Press releases from the series organizers and World Superbike and World Supersport teams after the races in Thailand:
WorldSBK: Sykes Strikes Back
Incredible three-way battle sees the number 66 come out on top
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes has taken an incredible victory in a three-way fight for the win at Chang International Circuit in Thailand. The Yorkshireman was locked in a battle with teammate and reigning Champion Jonathan Rea and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies for most of the race, with some of the most electrifying racing of the last few seasons.
Pole-sitter van der Mark crossed the line in fourth to see himself off the podium for the first time in 2016 despite pushing hard all race, but the Dutchman is still on an incredible run at the start of only his second season. After a mechanical problem in Race 1 saw his Honda teammate Nicky Hayden retire, the number 69 Honda crossed the line in Race 2 in 5th to keep both the Fireblades in the top 5.
The first drama came when van der Mark and Chaz Davies made contact on the first lap as they tousled for position, before van der Mark led them off to chase the Kawasaki Racing Team pair of Sykes and Rea. Davies then pounced on the Dutchman, and the Welsh Ducati rider was able to close the gap to Sykes and Rea. The stunning three-way battle rolled on all the way to the line, with some incredibly close passes seeing the three riders leave nothing on the track. Eventually coming home third after an overnight improvement of over 15 seconds over race distance, Davies being on the podium is valuable for Ducati in Buriram.
Close racing characterised Race 2 at Chang International Circuit
Sylvain Guintoli brought the new YZF R1 home in seventh for another good result on the Japanese manufacturer’s return to WorldSBK, ahead of the Althea BMW pair of Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres. Rookie Lorenzo Savadori brought Aprilia home in the top ten once again in P9, with that top ten completed by Ducati rider Davide Giugliano, who missed the Round through injury in 2015 and had a difficult second race at Chang International Circuit.
Leon Camier recovered well from a tough start to bring MV Agusta points once again in 11th, ahead of Team GOELEVEN's Roman Ramos, VFT's Matteo Baiocco and IodaRacing's Alex De Angelis on the second Aprilia machine, who scored more points for the Italian manufacturer despite a small run off in the closing stages. GP winner Karel Abraham completed the top 15 for Milwaukee BMW after outpacing teammate Brookes in Thailand.
Local riders Anucha Nakcharoensri (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) and Sahustchai Kaewjaturaporn (Grillini) were both classified, with wildcard Nakcharoensri coming home in 18th.
After seeing his teammate Rea dominate much of the 2015 season, the first strike in the fight back for Tom Sykes has landed in Thailand in Race 2, with the next chance for the reigning Champion to take back the win coming at MotorLand Aragon, the scene of the Davies’ first Ducati win last season.
1-2 For KRT Again As Sykes Wins From Rea In Thailand
Another electrifying 20-lap race between KRT’s Superbike World Championship competitors Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea saw Sykes win his first race of the year on the all-new Ninja ZX-10R, with Rea just 0.190 seconds behind at the flag. Rea leaves Thailand with 95 points and the series lead while Sykes moved up to second overall today, with 66 points to his credit.
The weekend at the Chang International Circuit will go down as a double 1-2 event for Kawasaki with Rea winning race one on Saturday from Sykes, and that order being overturned after a combative contest around the 4.554km circuit in the heat of the afternoon on Sunday 13th March.
Rea set the fastest lap of the Sunday race, on lap five, as he chased early leader Sykes. Rea was to lead for a time, and then pass Sykes again at some points, only to be re-passed on the way out.
Sykes and Rea looked to have the race between them for most of the race distance but Chaz Davies arrived towards the end and made the battle for the podium places even more complicated.
There was more than one attempt from Jonathan to pass Tom at the end but Sykes defended his position and ended up winning the short run to the finish line from the final right hand corner, with a small advantage of 0.190 seconds to his credit. With Rea second Davies was third, by only 0.314 seconds from Tom, in another thrilling WorldSBK contest for the fans trackside and at home on TV to enjoy.
