2016 Chang Thailand World Superbike Race Two Results: Are You Not Entertained?

Race two in Buriram was highly anticipated after yesterday's close finish and the venue was packed, just like last year, with manufacturers bussing in eager fans.

As the lights went out, it looked like Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea had the drop on pole-sitter Michael van der Mark, but the Dutchman only lost one place, tucking in behind Sykes for the first corner. Rea didn't wait too long before taking second place off him, however, and he ended up in third, ahead of Chaz Davies who tried to pass but had to back off after nearly hitting him. The near contact flustered Davide Giugliano behind the duelling pair and he lost several places reacting to the bagarre in front, with Alex Lowes, Sylvain Guintoli and Nicky Hayden taking advantage.

On the second lap, Lowes passed Davies into turn twelve, the last corner, but in the third lap he was passed by Davies and, trying to recover, went wide and let Guintoli past, but at the front, the top three were breaking away with only Davies in fourth looking like he had the pace to catch them.

Chaz Davies caught the front three of Sykes, Rea and van der Mark and made it a four way battle. Davies hounder van der Mark, giving the Kawasakis at the front a chance to build a one second gap that increased a few tenths at a time for three laps. Van der Mark and Davies were over a second clear of Guintoli, Lowes and Hayden and had locked horns.

On the tenth lap, passing the halfway mark of the race, a second and a half off the leaders, Chaz Davies forced his way under Michael van der Mark at turn three and started closing the gap to the fight at the front while further back Alex Lowes retires. A lap later, Jonathan Rea passed Tom Sykes at turn three only to have Sykes take the lead back a turn later. Turn three, Lap twelve and Rea ties again, but both green bikes go wide and they hold station, all the while with Davies taking advantage of the scrap to close up on his Ducati. Davies is gifted with clean air behind him a lap later as van der Mark muffs a corner up and recovers having lost two seconds to Davies. Rea takes the lead again, this time holding it for almost a lap before Sykes pounces on a mistake by Rea to snatch the lead back. Davies follows him through and puts himself between the raging Kawasakis.

The green-red-green blur flashes past Imre Toth, more sensible than his teammate yesterday or fearing the same grid penalty dished out to Sebestyén, and the fight continues. Rea tries a few passes on Davies and finally gets one to stick and focusses his attention on Sykes in the lead. The Kawasaki rentacrowd, resplendent in their green and black shirts, cheer. Two more laps and the front three are still covered by a few tenths. As they entered the penultimate lap, they did so three abreast into the last corner and Rea took the lead, Sykes took the lead, Rea took the lead, Sykes took the lead and they started the last lap, Sykes, Rea and Davies.

Turn three of the last lap passed without incident but Rea then fights Sykes and wrestles the lead from him only to have Sykes snatch it back. As they exit turn ten, Sykes veers across the track defensively to his right, thwarting Rea's power move and offering Davies false hope in third. The three riders enter the last corner close but Tom Sykes has done enough and he takes his first win of the year, ahead of his Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea and Ducati's Chaz Davies. Michael can der Mark and Nicky Hayden get fourth and fifth for Honda, with Hayden quietly only ten seconds off the victory.

Sykes and Rea leave Thailand having matched each other in Superpole and with a win each. The promise of a close season lies ahead of us as they return to Europe victorious.


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap Best Lap Speed
1 66 T. SYKES Kawasaki ZX-10R   1'34.236 300,8
2 1 J. REA Kawasaki ZX-10R 0.190 1'33.997 308,6
3 7 C. DAVIES Ducati 1199 Panigale R 0.314 1'34.261 305,1
4 60 M. VAN DER MARK Honda CBR1000RR SP 5.199 1'34.413 300,8
5 69 N. HAYDEN Honda CBR1000RR SP 10.643 1'34.714 301,7
6 50 S. GUINTOLI Yamaha YZF R1 13.068 1'34.711 301,7
7 21 M. REITERBERGER BMW S1000 RR 14.481 1'34.783 305,1
8 81 J. TORRES BMW S1000 RR 14.504 1'34.898 306,8
9 32 L. SAVADORI Aprilia RSV4 RF 21.694 1'34.920 304,2
10 34 D. GIUGLIANO Ducati 1199 Panigale R 23.794 1'34.821 297,5
11 2 L. CAMIER MV Agusta 1000 F4 27.205 1'35.362 291,1
12 40 R. RAMOS Kawasaki ZX-10R 32.309 1'35.429 296,7
13 151 M. BAIOCCO Ducati 1199 Panigale R 36.672 1'35.274 295,9
14 15 A. DE ANGELIS Aprilia RSV4 RF 38.761 1'34.866 303,4
15 17 K. ABRAHAM BMW S1000 RR 39.789 1'35.656 303,4
16 25 J. BROOKES BMW S1000 RR 42.840 1'35.570 299,2
17 20 S. BARRIER Kawasaki ZX-10R 46.158 1'36.315 292,7
18 14 A. NAKCHAROENSRI  Yamaha YZF R1 1'04.628 1'37.416 289,5
19 9 D. SCHMITTER Kawasaki ZX-10R 1'21.675 1'37.961 293,5
20 56 P. SEBESTYÉN Yamaha YZF R1 1'21.687 1'37.872 289,5
21 19 S. KAEWJATURAPORN Kawasaki ZX-10R 1 Lap 1'41.373 289,5
22 10 I. TÓTH Yamaha YZF R1 1 Lap 1'40.525 288,8


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I may well extend my month of viewing on the basis of this race... what looked like a potential green and black snoozefest as sykes and rea pulled away developed into a barnstorming race.

