the series organizer after Sunday's World Superbike races from Chang in Thailand:
Rea takes lights to flag win in opening Thai race
Second place for Haslam, Sykes edges out Torres for third.
The first ever WorldSBK race to be held in Thailand has been won by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who dominated the 20-lap encounter at the all-new Chang International Circuit in Buriram. Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Rea’s team mate Tom Sykes joined him on the podium.
Rea led from the start, building up a two-second lead over the chasing pack by the end of lap five and winning by 6.329s at the flag. Courtesy of the seventeenth win of his career, the Briton now lies atop the standings with a five-point lead over Haslam.
Former champion Tom Sykes made a great start from the second row, shadowing his team mate for the opening few turns before he was passed by the Aprilia Racing machine of Leon Haslam, who then set about hunting down Kawasaki-mounted Rea.
As the leading two eased away, the battle for 3rd was intense with Sykes, front row qualifier Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team) and Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) embroiled in a titanic fight, that saw a number of close overtaking moves around the 4.5km circuit. Davies crashed out of 5th at the end of the 9th lap, the double podium finisher in Australia was able to remount, eventually finishing in 11th.
By half distance the gap between the leading two was constant but as Alex Lowes slid out of podium contention at the final turn on lap 13, the closest on track battle was for 3rd between Sykes and WorldSBK rookie Jordi Torres who was looking strong in 4th and gradually closing in on the former champion.
With the packed grandstand erupting to the cheers of the enthusiastic fans at the end of the final lap, Rea was able to clinch the win. Haslam crossed the line 1.9s ahead of Sykes and Torres, the trio completing the top-four.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) rode a lonely race to be classified an eventual 5th ahead of a recovering Alex Lowes who was able to salvage 10 points with a sixth place finish.
Behind the top-six the remaining top ten positions were rounded out by Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati), Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team), David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati) who rounded out the top ten respectively after an enthralling race long fight.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Niccolò Canepa (Team Hero EBR) both retired in the early stages along with local wildcard rider Chanon Chumjai (RAC Oil Racing Team). Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike) retired from the top ten at the start of lap seven as did Anucha Nakcharoensri (YSS TS Racing)
Christophe Ponsson (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was the only other faller, the youngest rider on the WorldSBK grid crashed uninjured at turn one on lap five.
Rea makes it a full house with double win in Thailand
Haslam and Lowes complete the podium, Torres ahead of Sykes in fourth
The second WorldSBK race of the day at the Chang International Circuit saw another lights-to-flag victory by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who claimed his 18th career win and extended his lead in the championship to 10 points in the process. The third double of his career capped a perfect weekend for the Ulsterman, who was dominant all weekend long as he also claimed Pole Position and recorded the fastest laps in both encounters. Incredibly enough, he led every single lap of racing, too.
Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), who was keen to make up for the error that cost him a race one podium made a lightning start, shadowing Rea for the first half of the race before succumbing to fellow British rider Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), who notched up his second consecutive 2nd place of the day.
Race two marked the fourth consecutive encounter with an all-British podium. Never in WorldSBK history has the rostrum been made with riders of the same nationality in four successive races.
Other KRT rider Tom Sykes had a fairly uneventful race to claim 5th just behind Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), who scored another solid result in his debut WorldSBK season in 4th. The Spaniard pushed hard to overtake the former champion with two laps to go, eventually completing a successful manoeuvre into turn 3.
Clutch problems for the reigning World Champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) saw the Frenchman having to start from the rear of the grid after missing the sighting lap. He would have an incredible first lap that saw him complete the first lap in 12th. He would eventually finish 6th after getting the better of team-mate Michael van der Mark, who made up for his retirement in race one by finishing 7th.
A group of four riders fought hard for the majority of the 20-lap race for the remaining top ten spots. Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati) took 8th ahead of David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati), with Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team) finishing just outside of the top ten in 11th.
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team) suffered his second crash of the day early in the race but fortunately as in race 1 he was able to remount, eventually scoring the final championship point with 15th.