The second 1-2 in two days for Kawasaki’s official entrants also gives the KRT riders a 1-2 in the championship, with Rea in the lead by 29 points and Sykes a point clear of Michael van Der Mark after four races.
Kawasaki riders have won all of the 2016 season races so far, making a perfect total of 100 points in the Manufacturers’ Championship. Yesterday Jonathan Rea moved to a lone fifth in the all-time race winners’ tally, with 32 career wins. Today Tom drew himself seventh equal in the same ranking, with 27 career victories.
The KRT squad’s European home base in Spain is where the championship will relocate for the next round, at the magnificent Motorland Aragon circuit. Race weekend will be held between 1st and 3rd April.
Tom Sykes stated: “The first win of the year for me and I really had to fight for it. I am happy because Jonathan is at an incredible level in this circuit and we have much such a big step from last year - so I really have to thank all of the boys. They have worked really hard in the winter and even now we are still learning. It was a great race, a great battle. It makes it more satisfying because from about lap six I was struggling with understeer from the front so my corner speed was lower than I wanted. I saw on the big screens at one stage that there were some great riders behind, giving me great pressure, so I had to re-think how to manage the race. To hold on to the win after so-so long is such a great feeling.”
Jonathan Rea stated: “We made a small improvement today in the bike set-up and from ten laps to go I feel I had a much higher pace than Tom. I really wanted to win and I tried two or three times but to win a race against Tom when he is strong, and defending very well, you have to go really deep. Massive credit to him; he did a good job today and beat us flat out. It is good for Kawasaki to have a 1-2 although I would prefer to be the guy in front. Fair play to Tom because I was over my head to win the race yesterday but today I tried my best and got beat. I am sure it was a nice show to watch. We increased our championship lead from Phillip Island and it has been a good day, but I just wanted to win the race. To get beaten is really great for my motivation.”
Roman Ramos (GOELEVEN Kawasaki) placed himself 12th in today’s race and also in the championship points standings. Sylvain Barrier (Pedercini Kawasaki) was 17th in race two and Dominic Schmitter (Grillini Racing Team) 19th. Saeed Al Sulaiti (Pedercini Kawasaki) retired.
Van der Mark and Hayden complete Thai round with top 5 finishes in race two
Round 2 – Thailand
Chang International Circuit, Thailand
The Honda WorldSBK Team concluded the second round of the 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand with Michael van der Mark and Nicky Hayden crossing the line at the end of race two in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Pole-setter van der Mark got a much better start to race two aboard his Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP and entered turn one in second place, before running slightly wide at the following corner and having a small collision with Chaz Davies. He tried to stay with the leading duo and kept third place up to the tenth lap, before being overtaken by his Welsh opponent. After a small moment on lap 13, the 23-year-old Dutchman decided to ride his own race to a fourth place finish.
Nicky Hayden had a decent launch from eighth on the grid and battled with the Yamaha duo of Guintoli and Lowes in the first half of the race. As soon as he elevated himself to fifth place and with clear track ahead, the 34-year-old American was able to ride at a far quicker pace, consolidating his position and ending the race on a high note.
The team will now return to its headquarters in The Netherlands to get ready for the first European round of the season, taking place at Spain’s MotorLand Aragón next April 1-3.
Michael van der Mark 60
It was not an easy race but I have to be happy with the result. Pole position, third place in race one and now a fourth place definitely surpass the expectations we had before the round, given the difficulties encountered last year. I’m really happy about the bike and my own pace. We decided not to change the front tyre type for race two and, although we knew it was a bit of a gamble, it turned out not to be best choice. I did not have the same feeling as in the previous encounter, but it was a risk we had to take and after all, we have 13 more points to add to our tally.
