2017 Chang Thailand World Supersport Race Results: Heat Takes Its Toll

The second round without Kenan Sofuoglu and the riders have seventeen laps to take as many points as possible before the reigning champion returns. Overbearing heat and fast wildcards add to the usual challenges of World Supersport racing.

Jules Cluzel fought to keep the front wheel down as he charged into the lead ahead of Chalermpol Polamai and Zulfahmi Khairuddin with Federico Caricasulo, Christian Gamarino and Kyle Smith rounding out the top six. Lots of jostling for position in the first few laps and on the second lap, Polamai used the straight leading to turn three to pass Cluzel for the lead. A lap later, Khairuddin pulled out of the race and then further round the lap PJ Jacobsen’s engine also gave up, smoking itself to death in the oppressive heat.

Jules Cluzel passed Chalermpol Polamai for the lead and Kyle Smith forced Polamai wide to pass but Polamai hit the outside limit of the track with a little bit too much lean angle and lost grip on the front tyre and crashed out. Smith lost several places, dropping to sixth.

Cluzel led Christian Gamarino and Federico Caricasulo with Decha Kraisart holding up the wildcard honours in fourth ahead of Kyles Ryde and Smith. Gino Rea was given a ride through for jumping the start. A lap later, Smith carved his way through to pass Gamarino and took a late lunge that blocked Gamarino’s line halfway round the corner. Gamarino had to over brake to avoid Smith’s bike and tucked the front, crashing out. He made his feelings clear, gesticulating at an oblivious Smith. Smith was put under investigation for the move and that would eventually get him told to drop three places.

Cluzel earned himself a gap from Caricasulo and Kraisart and hard-charging Smith made a mistake duelling with Kyle Ryde and the pair dropped behind Niki Tuuli and Hikari Okubu, who was racing with a broken collarbone.

The front three riders broke away from Tuuli, ten laps in, and Gino Rea got disqualified (update: see below) for not taking his ride-through penalty for jumping the start. Kyle Smith’s warning board came out and started to tell him to drop places. Instead of doing that, he charged back and was in place to inherit fourth place when Jules Cluzel fell victim to the heat, his bike’s engine crying uncle and discharging smoke and refusing to play.

Federico Caricasulo was placed to take the lead from the stricken Cluzel, with Decha Kraisart constantly on his rear wheel, closing up into nearly every corner. Niki Tuuli in third was almost three seconds off the fight at the front, as Kyle Smith further back, the fastest man on track as he ignored his penalty and kept charging, caught him to fight for a podium.

On lap fourteen of seventeen, Decha Kraisart became the second Thai wildcard to lead this race, taking the lead at the last corner and holding it over the line, but Caricasulo snatched the lead back at the end of the straight. Kyle Smith was handed out a ride-through penalty that he ignored as he took third place set the fastest lap of the race. On the penultimate lap, Smith set the fastest lap again and bridged the gap Tuuli couldn’t from third to second and he started the last lap directly behind Caricasulo and Kraisart with Tuuli a couple of seconds back.

Kyle Smith and Decha Kraisart took second place off each other as Smith became the second rider to be black-flagged this race.

Federico Caricasulo took his first World Supersport victory ahead of Decha Kraisart, the local man having what his translator described as the best day of his life, while Niki Tuuli was having the hardest race of his career in third. The hot conditions was hard on machinery and, on top of the two disqualifications, seven riders didn't make it to the end.

Roberto Rolfo was eleventh but he maintains his championship lead with those five points ahead of Niki Tuuli and Federico Caricasulo. Kenan Sofuoglu will like what he sees when he returns.

Update: Gino Rea's penalty was for not completing the warmup lap in front of the safety car and not a jump start. He was not instructed to start at the back of the grid or from pitlane. 


Pos No. Rider Bike Gap
1 64 F. CARICASULO Yamaha YZF R6  
2 24 D. KRAISART Yamaha YZF R6 0.793
3 66 N. TUULI Yamaha YZF R6 3.164
4 100 T. WAROKORN Kawasaki ZX-6R 7.564
5 77 K. RYDE Kawasaki ZX-6R 7.698
6 78 H. OKUBO Honda CBR600RR 8.823
7 32 S. MORAIS Yamaha YZF R6 10.532
8 41 A. WAGNER Honda CBR600RR 19.051
9 26 K. WATANABE Kawasaki ZX-6R 19.666
10 70 R. MULHAUSER Honda CBR600RR 19.857
11 44 R. ROLFO MV Agusta F3 675 25.464
12 83 L. EPIS Kawasaki ZX-6R 25.634
13 10 N. CALERO Kawasaki ZX-6R 53.020
14 7 D. PIZZOLI MV Agusta F3 675 1'01.236
RET 65 M. CANDUCCI Kawasaki ZX-6R 4 Laps
RET 16 J. CLUZEL Honda CBR600RR 6 Laps
RET 11 C. GAMARINO Honda CBR600RR 13 Laps
RET 144 L. MAHIAS Yamaha YZF R6 14 Laps
RET 39 C. POLAMAI Yamaha YZF R6 15 Laps
RET 63 Z. KHAIRUDDIN Kawasaki ZX-6R 15 Laps
RET 99 P. JACOBSEN MV Agusta F3 675 15 Laps
DSQ 111 K. SMITH Honda CBR600RR 0.234
DSQ 4 G. REA Kawasaki ZX-6R 7 Laps


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That was an eventful race once again. I wonder what Kyle Smith's penalty will be. I can imagine him being suspended for a race. He spoiled Kraisart's chance for victory, which seemed to be a real possibility, when Smith wasn't even supposed to be there at all.

What of Stapleton this wknd? We had 3 Triumph riders out there in preseason. Poor Jacobsen and MV reliability. But Cluzel and his 2017 bike swap w PJ got a taste.

The R6 has arrived in great form. Sad to lack another big middleweight debut in the pipeline. Has anyone ridden a Supersport spec MV 675 that can comment on the power of the engine? Esp relative to the Triumph? And what of the handling? How is the new R6 feeling?

Odd race.

You mean Luke Stapleford of course ;-)

Jared alreasy wrote earlier they lacked spare parts. Too bad really, I was looking out for him too.

It did not show on tv, but it must have been mighty hot out there. There was an amazing amount of engine failures over the weekend in both classes, and with just about all brands. Unusual nowadays. Those long drag strips with that heat apparently demand bigger radiators and maybe different fairings too.

Lacking SPARES?
What the heck folks. Get your shite together.
Not sure I technically see that as a technical issue. More an avoidable logistical one. Makes me wonder how well the team is doing financially.

It's exceedingly costly to get stuff to Thailand on a Superbike budget let alone a Supersport team's. This is why teams don't bring all their stuff, let alone stuff like backup spares and their motorhomes.

Disgusting behaviour by Kyle Smith, causing several other riders to crash then repeatedly ignoring race direction's punishments and interfering with the final result of a race he was no longer part of! If it weren't for Smith, Kraisart might have been able to win the race. I hope race direction throw the book at him, make him start the next race from the back of the grid or disqualify him from it.