Team Hero EBR riders Niccolo Canepa and Larry Pegram didn’t participate in race 2, both suffering engine issues caused by the extreme heat.
In terms of the overall championship standings Rea leads the way with 95 points out of a possible 100, ten ahead of Haslam as the series heads to Aragon in Spain in three weeks’ time.
Pata Honda riders enjoy Thailand battle
Sylvain Guintoli took fifth and sixth place finishes in today’s two second-round World Superbike championship races at Buriram in Thailand after a dramatic day for the Pata Honda team.
The 32-year-old French rider had a lonely ride to his second successive fifth place after making a number of changes to his Pata Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP after this morning’s warm-up.
However, a technical issue on the sighting lap for race two at the 4.554km Chang International Circuit forced Guintoli to miss the formation lap and he had to start the race from the back of the grid. After a good start he was able to move through the field, eventually enjoying a thrilling battle with his team-mate Michael van der Mark.
Van der Mark, 22, had his own technical issues which forced his retirement from the first of today’s two 20-lap outings, but the Dutch rider enjoyed more success in race two.
The battle between him and Guintoli for sixth place came down to the final corner with van der Mark attempting a bold manoeuvre around the outside of his team-mate, which forced him outside the track boundaries. Race direction deducted one position dropping him back to seventh.
After the opening two flyaway rounds of the series, the Pata Honda team will now re-group at its Dutch workshop before heading for Spain and round three at Aragon Motorland on 10-12 April.
Sylvain Guintoli - 5th and 6th
In race one I did my best, of course, but we were just too far away from the pace of the front group. I did everything I could, but it turned out to be a bit of a lonely race for fifth. But race two was much more fun, even though we had a small technical problem which meant I had to start last. I had a great start and a great first two corners but then I got a bit over-excited and braked too late in turn five and lost three places. Finally I had a great battle with my team-mate which was more entertaining. Towards the end of the race I did my best lap time which was probably faster than my qualifying time, and that felt perfect, but it was difficult to be consistent. It’s only my second race on the bike and I’m still suffering from the neck injury in these dehydrating conditions. But we’ve now been to t wo different tracks with different characteristics and we can see that our pace is not as good as our rivals. So that gives us a base to work from and try to improve in key areas. Even though we’re not fighting for wins at the moment we’re still working to find solutions in the team and that will get the results we want.
Michael van der Mark - DNF and 7th
In race one we had a little technical problem which ended the race for us but unfortunately these things can happen. It was a shame though because at that point in the race I was going faster and faster. In race two I felt really good but the start was not so good. I also made some mistakes in the first couple of laps and ran wide at one point so I had to fight back again. At the end I had a good fight with Sylvain and felt I was faster than him but not fast enough to get away. So I decided to stay behind and try to pass him on the final lap. We had a nice and fair fight and even though I crossed the finish line first, they put me one place back because I went outside the track in trying to get past at the final corner. But I enjoyed raced two and I think we have a lot of positives to go back to Europe with for the next round.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
It has not been an easy weekend for the team. We managed to improve Sylvain’s bike a lot after warm-up and he was able to get a lonely fifth which, considering the problems that we have had here in Thailand, was a respectable result. In race two he had to start from last position but he had a great start and fought up to sixth in the end. Michael had a DNF in race one but in race two he spent a long time behind Sylvain. They had a great battle to the finish which saw Michael running off the track a little bit and he was put back one position. But the guys had fun having that battle together. Although the weekend has been quite tough we have managed to close the gap to the competition and Sylvain is still fourth in the championship which we’ll take to Aragon and hopefully do a bit better there.
Rea Scores Sensational Double Win For KRT In Thailand
Jonathan Rea (KRT) scored two emphatic race wins in the first ever WSBK races at the Chang International Circuit and in doing so left the new venue with a ten point championship lead. Tom Sykes (KRT) scored his first podium of the year with third place in race one and is now third in the championship rankings.
The first 20-lap race of the day belonged to Rea from green light to chequered flag, as the Superpole winner became race one winner after setting an unbeatable race pace in the 1’34s for almost the whole race duration.
