Rea Extends Winning Start in Thailand

Jonathan Rea extended his winning record in 2017 to three wins in three starts after crushing the opposition in race one at Buriram in Thailand. The reigning champion led from start to finish with no other rider capable of matching his race pace, Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes coming home a distant second and third respectively.

Superpole had taken place in bizarre circumstances with a batch of Pirelli qualifying tyres damaged in transit with the replacements stuck in customs on their way to Buriram. As a result, the compound was withdrawn from the allocation and the fight for pole took place on soft race tyres, something which certainly played into Rea’s hands as he pipped Sykes to pole for the second round running.

Marco Melandri rounded out the front row and the Italian was the only rider to keep Rea in sight early on, diving past Sykes for second at turn one. Davies was finding life slightly tougher having qualified on the second row but a sensational move saw him climb into the podium spots, scything up the inside of the no.66 Kawasaki at turn seven, arguably the circuit’s unlikeliest overtaking place.

With Rea becoming an increasingly lonely leader, Melandri fell back into the clutches of his team-mate and the inevitable came on lap fourteen as Davies snatched second. Marco still looked set for a second consecutive rostrum but a fast-finishing Sykes had other ideas, diving past into the final corner to steal the final podium position. Melandri crossed the line a dejected fourth, but will at least have the consolation prize of pole position for race two.

Michael van der Mark won the battle of the PATA Yamahas for fifth, edging out Alex Lowes, while a last lap technical problem robbed Eugene Laverty of seventh, promoting Jordi Torres, Leon Camier and Nicky Hayden into the top nine and the second row for tomorrow’s race.


WorldSBK 2017: Motul Thai Round – Race One Result

11. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team31:16.12525
27. Chaz Racing – Ducati+6.27920
366. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+8.16516
433. Marco Racing – Ducati+8.23913
560. Michael van der MarkYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+11.38411
622. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team+14.86210
781. Jordi TorresBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+26.0359
82. Leon CamierMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse+31.7558
969. Nicky HaydenHondaRed Bull Honda WorldSBK Team+33.3057
106. Stefan BradlHondaRed Bull Honda WorldSBK Team+35.2086
1112. Xavi ForesDucatiBARNI Racing Team+35.4285
1288. Randy KrummenacherKawasakiKawasaki Puccetti Racing+38.8654
1332. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia+39.8693
1421. Markus ReiterbergerBMWAlthea BMW Racing Team+40.1402
1540. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam Kawasaki GoEleven+47.4071
1615. Alex de AngelisKawasakiPedercini Racing SC-Project+57.203
1784. Riccardo RussoYamahaGuandalini Racing+1:00.996
1837. Ondrej JezekKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+1:05.330
NC50. Eugene LavertyApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia+1 Lap
NC86. Ayrton BadoviniKawasakiGrillini Racing Team+14 Laps