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Superbike World Championship, Thailand13.03.2017


Rea Races On

As in Australia two weeks ago, Jonathan Rea won both races during the weekend in Thailand. Untouchable in Buriram, the twin world champion now already has a thirty-point lead over Chaz Davies

The Races

Once again, Jonathan Rea did not do things by halves. The Kawasaki rider scored two new victories on the Buriram circuit which hosted the second round of the Superbike World Championship. After clocking up the fastest time in the qualifying sessions, Rea clearly outperformed his opponents in both races. The result on Sunday was even more impressive in that the Kawasaki rider was forced to start from the ninth position after winning the race the day before. Head and shoulders above the pack, he didn’t need much time to overtake those ahead of him. After four laps of a race reduced to sixteen after an interruption due to oil on the track, Rea was already in the lead and could race away to his fifth victory on the Buriram track.

It’s the best start to a season I’ve ever had, I feel really good on the bike and everything is going well. But I was nervous at the start of the second race because it’s not easy to overtake on this circuit and with the speed of the Ducati’s… Melandri is also very tough braking. But everything went well.

Jonathan Rea

Behind him, Tom Sykes did the job by taking two podium places despite minor brake problems. Finishing twelfth on Saturday afternoon, Randy Krummenacher unfortunately didn’t cross the finish line the next day.

In Supersport, Thitipong Warokorn fittingly replaced Kenan Sofuoglu, who’s still recovering. The Thai finished fourth in a race marked by a number of retirements. Kyles Smith, meanwhile, crossed the finish line in fifth position, while Canducci was forced to retire due to mechanical problems.

The Championship

With four wins in four races, Jonathan Rea will attack the European leg of the world championship with a lead of thirty points over Chaz Davies. Third in the standings, Tom Sykes is only eight points behind the Ducati rider. In Supersport, Kyle Ryde moved up to fourth place overall while Michael Canducci fell back to twentieth position.

The Background

With four wins in four races, Jonathan Rea couldn’t do better in the first two overseas races of the 2017 season. This year, the twin Superbike World Champion – who could become the first rider to win three titles in a row – says he’s never felt so good on his bike. But once again this season, the increasingly stringent technical regulations have seriously limited the work of the Kawasaki engineers.

We can’t do much to the bike, especially the engine, That’s why this winter we concentrated on the chassis to optimize the work of the tyres all along the races.

Marcel Duinker,
chief engineer for Tom Sykes

Work that has obviously paid off. In Australia, as in Thailand, Jonathan Rea finished both races at a very good pace:

 We have a great technical set-up with a very well balanced bike.