Nicky Hayden 69
I must say that the bike felt a lot better today. We made a lot of changes overnight and I simply just felt more comfortable, maybe not perfect but surely the improvement was there and was quite a good one. I was able to ride without making mistakes and the bike was perfectly smooth. I didn’t get the best of starts and was not fast enough in the first laps to be aggressive and make passes. As the laps went by I felt more and more comfortable; towards the end I started to set my fastest laps of the race and this is very positive. I would lie if I didn’t say that after the warm up I thought I could have put up a better fight, but nonetheless I learned a lot again and overall it was a good weekend.
Michael had a good first half of the race, then had a moment on lap 13 and the guys ahead were able to gap him a little bit. He had to settle for fourth, because our front tyre choice turned out not to be the best one given today’s hotter temperatures. We knew the risks and we can only be happy about how the weekend has gone for him. We made some adjustments to Nicky’s bike settings during the warm up and, given the good results, we decided to keep them for the race. He had a fairly good start and rode comfortably behind the Yamahas in the opening laps. When he got past them he was able to lap considerably faster, and towards the end of the race he was really strong. His fifth place has to be considered as a positive result, he is learning more and more about the bike and how to set it up.
Davies back on the podium with a 3rd place in Race Two in Buriram. Giugliano finishes 10th, hindered by technical problems
After an unexpectedly difficult Race One, the Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team bounced back in Buriram (Tailand), taking another podium with Chaz Davies, who finished third after mounting a strong comeback in a thrilling Race Two, which was won by Tom Sykes. Davide Giugliano, on the other hand, was penalized by bad luck, suffering a technical problem and finishing in tenth position.
The race initially unfolded similarly to the one on Saturday, with the factory Kawasakis dictating the pace. Both Davies and Giugliano got off a strong start, but the Italian progressively lost contact with the front as he was forced to lap around 1.5 seconds slower than his usual pace. Davies instead managed to mount a spectacular comeback and, at half-way, got himself in third position and progressively cut the gap. In the last five laps, the Welshman fought tenaciously, albeit without finding an opening, and closed in third place, only three tenths behind the winner.
The Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team will now head back to Europe for the third round of the WorldSBK championship, scheduled for Aragon (April 1-3).
Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #7) – 3rd
“I’m happy with the progress we’ve made since yesterday. Thanks to the team, we solved a couple issues and I could fight at the top again, but we missed a little something to try to go for the win. We still need to improve on the engine side, but this track was probably the most difficult both for me and the Panigale R and still I leave it with a smile on my face. This podium gives me a lot of confidence ahead of the next races.”
Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati #34) – 10th
“This weekend, it’s been more difficult than we expected. Yesterday I was making a strong comeback and crashing out was really unfortunate, while today I suffered a technical problem, which still needs to be verified, that reduced significantly my speed on the straight. Anyway, Chaz’s third place represents a good indication of the competitiveness of the Panigale R, and I’m confident I can redeem myself as well in Aragon.”
Ernesto Marinelli, SBK Project Director
“Today has been more positive, at least to some extent. Both Chaz and Davide rode at their best, but with different outcomes. Davide faced a performance drop on the straight that prevented him from lapping as fast as usual, while with Chaz we managed to cut the gap almost entirely since yesterday. As in Australia, we barely missed the top of the podium here as well, and we’re confident we can make the last step once we’re back in Europe.”
WSBK Thai: Reiterberger and Torres cross the line together, 7th and 8th, at “Chang”
Buri Ram (Thailand), Sunday 13 March 2016
When the sun came up on the Buri Ram track this morning, the grandstands were already filling up with the many enthusiastic fans who cheered on the riders with singing and drums throughout the day.
During the morning, fans were able to take part in the pit walk (the crowd included more than 200 BMW Thailand customers), flooding into the pitlane and lining up for photos and autographs with the Althea BMW Racing Team riders.
Jordi Torres and Markus Reiterberger were touched by the many smiles and dedications offered by the fans.
In Thailand Jordi is a real star, thanks to his great character and the positive results he achieved here last year, during only the second round of his first year in WorldSBK. Markus, who thanks to yesterday’s result is already contributing to the championship’s statistics (the first German rider to finish inside the top five since Max Neukirchner’s third place finish in Valencia in 2009), overcame his shyness to interact with the fans.