Leon Haslam was second in the opener but Sykes mixed attack with defence as he chased hard to catch a slowing Haslam in the final laps, while also keeping eventual fourth placed rider Jordi Torres behind him to the end. This was Tom’s first podium of 2015, as he adapts to the new technical regulations for the 2015 WSB class.
In race two Rea repeated his perfect display from race one and in doing so scored his first double in Kawasaki colours. He also has the new lap record of 1’33.817 to his credit.
Sykes tried hard to repeat his podium from race one but he was forced to drop back and eventually finished fifth in race two.
In the championship chase Rea is in the lead with 95 points from a possible 100, two-time second place rider at Chang, Leon Haslam, has 85 and Sykes is third with 50 points, nine clear of Sylvain Guintoli.
Motorland Aragon, a home race for the bulk of the KRT staff based in Europe, is next up on the WSB calendar, with raceday on 12 April 2015.
Jonathan Rea: “For me it has been a perfect weekend with pole position and two race wins - we could not have asked for any more. The bike can always be better but at the beginning of the weekend the Ninja ZX-10R was at a really good level, my pace was really fast, the rhythm was good so we did not necessarily chase something we really could have got lost with. Our base setting right now is good and it gives me confidence to push the boundaries and understand the bike. I have not had so many double wins in my career but I have been lucky to have some. They do not come round a lot so I want to savour this moment and reflect on what we have done tomorrow and enjoy these next few days.”
Tom Sykes: “First podium of the year in the opening race so we are heading in the right direction. One step at a time and a podium finish was not so bad considering the feeling I had with the bike. I am not able to do exactly what I want yet. When it is like that you have no answer for guys who have finished in front of you. We tried everything we could and in the end third position was acceptable for where we are at the moment. I got caught up in turn three of the first lap in race two and got dropped back a bit as a result. We had some small issues after that and corner entry was a little bit difficult to manage. We will keep working and try to improve the bike.”
EXCELLENT DOUBLE SECOND PLACE FOR A GENEROUS LEON HASLAM IN THE THAI RACES
JORDI TORRES IS GROWING QUICKLY, CLOSE TO THE PODIUM IN BOTH RACES
Buriram (Thailand), 22 March 2015 – Two races that followed almost exactly the same script marked the début of the Thai Buriram circuit on the 2015 WSBK calendar.
Determined and generous, Leon Haslam rode his RSV4 to the second step of the podium twice in two races pushed to the limit wire to wire, strengthening his position in the overall standings.
In Race 1 Leon Haslam got off the line well from the second spot on the grid in the lead pack made up of Rea, Sykes, Lowes and Davies. Overtaking quickly, Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils came up to second place to begin hunting down Rea. With an extremely fast central portion of the race, the Brit seemed to be worrying the lead rider, but in the end he had to "settle" for an excellent second place finish.
Race 2 also featured a duel between Rea and Haslam, who both demonstrated a decidedly better pace than their rivals throughout the weekend. Leon and his team made some changed to the RSV4 between the two races, managing to squeeze a bit more speed from it. The opposition from his adversaries, which is always fierce in Superbike, kept Haslam from staying in contact with the lead rider.
The double second place, on a brand new track, is an important result that confirms Haslam's role as a pretender for the title as SBK prepares to return to Europe for the next round.
Leon Haslam: “The team did a great job. Between the two races we took a big step forward. Rea was simply too fast today. We decided to use a harder front tyre and maybe with the softer one we could have been faster in the first part of the race, but it didn't gives us the guarantees we needed in terms of distance. In any case I'm pleased with the weekend, especially because compared to Friday we have really improved and I can't wait to get to Aragon. Being on the podium for the first two rounds of the season is definitely a great starting point.”
