Rea storms to first ever Thai WorldSBK race winSunday, 22 March 2015 - The first ever WorldSBK race to be held in Thailand has been won by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who dominated the 20 lap encounter at the all new Chang International circuit in Buriram. Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) joined him on the podium. Rea who jointly led the standings before today’s opening race, led from the start, building up a 2 lead over the chasing pack, by the end of lap 5, winning by 6.329s at the flag.
Former champion Tom Sykes made a great start from the second row, shadowing his team mate for the opening few turns before he was passed by the Aprilia Racing machine of Leon Haslam who then set about hunting down Kawasaki mounted Rea.
As the leading two eased away, the battle for 3rd was intense with Sykes, front row qualifier *Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Chaz Davies (Aruba Ducati SBK) and Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) embroiled in a titanic fight that saw a number of close overtaking moves around the 4.5km circuit. Davies crashed out of 5th at the end of the 9th lap, the double podium finisher in Australia was able to remount, eventually finishing in 11th.
By half distance the gap between the leading two was constant but as Alex Lowes slid out of podium contention at the final turn on lap 13, the closest on track battle was for 3rd between Sykes and WorldSBK rookie Jordi Torres who was looking strong in 4th and gradually closing in on the former champion.
With the packed grandstand erupting to the cheers of the enthusiastic fans at the end of the final lap, Rea was able to celebrate his second victory of 2015 and with it a slender 5 point advantage in the overall World Championship standings. Haslam crossed the line 1.9s ahead of Sykes and Torres, the trio completing the top four.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda WSBK Team) rode a lonely race to be classified an eventual 5th ahead of a recovering Alex Lowes who was able to salvage 10 points with a sixth place finish.
Behind the top six the remaining top ten positions were rounded out by Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing), *Troy Bayliss (Aruba Ducati SBK), David Salom (Team Pedercini) and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing) who rounded out the top ten respectively after an enthralling race long fight.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Niccolo Canepa (Team Hero EBR) both retired in the early stages along with local wildcard rider Chanon Chumjai (RAC Oil Racing Team). Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda WSBK Team) retired from the top ten at the start of lap 7 as did Anucha Nakcharoensri (YSS TS Racing)
Christophe Ponsson (Grillini Racing Team) was the only other faller, the youngest rider on the WorldSBK grid crashed uninjured at turn one on lap 5.
* A.Lowes and N. 21 T.Bayliss have been penalised with a drop of 1 position for overtaking under yellow flag situation at 13.23 on lap 14 - art. 1.23.2
Buriram, 20-21-22 March 2015, Superbike - Results race 1
1 65 J. REA GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
2 91 L. HASLAM GBR Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils Aprilia RSV4 RF
3 66 T. SYKES GBR Kawasaki Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
4 81 J. TORRES ESP Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils Aprilia RSV4
5 1 S. GUINTOLI FRA PATA Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR
6 22 A. LOWES GBR VOLTCOM Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
7 15 M. BAIOCCO ITA Althea Racing Ducati Panigale
8 21 T. BAYLISS AUS Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team Ducati Panigale
9 44 D. SALOM ESP Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R
10 36 L. MERCADO ARG BARNI Racing Team Ducati Panigale
11 7 C. DAVIES GBR Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team Ducati Panigale
12 18 N. TEROL ESP Althea Racing Ducati Panigale
13 14 R. DE PUNIET FRA VOLTCOM Crescent Suzuki Suzuki GSX-R1000
14 20 S. BARRIER FRA BMW Motorrad Italia SBK Team BMW S1000 RR
15 40 R. RAMOS ESP Team Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R
16 43 G. GILDENHUYS RSA Team Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R
17 51 S. BARRAGÁN ESP Grillini SBK Team Kawasaki ZX-10R
18 10 I. TOTH HUN BMW Team Toth BMW S1000 RR
19 5 I. SIKORA POL BMW Team Toth BMW S1000 RR