With the crowds as a backdrop, the day’s track events got underway. First the 15-minute morning warm-up, which served to refine the electronics of the BMW S 1000 RR bikes, followed by Race 2, an exciting race that once again kept spectators on the edge of their seats.
THE RACE (20 laps, 91.080 Km)
Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres started from ninth and tenth respectively on the grid, with a track temperature of 54°C when the race got underway at 4pm local time.
Reiterberger made a fairly good start, holding ninth position for one lap until his team mate Torres passed him. The Spaniard gave chase to those ahead and on lap six, he set his best lap on the BMW S 1000 RR (1’34.898); the German meanwhile continued to push but lost another two positions (12th). On lap ten Torres was laying seventh, a position that he held to the last lap, while “Reiti” got past the two Aprilias to give chase to his team mate – his best lap came on lap twelve (1’34.783).
On the last lap the Spaniard made a small mistake after one of the riders who was a lap down did not make way for him as required by the blue flag. At that point, Reiterberger made a move to get in front of Torres. The two Althea BMW riders raced to the line side by side, putting on a show within the show, but it was the German who crossed the line first, just 23 thousandths of a second ahead of the Spaniard.
A race that fully met the expectations of the team because, aside from the overall standings, the riders further closed the gap between themselves and the leaders.
In the general standings, Jordi Torres lies seventh with 33 points and Markus Reiterberger is ninth with 28 points.
The next World SBK round will take place from 1-3 April at Aragon in Spain.
“I got off the line well and maintained my position through lap one. I felt comfortable on my BMW S 1000 RR even if I was unable to match the times of the fastest guys, despite the fact I was pushing hard. We made the right tyre choice and towards the end I was able to be faster and reach those ahead of me, and this is very positive, even though we need to find the way to be faster through the first three laps. Jordi passed me during the first three laps and I lost contact with him, then on the final lap when I was behind him he made a small mistake and I was able to profit from it.”
“We completed the kind of race we expected to, with a good start and a strong race pace. I was able to fight with my rivals and I learned a lot. We’re pleased because we are gradually reaching the others. I made a mistake on lap one and then also on the last lap because I was distracted by the information on my pit board but also by a rider a lap down who didn’t move aside. “Reiti” was behind me and ready to take advantage. We’re still only at the start of the season and we’re on the right track. The next round at Aragon in Spain is my home race. I’m happy to race there because many of my fans come along and push me on to do well at a track I really enjoy.”
“This second race was better than the first in terms of overall times because the riders reduced the gap from the front. Reiti did not make the perfect start and this caused him to lose a few seconds before getting into his rhythm but overall his performance was strong. At the end of the two races, we’ve scored many points, gained confidence and collated data that will be useful at the next round at Aragon, but also in subsequent tests that we will carry out at Jerez de la Frontera on 5 and 6 April. There we will be able to make the most of the two-day session to make some modifications and find new solutions.”
Encouraging Performance for Pata Yamaha in Thai WorldSBK
A strong second race at the Chang International Circuit saw Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's Sylvain Guintoli take a sixth place finish as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship completed its weekend in Thailand, while his teammate Alex Lowes experienced an unfortunate retirement.
The majority of the weekend's healthy 81,346 attendance witnessed the hottest day felt so far at the Chang International Circuit as air temperatures of 36°C heated the asphalt to the mid-40's as the final WorldSBK race began. Sixth off the lights, the initial laps saw Guintoli fighting for position with his teammate as they both pushed towards the front group, the 34-year-old advancing a place on the younger Yamaha rider on lap three. Maintaining his rhythm despite an attack from Nicky Hayden, the Frenchman's pace kept his YZF-R1 in the fight for fifth - holding Torres behind while retaining his focus on Hayden in front. Keeping his cool, Guintoli concluded his second Thai WorldSBK race in sixth position, bringing his rider total to 40 points and retaining fifth in the standings.