In Thailand rookie Jordi Torres once again showed great maturity and confirmed the quality of the Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils decisions. Improving constantly, the Spaniard took full advantage of the start he earned yesterday in Superpole on the second row of the grid, without taking any risks in the first laps, but staying within reach of the podium. The characteristics of this circuit did not help him in his efforts: Jordi is still familiarising himself with his powerful Aprilia RSV4's braking system and he was competing on the track with some of the best “brakers” in the Superbike Championship. Thanks to his excellent progress in the final phases, in both races he finished just short of the podium. So he'll be going to his home race in Aragon with high ambitions.
Jordi Torres: “I am really happy about the work we did this weekend because, despite missing a session, we were able to come back well. The FP2 session is important for me because in the first session I learn the new track, whereas I need the second session to set up the base from which to work. Then on Saturday I have to focus on being fast for the qualifiers and Superpole. When I found myself behind Sykes I thought back to Phillip Island, where I crashed whilst trying to overtake him, and I decided to stay calm and study him in Race 1 without taking any risks. That was useful for me in Race 2. In the end I finished in the same position, but I'm learning lap after lap. Like I always say, the Aprilia RSV4 was made to win, and only when I reach that goal will I be able to be 100% satisfied.”
Thrilling Thai Podium for Lowes and Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
Soaring temperatures and a big crowd saw Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes ride to a stunning podium finish as Thailand hosted its debut World Superbike races at the Chang International Circuit this afternoon.
Determined to get a great start with his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, Lowes took second on the opening lap of the final race, holding the position for the first half against the Aprilia of Leon Haslam. Succumbing on lap eight, he continued his stellar 1’34 pace, to maintain a strong gap throughout the remainder of the action, claiming the third place finish and rounding out the day with a podium celebration.
Having demonstrated blistering consistent pace all weekend, a bad start to Lowes’ opening race initially saw him demoted him to fifth position before quickly advancing hard on the wheels of Tom Sykes’ Kawasaki. Proving somewhat of a roadblock for the next four laps, Lowes took his chance at turn three, regaining his grid position in the hunt for the podium. A mistake on the 12th lap saw the British racer low-side his Suzuki at turn 12 but his determination saw him remount quickly, allowing him to cut back through the pack to finish sixth on the road. A protest from a rival team saw Lowes’ demoted to seventh for allegedly passing under a yellow flag.
Struggling with the new circuit, a determined Randy de Puniet battled to 10th by the mid-point of his first Thai race before a last lap mistake dropped him to 13th. The afternoon’s disappointment continued in the concluding action as the Frenchman retired his GSX-R1000 on lap six, taking three points from the second round and leaving him 15th in the standings.
Jonathan Rea claimed both race victories and fastest lap awards aboard his Kawasaki in front of a 50,000-strong crowd at the new Chang circuit in Buriram. Lowes’ podium contributed to his day’s haul of 25 points, promoting him to seventh in the Championship after four races.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s next weekend of competition will herald the start of the Europe season, as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship heads to Aragon in Spain on Sunday 12th April.
“I’m really happy to be back on the podium - it’s a third place but for us it means a lot after Phillip Island! It really should have been two podiums today, I just made a small mistake because I was determined to catch Leon and get second. As a team we’ve all worked so hard but the result is that we are back on the podium and back in the front group, and if we can keep a bit more consistency like this for the rest of the year then it will be a great season for us.
“I don’t really know about the yellow flag penalty, it’s a bit of a shame - Salom went off on the astroturf at turn four so he shut off and Troy and I obviously passed him and when we arrived at the next corner there was a yellow flag! To be honest I didn’t think much about it. It’s disappointing as two top-sixes would have been good but it is what it is.
“So, one mistake away from it being a really great weekend but I’m really happy with race two, I was quite aggressive at the start but I rode a steady race and it’s a great way to thank the team for their hard work. Now I can concentrate on keeping it going for the next round in Aragon!”
Randy de Puniet:
“It was difficult for me from the first day; we have struggled with the braking and tried many things. The first race was going well because after 12 laps I was 10th and close to the top-six and even though I wasn’t as confident as I had hoped, I was improving my lap times a lot. After lap 12 I struggled with the braking and could only finish 13th.
