Rea Returns to Winning Ways in Thailand

Jonathan Rea - Photo Credit: Kawasaki

Jonathan Rea claimed his first victory of the 2018 World Superbike season after leading from start to finish in race one at Buriram. The reigning champion converted his first pole position of the year into victory, leading the Ducatis of Xavi Fores and Chaz Davies as championship leader Marco Melandri struggled to eighth place.

Rea had pipped his Kawasaki team-mate Tom Sykes to pole position, denying the Yorkshireman a record-breaking 43rd career pole, and Sykes looked intent on exacting revenge early in the race. In each of the first two laps, Sykes outbraked Rea into the final corner to grab the lead but when the Ulsterman dived back through on lap three, bringing Leon Camier through with him, Sykes would never threaten the lead again.

In truth, Rea wasn’t threatened any more either, even though his lead never grew beyond a second and a half. Camier continued to lead the chasing pack but the impressive Fores deprived him of second on lap thirteen, taking advantage of an error which sent the Honda rider off the track at turn three. From there, Fores would go onto to claim a career-best second while the fast-finishing Davies stole the final rostrum spot two laps from home.

Camier finished fourth, earning him the consolation prize of race two pole position, while Alex Lowes relegated Sykes to sixth on the penultimate lap while the Kawasaki rider struggled with brake problems. Michael van der Mark relegated an off-colour Melandri to eighth while Eugene Laverty and Jordi Torres rounded out the top ten.


WorldSBK 2018: Motul Thai Round: Race One

11. Jonathan ReaKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team31:24.203
212. Xavi ForesDucatiBarni Racing Team+1.550
37. Chaz Racing - Ducati+2.118
42. Leon CamierHondaRed Bull Honda World Superbike+2.981
522. Alex LowesYamahaPata Yamaha WorldSBK Team+7.258
666. Tom SykesKawasakiKawasaki Racing Team+7.501
760. Michael van der MarkYamahaPata Yamaha WorldSBK Team+8.500
833. Marco Racing - Ducati+10.184
950. Eugene LavertyApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia+11.072
1081. Jordi TorresMV AgustaMV Agusta Reparto Corse+11.178
1176. Loris BazBMWGULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team+24.062
1232. Lorenzo SavadoriApriliaMilwaukee Aprilia+24.632
1336. Leandro MercadoKawasakiOrelac Racing VerdNatura+26.114
1440. Roman RamosKawasakiTeam GoEleven Kawasaki+26.142
1554. Toprak RazgatliogluKawasakiKawasaki Puccetti Racing+26.320
1668. Yonny HernandezKawasakiTeam Pedercini Racing+30.665
1799. PJ JacobsenHondaTripleM Honda WorldSBK Team+32.625
1845. Jake GagneHondaRed Bull Honda World Superbike+38.752
NC37. Ondrej JezekYamahaGuandalini Racing+4 Laps