Another great start saw Lowes jump two positions from his seventh place grid spot as Sunday's contest got underway. His determination pushing him towards the front, he diced with Chaz Davies for fourth as they crossed the line for the second time, before the subsequent battle for fifth in the following lap lost him ground and position to his teammate. Continuing to race consistently in the hunt for the front group, lap 10 witnessed an early exit for the British rider, retiring his YZF-R1 at turn five with an untimely technical issue.
The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team now returns to Europe in preparation for the championship's first race in Spain, at Motorland Aragon, on Saturday 2nd April.
Race: 6th / +13.068 / 20 Laps. Championship: 5th / 40 points
"We've had some up's and down's this weekend. To be honest I said after Phillip Island that I thought we would struggle more here, and we did, but saying that we've shown some really good pace on pure lap time and pure performance, so that's a good sign. We've also progressed a lot during the weekend and in between the races - with a lot of work and a very late night working on data with the guys, so thanks to them for that. I appreciate it, staying up late to try to make the right choices! We've improved the performance - we've gone from 25 seconds from the winner in the first race to 13 in race two! I was able to put up the fight at the second part of the race as we kept the tyre much better today, so the differences we applied worked. It's another good learning weekend for us so now we have to carry on pushing hard, pushing to the maximum, so we can get the best feedback and help the developments to move forward in Aragon."
Race: DNF / -11 Laps. Championship: 14th / 12 points
"I'm really disappointed with today as I felt great on the YZF-R1 and had a decent start to run fifth. Sylvain passed me on the third lap - we came together and ran off track - so I sat behind him, pacing myself for the next few laps - because I knew from yesterday's race that I had good pace near the end and could aim at fifth position. I was probably riding the best I have done all year, so it's even more disappointing that I couldn't finish the race. I'm pretty devastated, but I felt like I was riding really well and starting to understand how to get the best from this bike, so I need to go back, regroup and come back strong in Aragon."
Paul Denning Team Principal
"This fourth race day of the 2016 season has seen further positives for the new Pata Yamaha WorldSBK project, but also some unexpected and unfortunate challenges. Both riders made very aggressive starts and without question the team's hard work last night to improve the performance of the YZF-R1 for the race today looked to be paying dividends, given the significant decrease in gap to the winner. Sylvain did another very solid job and fought hard for more good points, but we are extremely sorry for Alex that he was unable to finish the race - particularly as his understanding of the YZF-R1 and riding style has taken such big steps forward, and it looked like the top-five was on the cards. The team, and the Yamaha Racing group, will react to all the information we've gathered this weekend, and look to arrive ready to race in Aragon and take more steps forward."
A new top ten finish for Savadori, De Angelis scores point in Thai Race 2
Buriram, March 13, 2016 - The weekend of races on the circuit Chang Buriram ended positively for Team Iodaracing and its riders who now will begin their long journey to Europe bringing home a one-two in the top ten of Race 1, while in Race 2, Lorenzo Savadori and Alex De Angelis have closed respectively with a ninth and fourteenth place.
After the successful Saturday ended with both Iodaracing Team riders in the top ten under the checkered flag, Race 2 did not reserve the same satisfactions. Penalized by positions away from the summit on the grid obtained in Superpole1 round of qualifying, Lorenzo Savadori and Alex De Angelis had to refit in the early stages of Race 2 from the sixth and seventh row, but using very well the acceleration of their Aprilia RSV4RF, the two Iodaracing Team guys have managed to bring close to the leaders 10 after the race start.
As in the first race of the weekend, the longest battle between Lorenzo Savadori and Alex De Angelis was with the BMW riders Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres, who has for long time been in the Stock 1000 Champ target. A straight, according to the rider caused by a gearbox malfunction five laps to go, has sent Alex De Angelis outside the track, than the San Marino rider had to settle for fourteenth final position at the finish.