“Unfortunately in race two we broke the engine. We need to forget this race and start from zero in Aragon. The only positive points are I am in good shape and impatient to ride at Calafat in ten days to try the new Marelli system, because every step is important for us. The team worked really hard and it was great for Alex to finish on the podium so we know we can do it, now we just need to put everything together.”
“After showing great potential in Philip island and suffering a really difficult race day, it’s been very positive to reconfirm the potential of the 2015 Suzuki GSX-R, and of course Alex himself, this weekend in Thailand. I wouldn’t have said the track suited the bike particularly well but we were fast all weekend, qualified well and aside for a very small mistake in the first race, should have been on the podium in both races. Congratulations to the whole team but especially to Alex, who is only in his second year of international competition but is starting to look like a serious contender.
“On Randy’s side there are unfortunately a lot less positives, it was a tough weekend from start to finish and we need to reset in Aragon and go forward from there. We all know he is a very high-quality rider, but there are some different characteristics to the Superbike and there is some more adapting to be done. We will get there, and as a team we are 100% behind him.”
Two difficult SBK races for the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team today at Buriram
Buriram (Thailand), Sunday 22 March 2015 – A complicated race day for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand. Chaz Davies concluded today’s two Superbike races eleventh and fifteenth, having suffered two crashes. Ninth and eleventh position for Troy Bayliss.
Race 1 – Very hot and sunny conditions for today’s Superbike races at Buriram, with an air temperature of 30°C and a track at roughly 50°C. Starting from sixth position on the grid, Davies immediately moved up into fourth place through the first corners, positioned between Haslam and Lowes. He oscillated between fourth and fifth place for a number of laps but then a small crash at Turn 12, on lap nine, unfortunately relegated him to fifteenth position. Despite the setback, the Welshman put in fast lap times all the way to the line, pushing hard and making up four positions in the final phase, to close this first race of the day in eleventh position. Bayliss, seventh on the grid, gained a position during lap one and found himself part of a group with Guintoli and Van der Mark in the opening laps. A consistent pace meant that he was able to hold eighth position for the best part of the race. Effectively managing the tyre situation, and battling with various riders including Lowes, Salom and Baiocco in the final phase, the Australian rider crossed the line in eighth place. Unfortunately race direction declared that Bayliss had made a pass while the yellow flags were being waved during the races and therefore received a penalty of one position.
Race 2 – the second of the day’s races took place in very similar conditions to race 1. Chaz was again quick off the line, up into third after one lap right behind Lowes and Rea. He was battling with Haslam when unfortunately he lost the rear, finishing in the gravel. He was again able to continue with the race, and was the fastest rider on track for several laps, but was only about to make up so much of the lost ground in the time remaining, thus finishing in final fifteenth place. Bayliss was lying eighth through the opening lap with Salom and Torres immediately ahead of him. The Australian made up two positions in the initial stages and was up in sixth by lap five. From the eighth lap onwards he started to lose ground and despite his best efforts he finished the race in eleventh position.
This means that after the first two 2015 championship rounds, Davies now lies sixth in the overall standings, with 38 points, while Bayliss positions, having earned 15 points. Ducati positions third in the manufacturer’s standings with 50 points.
With the Buriram round, three-times World Champion Bayliss concludes his emotional experience in the 2015 Superbike series. He will return to Australia on Wednesday after taking part in a series of Ducati promotional events in Thailand.
Quotes after the races:
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 11th, 15th
“I’m really disappointed with how today’s races went. It was very difficult as I was constantly having to push, riding at the limit, to fight with the others. The fact that there are three straights here really hindered us today… We made some changes for race 2 and the bike was better, but then the race went more or less like the first one. The crash was different, I lost grip at the rear on entering Turn 3 but then the second part of the race was similar. I tried to make up as many positions as possible. The lap times were good and when I find myself riding alone I have a lot less trouble. When I’m fighting with the others, I have a lot more trouble with initial acceleration and on the straight, losing too much ground which means I then have to force the entry. I have faith in the technicians at Borgo Panigale and their work to find us some more power ahead of the next races…”
Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #21) – 9th, 11th
“All in all, and considering that conditions here are some of the most difficult I’ve experience, I can say that I’m fairly satisfied. I’ve never liked it when it’s this hot and they were, as I expected, two very physical and difficult races, especially the first as I didn’t even take a drink in my suit! I thought I’d do a little better in the second race but I knew it would be tough, so it didn’t go too badly I guess… It’s been fun, I came back in particular circumstances and wanted to do one more event after Phillip Island to see how it would go. I love racing, Ducati and the people that work here and it’s been really great to race with the Panigale R Superbike. I was lucky enough to finish my career fit and healthy and I’ve seen that I can still be fast, but now I am ready to return to enjoying life with my family in Australia. I want to thank everyone for their support and now I leave things to the young talents.”