Also enjoying the race per day over the weekend, makes it much more accessible with a busy weekend.... though watching at 9AM UK time probably helped.........

Well done WSBK.

Good racing eh Andrew?! Watching WSS too? Look at that last couple laps!

Hope of course to be wrong, but the Ducati and Honda are at the pinnacle of development under the new regulations while the new Kawasaki is not yet. This doesn't take away any of the well deserved praise for the unlikely improvement Honda has made with their old CBR, nor from the great riding from 60 and 69. Yamaha and the new BMW teams will continue to make gains and to join battles nearer the front. But perhaps with a growing gap to the guys in green?

WSS has some surprises in store. Nice race PJ Jacobsen!

"As they exit turn ten, Sykes veers across the track defensively to his right, thwarting Rea's power move"

I think somebody needs to have a small word with Sykes about dangerous riding. There's covering the line and making yourself wide, and then there's veering across the track.

To be fair Sykes took that "swerve out wide" line every single lap, even when he was behind Rea. It was his racing line for the entire race, but when Rea was trying to pass on the last lap (using multiple different lines to get past) it looked like Sykes was deliberately swerving into him. I don't think Sykes was trying to suddenly block off Rea hence I don't think he was being overly aggressive.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure Dorna has a rule against swerving on straights. I'm all for a good race but those moves were plain stupid and reeked of desperation. I couldn't believe that wasn't under investigation.

Currently, there are no illegal maneuvers defined. Instead, there is the catch-all phrase of "irresponsible riding", in clause 1.21.2, defining behavior during the race and practice:

 Behaviour During Practice and Race
2. Riders must ride in a responsible manner which does not cause danger to other competitors or participants, either on the track or in the pit-lane. Any infringement of this rule will be penalised with one of the following penalties: penalty points - fine - change of position - ride through – time penalty – drop of any number of grid position at the rider’s next race – disqualification - withdrawal of Championship points - suspension.

This leaves Race Direction free to judge each case on its merits.  

Actually during the post race interviews in parc ferme Rea expressed concern for the swerves Sykes had made. He said some of his moves were pretty scary.

That last swerve Sykes did was super aggressive and pretty borderline IMHO.

Rea was clearly faster at that point in the race.

Still, it was a hard fought race and so long as he's not making a habit of it I don't see a major problem with it.

I can't recall an exact moment right now, but I'm pretty sure I've seen other riders in the past castigated for moves like that. I held my breath when he pulled that move, expecting to see Rea go ass over teakettle getting caught by Sykes rear wheel. I agree that it was both dangerous and desperate.

Of course on the other side of things it was the last lap, and we know Race Direction gives a bit more leeway on the last lap for people making a pass, so why not for those defending from a pass?

... the great bit of behind the scenes of Nicky chewing out his team after Race 2? Entertaining stuff.

and it sounds like he was saying engine braking for turn 4 was too much

"Turn 4, the first lap, had too much engine braking, way too much"

and of course after listening to it closely a few times to figure out what he said, the anno9uncer said he was talking about engine braking :)

If he's complaining and still only finishing ten seconds off the lead of a hard-fought high-paced race, I think it's clear he's intending to win a race or two.

I know it's early days and the proof of the pudding will be when WSB gets back to Europe (in terms of crowd sizes), but to my eyes things are definitely looking up overall. The four Superbike races and two Supersport outings so far have all been decent close races and some good new names in the mix (Markus Reiterberger looks impressive, Lorenzo Savadori is working miracles considering Ioda came in at the last minute, Federico Caricasulo in Supersport) and the top 20 in the WSB field look closer than last season [where there was a big gap after the top twelve or so]. With a big name like Nicky coming across, Honda's improved showing so far certainly helps too.

Putting a race on Saturday was not something I or many others were keen on, but now that we're off and running I can understand the logic (in light of them needing to try *something* to halt the decline in spectators). This way, there is some press about a RACE on Saturday for people to get excited about, rather than it all being Sunday where it would get buried by MotoGP or F1 (some poxy car racing, I believe) when in direct competition.

All we need now is for someone to make those two brand-new R1s the Toth team have got go quickly and we'll really be cooking.

Anyone know why they're only doing Supersport commentary on Eurosport, and not the Superbikes? I don't want to slag off Tom Gaymor too much considering he's doing it solo, which has to be tough, but it's pretty dry old commentary.