Rea Completes Dominant Thailand Double


Jonathan Rea’s dream start to life at Kawasaki continued with victory in race two in Thailand, completing a dominant double success. The Northern Irishman led every lap of both races on his way to maximum points with Leon Haslam claiming another second place, ensuring he keeps pace with Rea in the championship race.

Just as in race one, Haslam’s chances of giving Rea a run for his money were destroyed at the start with the Aprilia slipping behind Alex Lowes and Chaz Davies. Tom Sykes couldn’t match his lightning start from the opening race and settled into fifth, forced once again into a scrap with Jordi Torres’ Aprilia.

Haslam finally began to make progress on lap five although it wasn’t by virtue of an inspired overtaking move, but the misfortune of others. For the second time this afternoon, Chaz Davies crashed out of a strong position with the Ducati giving way underneath him as he braked for the left-handed hairpin of turn three. Haslam thus inherited third and shortly before half-distance, the 31-year-old climbed back into second after outbraking Lowes at the end of the back straight. Yet again though, this had come too late for a victory challenge to materialise.

Rea managed the gap in the second half of proceedings and eventually took the chequered flag five seconds clear of the no.91 Aprilia while Lowes atoned for his race one mishap by clinching the final rostrum position, his first since Donington Park last May. Sykes’ miserable afternoon was completed on the penultimate lap as Torres snatched fourth with the former champion left trail home fifth, 14 seconds behind his victorious teammate.

The two PATA Hondas of Sylvain Guintoli and Michael van der Mark crossed the finish line virtually together after clashing at the final corner, van der Mark pipping his teammate by a fraction, but race direction soon adjudged his move to be illegal after exceeding track limits. As a result, Guintoli was awarded sixth with van der Mark a close seventh.

Matteo Baiocco completed a fine weekend with eighth while David Salom and Leandro Mercado rounded out the top ten after overhauling a fast-fading Troy Bayliss.