Lorenzo Salvadori, however, has managed to keep until the end of his pace, despite the one on Sunday was the hottest day of the three on the Chang circuit in Buriram. Salvadori has thus crossed the line in ninth position improving, compared to Saturday's race, his gap from the winner (Tom Sykes) of about ten seconds.
The SBK World Championship rankings at the end of the second races weekend of the 2016 Superbike season for the Iodaracing Team, sees Lorenzo Savadori in eleventh place with 17 points and Alex De Angelis in fifteenth with 12 championship points.
LORENZO SAVADORI # 32 - THAI ROUND RACE 2 - NINTH - I'm satisfied with the race because we were able to re-center the top ten after Race 1 yesterday. The positive thing is that we have definitely improved the gap to the front guys. Unfortunately I made a small mistake at the end, and then I lost seven seconds. In the race I fought it for a long time with Reiterberger and his BMW, and this made me do even more experience. Let's get out of here with a new datas baggage that I will need use in the future. I have to thank Aprilia and Iodaracing Team for the great job well done here. I come home very satisfied.
ALEX DE ANGELIS # 15 - THAI ROUND RACE 2 - FOURTEENTH - "I don't know what exactly happened in the lap where I am gone outside the track, but the it seems that the gearbox did not work. I'm sorry for the race because I was going so much better yesterday. I was faster also because the bike was much more driveable than yesterday. I could even physically much better, yesterday it was hard but now I was more at ease. We are on the right path, we just have to solve these little problems that make us a bit damn. Our enhancements are constant, but we may be far ahead. "
WorldSSP: Clever Cluzel Takes Victory in Thailand
MV Agusta rider comes out on top after four-way fight
Frenchman Jules Cluzel has won the WorldSSP Race at Chang International Circuit, holding off Puccetti rider Kenan Sofuoglu and Honda’s PJ Jacobsen . The MV Agusta rider scored his 11th career victory and his first since being sidelined through injury in the latter half of 2015, with the battle a four-way fight between the MV Agusta rider and Jacobsen, Sofuoglu and Krummenacher.
It was PJ Jacobsen from Honda World Supersport Team who took the early lead, before with ten laps to go, the top four riders of Jacobsen, Cluzel, Sofuoglu and Krummenacher found themselves in a four way battle. On the penultimate lap, Cluzel made his way through on Jacobsen for the lead and reigning Champion Sofuoglu attempted to follow the Frenchman through, leading to contact with Honda rider Jacobsen and three bikes going side by side into Turn 6.
Wildcard Thai rider Decha Kraisart had a great ride to 11th for Yamaha Thailand Racing Team, and last year’s 5th placed rider and wildcard Ratthapong Wilairot, whose brother claimed victory last year, showed great pace but unfortunately crashed early in the race and was unable to get to the end.
The Motul Thai Round proves the first points of the year for great rivals Jules Cluzel and Kenan Sofuoglu after a difficult weekend in Australia. Puccetti rider Randy Krummenacher retains his Championship lead after two rounds, with the next race back in Europe at MotorLand Aragon.
Sofuoglu Second And Krummenacher Fourth In Thai WSS Race
Kenan Sofuoglu scored second place for his first points and first podium of the season after 17 hard laps around the 4.554km Buriram circuit in Thailand today. His team-mate Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) took a close fourth place in the second round of the FIM Supersport World Championship. In the points table Krummenacher still leads with Sofuoglu now fourth.
The hot raceday air temperatures of 36°C meant that the work was hard for both men and machines in a combative race; a race in which experience finally told for Sofuoglu. His second place finish, just 0.812 seconds behind winner Jules Cluzel, came after it looked like he may have to settle for an off podium result.
The four-time world champion reasserted himself in the final stages and went from fourth to second in three laps, holding that position across the line at the end.
Krummenacher, who won first time out in round one with his Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team, looked bound for a podium again during his first visit to the Chang International Circuit. Randy finally took an important point scoring finish as he held onto the leading group for fourth place, just 1.237 behind the winner.
In the championship standings the 13 points Krummenacher earned for fourth place today keep him in the lead, with 38 points in total, while Sofuoglu is ranked fourth, on 20 points.