Ernesto Marinelli – Ducati SBK Project Director
‘’It definitely hasn’t been an easy weekend for us and unfortunately Chaz crashed in both races. We were missing a bit of acceleration out of the slow corners and this is what we need to focus on in coming weeks. We have nevertheless demonstrated again here in Thailand that the Panigale R is a competitive bike. After the crashes Chaz was able to continue and, especially in Race 2, he maintained the same pace as the leaders, lapping with really fast times. Now we have to roll up our sleeves and look ahead to give it our all in the next races. Troy has proved that he is still very fast and in the races, despite the heat, he put on a great show with his aggressive riding. We thank him for having given his all with the same determination he has always shown, we couldn’t have asked for any more. Having him on the bike again for these two events has been great, time might have passed but some things never seem to change – Troy is always Troy.”
Positive day for Althea Racing at Chang International Circuit
The second round of the World Superbike Championship at the Chang International Circuit has concluded with very positive results for the Althea Racing Team, the first Ducati to cross the line in both races and obtaining fourth position in the overall Team standings.
In Thailand, high temperatures and humidity did not prevent the Althea Racing riders from achieving two solid results. The team came to Asia convinced that the track could suit the Ducati Panigale R. Unfortunately, the four cylinders were at an advantage, making the most of the long straights of the Buriram circuit.
Despite this, both Althea riders ran great races. Matteo Baiocco, starting from twelfth on the grid, was able to improve lap after lap to conclude race 1 in sixth place, and race 2 in eighth, the first and only Italian to cross the line and the first of the Ducatis. In race 1, Baiocco made a great start before battling with champions of the likes of Troy Bayliss (factory Ducati) and managing to get the best of factory Kawasaki rider David Salom on the very last lap, recording his fastest lap in the final stages and proving that he was in great physical shape for this tough round. He repeated the performance in race 2 after a great battle with the omnipresent Troy Bayliss.
On his side, Nico Terol had more trouble finding the right feeling with the Asian track. From 14th on the grid, he closed race 1 in twelfth place but with the desire to improve in race 2. The references obtained in race 1 allowed him to improve significantly on his lap times, reducing the overall gap by several seconds and again scoring a number of useful championship points. Nico is already ready to return to his home country, and Aragon, a track at which he already won races in both 125 GP and Moto 2.
Riders comments at the end of the day:
Matteo Baiocco: “I’m pleased to have made continuous improvement throughout these two races. Even in qualifying we saw that that we could be inside the first eight and we are able to achieve this in the races too. I made two good starts, keeping pace until the end. I have grown a lot since Phillip Island and now we head to Aragon in high spirits. I am also very pleased for the Team as the guys have worked really hard, the bike was working well and to be the first of the Ducatis across the line makes both me and the team very happy.”
Nico Terol: “I have had more trouble than I expected this weekend, I was unable to interpret the circuit as I wanted. This only spurs me on to work harder, the team has worked really well, seeking and testing different solutions which gave me better feeling with the bike in race 2 – I improved a little. Now I’m focusing on Aragon, a circuit that I really like and where I want to make two great races in front of my fans.”
