Rea Beats Sykes to Win Thailand Race One

Jonathan Rea kept up his perfect start to the 2016 World Superbike Championship by winning race one in Thailand. The reigning champion prevailed in a race-long battle with teammate Tom Sykes as the factory Kawasakis totally dominated at a hot and humid Buriram.

Earlier in the day, the headlines had been made by Michael van der Mark who claimed the first pole position of his World Superbike career, edging out the Kawasaki riders who set identical times in second and third. The dream of a maiden victory faded as soon as the lights changed though with the Dutchman making a mess of the start, falling to seventh at one stage.

With some typically aggressive overtakes, van der Mark hauled himself back into contention and by the time he had completed lap three, Michael was hot on the heels of the Kawasakis in third. A second mistake, this time at turn eight, saw the polesitter fall back by a further two seconds and from that point on, the fight for victory was a two-horse race.

Rea looked to have the pace to escape early on but a mistake at the final corner on lap two opened the door for Sykes to sneak through. The 2013 champion set a consistent pace at the front as his teammate shadowed him and despite a mistake at turn eight, was perfectly positioned for a move five laps from home. The same place Rea lost the lead would be the place he regained it with Rea easing through at the final corner and despite a late rally from Sykes on the final lap, the Ulsterman held on for a third consecutive win.

Van der Mark fell nine seconds back but still maintained a comfortable third with Chaz Davies seventeen seconds off the win on the leading Ducati. The Welshman came under intense pressure from his teammate Davide Giugliano but a crash for the Italian with three laps to go put paid to his challenge. His loss was Markus Reiterberger’s gain with the German promoted to a terrific fifth while Alex Lowes recovered from an off-track excursion to snatch sixth from Yamaha teammate Sylvain Guintoli.

Jordi Torres was eighth on the second Althea BMW while the Ioda Aprilias of Alex de Angelis and Lorenzo Savadori rounded out the top ten.


WorldSBK 2016: Motul Thai Round – Race One Result

11. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team31:32.31125
266. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+0.22220
360. Michael van der MarkHondaHonda World Superbike Team+9.62316
47. Chaz Racing – Ducati+17.16713
521. Markus ReiterbergerBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+18.89411
622. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+20.75410
750. Sylvain GuintoliYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+24.2219
881. Jordi TorresBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+31.0648
915. Alex de AngelisApriliaIodaRacing Team+34.3487
1032. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaIodaRacing Team+34.4796
112. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse+37.0135
1240. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam GoEleven+41.1134
13151. Matteo BaioccoDucatiVFT Racing+44.3693
1412. Xavi ForesDucatiBarni Racing Team+45.0532
1525. Josh BrookesBMWMilwaukee BMW+51.9391
1620. Sylvain BarrierKawasakiPedercini Racing+54.314
1711. Saeed Al SulaitiKawasakiPedercini Racing+1:06.541
1834. Davide Racing – Ducati+1:09.530
199. Dominic SchmitterKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+1:40.904
2056. Peter SebestyenYamahaTeam Toth+1 Lap
2119. S. KaewjaturapornKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+1 Lap
2210. Imre TothYamahaTeam Toth+1 Lap
2314. Anucha NakcharoensriYamahaYamaha Thailand Racing Team+3 Laps
NC17. Karel AbrahamBMWMilwaukee BMW+1 Lap
NC69. Nicky HaydenHondaHonda World Superbike Team+11 Laps