Spain is the next stop for the 13-round WSS Championship trail, with Motorland Aragon hosting the next race weekend between 1st and 3rd April.
Kenan Sofuoglu stated: “It was very difficult especially in the beginning of the race where I was losing time. I said to myself not to give up and that we were going to fight and at least make a podium. On the brakes I could come back but I was losing some time. But if we look at that, and consider that we were very close to the winner, it means our overall package is very good. We need to work and we are going to fight. The temperature was high but it was OK, the same for everybody, so there was no big difference.”
Randy Krummenacher stated: “Fourth place and more important points today. The race was quite hard for everybody but I was just not able to take the risks that Kenan did. He did a really good job today. I was for sure able to go faster than Jules and Jacobsen but on the brakes I was just not able to go for that extra risk to pass them. I just said, OK, for the moment I cannot do it. That is a point I have to work on but of course in a race like this, where it is hard, means I learn more than I did in my victory in Australia. So that is quite positive and for sure I can use this experience in Aragon.”
Malaysia’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was the next best Kawasaki finisher behind the Sofuoglu and Krummenacher combination, in seventh place. GOELEVEN Kawasaki rider Ondrej Jezek was up to tenth in the race, from 17th on the grid, while Christian Gamarino (GOELEVEN Kawasaki) just missed out on a point for 16th place. Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was 19th and Lachlan Epis (Response RE Team Kawasaki) was 22nd.
Hard-earned podium finish for Jacobsen in spectacular Thai WorldSSP race
Round 2 – Thailand
Chang International Circuit, Thailand
PJ Jacobsen and the Honda WorldSSP Team have taken their maiden podium finish of the season at the end of an enthralling, 17-lap race at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand. With the second round of the season over, the 22-year-old American and Honda move up to second place in the riders’ and manufacturers’ standings, respectively.
Jacobsen got the perfect start off fourth place on the grid aboard his Honda CBR600RR as he dived with great confidence into turn one to take the lead. He then pushed hard to maintain his position, despite some fierce competition from Cluzel. In the closing stages of the race, Jacobsen did his utmost to stay at the front of the field, eventually running slightly wide at turn five on the penultimate lap. He then found himself in the middle of the factory Kawasaki duo of Sofuoglu and Krummenacher, exchanging positions with the reigning Champion much to the crowd’s delight.
The three riders crossed the line within four tenths of a second of each other, with Jacobsen claiming third place at the chequered flag.
The next round of the 2016 FIM Supersport World Championship takes place at MotorLand Aragón circuit in Spain on April 1-3.
Patrick Jacobsen 2
I didn’t want to walk out of here with a third place trophy, I wanted to win. We were able to lead almost the entire race but at the very end it was really hard to stop and get the bike turning, so I could not attack as hard as I’d wanted to. I’m happy with second place in the standings and we’ll make sure to find that extra bit for Aragon in order to give our very best up to the very last corner.
In this morning’s warm up we tried few changes to the bike that worked out pretty well. PJ’s fastest lap was clearly a good sign for the race. He had an incredible start from fourth place and rode a heroic race, refusing to give up even in the last corners, when it was clear that he had some difficulties. Of course we all wanted to win, especially after leading for the vast majority of the race, but we’re happy with the improvements and with the second place in the championship.
Fastest lap and Fifth for Kyle
Sun, 13 Mar 2016
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda rider Kyle Smith, boasted the fastest lap of the World Supersport race today at Chang International Circuit in Thailand. Kyle didn’t get the best of starts but picked his way through the field to finish an impressive 5th. Kyle said: “I am happy with the pace. We have worked hard and got a good bike set up. I had trouble with the start but if we can work on adapting that before the next round we should definitely be up the front.”