Genesio Bevilacqua: “We came to Thailand not knowing how we would interpret this new track. We’ve done all we can with our technical package, but strangely we realized after the first half hour that we would have some serious problems in terms of the long straights, that did not allow us to be competitive against the four cylinders. Our job was to focus in order be as competitive as possible as twin cylinders. We made two great races, Baiocco put in an important performance, positive in terms of both his, and the team’s morale. We’re pleased to go home with two great results and Terol too has made continuous improvement. The fact that we were the first Ducati across the line in both races is also important as we look ahead – from Aragon onward we will surely have the chance to score some important results.”
Jonathan Rea #65 - Kawasaki Racing Team
Race 1 - 1st Race 2 - 1st
Twitter: @jonathanrea Instagram: jonathan_rea
“For me it has been a perfect weekend with pole position and two race wins - we could not have asked for any more. The bike can always be better but at the beginning of the weekend the Ninja ZX-10R was at a really good level, my pace was really fast, the rhythm was good so we did not necessarily chase something we really could have got lost with. I have not had so many double wins in my career but I have been lucky to have some. They do not come round a lot so I want to savour this moment and reflect on what we have done tomorrow and enjoy these next few days.”
Leon Haslam #91 - Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
Race 1 - 2nd Race 2 - 2nd
“The team did a great job. Between the two races we took a big step forward but Rea was simply too fast today. We decided to use a harder front tyre and maybe with the softer one we could have been faster in the first part of the race, but it didn't give us the guarantees we needed in terms of distance. In any case I'm pleased with the weekend, especially because compared to Friday we have really improved and I can't wait to get to Aragon. Being on the podium for the first two rounds of the season is definitely a great starting point.”
Ratthapark Wilairot #9 - CORE Motorsport Thailand
World Supersport race - 1st
Twitter: @Film14Official Instagram: Film14Official
“It’s an incredible feeling. I knew we could have been on the podium today and when I saw all the fans here I realised I had to make it in the top-3, I could hear them cheering on every single lap."
"Today is a day to remember not just for me but for all the Thai motorcycle racing fans. I am so happy of what me and brother did today. I think our father (who passed away in 2010) would be very proud of us.”
First Podium Of 2015 For Sofuoglu And Kawasaki Puccetti Racing
Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) scored second place in Thailand after a tough 17-lap race held in ambient temperatures of 33°C. Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress rider PJ Jacobsen was a fighting third and Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing Kawasaki) seventh.
The 4.554km Chang International Circuit proved to be straightforward in layout if not in the action that unfolded on it, with Sofuoglu taking the lead for the first three laps, only to lose it to long-time leader Jules Cluzel. The Frenchman was to stop with a technical issue leaving local rider Ratthapark Wilairot to the win while Jacobsen and Sofuoglu contested second and third places into the last corner of the last lap.
Kenan was to come out on top and also move himself into second place in the championship fight with 30 points after the first two rounds of the season have been completed.
Jacobsen was just behind Sofuoglu over the line and took his first podium of the year in third, leaving Thailand fourth in the championship overall.
Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) placed fourth in the race at Chang International Circuit, taking his first points of the season.
Full season WSS rookie Faccani was in top form as he more than met his pre-race target of a top ten, finishing seventh.
Team Go Eleven Kawasaki riders Christian Gamarino and Dominic Schmitter scored 13th and 15th places respectively, earning points in the process.
The next round will take place on 12th April, at the impressive Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain.
Kenan Sofuoglu: “We got the podium we wanted but I cannot say I am completely happy with it. I am pleased to score 20 points but I am not so happy with our pace in the race. Our main problem was that the temperatures went up and the track grip changed, which meant we were around a second slower than yesterday. My gearbox was set up for a faster corner speed so in the race I felt like I could not accelerate quickly out of the corners where you need full acceleration. In some parts of the track I was faster than other riders but out of the last corner and the first corner I lost too much. But we still took 20 points and the championship is still open. This was a very hard race for us but the coming races will not be like this one for me.”
PJ Jacobsen: “We had a lack of side grip towards the end because I used my tyre up in the middle of the race trying to catch Cluzel and Wilairot. I think the last three laps the heat was also not playing so well with me. I was thinking too much and Sofuoglu got by me in the last corner. That is a mistake I need to go back and fix for the next time. That said, if we could get a podium every weekend it would be great and we have regrouped after Phillip Island by putting it on the box here.”
Marco Faccani: “I am so happy because my target was a top ten, so seventh is a good race result for me. I was maybe too slow in the first laps but at the end of the race I attacked more. I lost one position to Roby Rolfo at the very end, so I am disappointed for that, but otherwise all is OK for me. We got a result well inside our target and the bike felt good.”
Hard work yields little Supersport reward for Pata Honda in Thailand
After starting from the front row of the grid, Pata Honda rider Kyle Smith crashed out of today’s second-round World Supersport championship race at the Chang International Circuit at Buriram in Thailand.
To the delight of a large partisan crowd, the 17-lap race was won by local Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot on another Honda CBR600RR, appropriately marking Honda’s 100th World Supersport victory since 1997.
After debuting fourth in the season opener at Phillip Island in Australia, World Supersport rookie Smith, 23, had shown good race pace throughout the weekend and was battling in the leading group before crashing out at the fast left-hand turn 10 at the 4.554km Buriram circuit.
Smith will have a chance to fight again in round three of the series, which takes place in his adopted Spain at the Motorland Aragon circuit on 10-12 April.
Kyle Smith - DNF
I felt really strong in the first part of the race. I knew there were a lot of laps and even though I’d been passed by a couple of riders, I knew my race pace over the weekend had been better than theirs so I wasn’t worried. I thought that as long as I stayed inside the leading group I would be fine. I felt like the front had been pushing a little all weekend and I had been making up for that with a slightly slower corner entry and then a faster exit. But as the pace in the race was a little higher, I was having to enter the corner faster and that ended up pushing the front more. I could still ride and felt stronger than the others and, as I pushed to close the gap and make an attack, I lost the front and crashed. There’s not much to say about that apart from to say it was rider error and to apologise t o the team.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinator
I think we had a good warm-up this morning and Kyle got off to a really good start in the race. Unfortunately, he got a little tangled up with other riders and dropped to fifth and had to fight back to the front. As he was doing that he had another crash and unfortunately that was the end of the race. It’s a shame because I think he had the speed to win. I want to congratulate Ratthapark and CORE” Motorsport Honda for their win today, so at least Honda was on top and it’s fantastic for the company to celebrate 100 victories in this way.
Martin steps up in Thailand
Sun, 22 Mar 2015
CIA LANDLORDS INSURANCE HONDA’S Martin Cardenas took a career best eighth place in the second round of the World Supersport Championship at the Chang circuit in Thailand.
Starting from 12th on the grid, the Colombian kept his nerve and stepped up a gear to get into the top 10. Martin said: “That was really good, it was a tough race and I am happy with the result.
“It is good for now but the main thing is we have to try and improve from here and do better. I am working well with the CIA Landlords Insurance Honda team and every weekend we are working to find the right set up on the bike and get closer to the front.”
Gino Rea finished 10th after getting as high as seventh with a handful of laps to go. The British rider was hampered by an electrical problem towards the end of the race.
Kieran Clarke and Riccardo Russo did not finish.
The third round of the World Supersport Championship is at Aragon in Spain on April 12th.
CIA Landlords Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “That was a good race for Martin. He rode strongly and has done an excellent job all weekend. He can build on that and aim for the top five next.
“Gino hurt his foot in a warm up crash and then ran wide in a few turns at the start of the race. He fought back and was looking good for fifth but then suffered some sort of electrical problem that we will investigate.
“Kieran was pleased with his start and doing OK until he hit a technical problem. We will check his bike and do our best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“Ricky was penalised for touring yesterday and had to start from the back of the grid. He then crashed and injured his hand in warm up this morning. He retired from the race early on and will be looking to the next round to get back where he belongs.
“Congratulations to Ratthapong Wilairot who took fifth place in his first WSS race in his home country. CIA Landlords Insurance Honda is happy to have been able to help him and AP Honda Thailand with the loan of an engine for this round.”