Luke Stapleford’s world arena learning curve continued with a disappointing 14th after struggling with the effects of the heat at the sultry Buriram circuit. He was happy to finish in the points and said: “It was always going to be difficult moving from British Supersport to WorldSS. I am not quite getting on with the bike but I’m sure when we hit that sweet spot we will be in the zone. I am looking forward to the next round in Aragon, a track I know and temperatures I am more used to.”
Hikari Okubo was looking good for scoring points when he slipped off on the 10th lap of the 17 lap race. It was a brave effort that saw him get back aboard the Honda CBR600RR to finish the race in 20th position.
Stefan Hill finished just outside of his target top twenty in 21st, he said: “I had a problem at the start but overall it was a positive weekend for me and I’ve learned a lot. I will to go to Aragon a lot stronger.”
CIA Landlord Honda Team Manager, Simon Buckmaster said: “It was a great ride by Kyle to fifth place and the fastest lap, he had the pace to challenge for the win all weekend. His start was disappointing and we will look at changing some settings for him for the next round. Luke scored his first Championship points. He is still adapting to both the Honda and the World Championship. We will do some comparison work with Ohlins and use our considerable experience as a team to help Luke get to where he really should be. Hikari’s hand injury affected him and he unfortunately slid off but I am certain he is a dark horse and will soon be challenging in the points and in the top ten. Stefan improved all weekend. We will help him to work on his focus and concentration to get him consistently finishing in the top twenty.”
BURIRAM, THAILANDIA 13/03/2016 - ROUND 2 OF THE WORLD SUPERSPORT CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 2 of the 2016 Supersport World Championship got underway at 2.20pm local time at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand. Twenty-five riders lined up on the starting grid with the GRT Racing Team riders starting in 9th place for Gino Rea and 21st place for Aiden Wagner. The race comprised a total of seventeen laps in hot and humid energy sapping conditions.
After a good start, Gino Rea made up a few places but then suddenly slipped back to ninth due to the presence of oil on his right boot. This issue impeded Gino’s full control of the motorcycle but he battled on, eventually finishing the race in ninth place with a best lap time of 1'39.486. Aiden Wagner, after some technical problems yesterday, started from the twenty first position on the grid. Aiden put in a very combative performance and steadily climbed six places up from 21st and into the points in 15th place with a best lap time of 1'39.833. The results for Gino and Aiden mean that they have both scored points in their first two races for the GRT Racing Team and, the Team are very satisfied with their progress, committment and contribution to the Team’s objectives.
Gino Rea: “I'm not happy with the ninth position at all; it isn't where we should be. I had oil on my boot from the first lap onwards so I was struggling to keep my body in the correct position on the motorcycle as my foot kept sliding off the foot rest. After I realised that there wasn’t a risk of oil going onto my tyre I got my head down and had reasonably good pace, but I was behind Zanetti and I couldn't get close enough to overtake. It's frustrating as the bike was handling great, we now have to work and improve on certain areas of the overall package. Despite the oil leak problem, I was only 11 seconds from the leader so the Team and I remain very positive that we'll be at the sharp end at the European races”.
Aiden Wagner: “Well, we made some positions up from where we started in 21st place on the grid, and finished the race up in 15th place. In the end the bike held us back with problems that we could not fix unfortunately. It will be good to get back home and re-group for Round 3 in Aragon, Spain. Whilst I’m not particularly happy with my result, we at least we got a point, so looking at the situation positively, I have scored points in both races so far. Hopefully in time for the next round, we will have found and resolved the problems we have experienced this weekend”.
Technical Director Mirko Giansanti: “With today’s results, we have demonstrated that we can be very competitive. Gino Rea could have achieved a better result if not for the oil issue as his lap times were strong and also very consistent once he had managed the problem. Aiden Wagner showed us what he can achieve as he put in a really strong ride climbing from 21st place on the grid to finally finish 15th and score points for the second race in a row. This is a great achievement for both him and the Team after a difficult race weekend. We will now return to Europe for Round 3 at Aragon in Spain and, have much work to do to improve the motorcycles and make them more conistent, particularly for the Free Practice and Superpole sessions”.