Incredible three-way battle sees the number 66 come out on top
Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes has taken an incredible victory in a three-way fight for the win at Chang International Circuit in Thailand. The Yorkshireman was locked in a battle with teammate and reigning Champion Jonathan Rea and Aruba.it Racing – Ducati’s Chaz Davies for most of the race, with some of the most electrifying racing of the last few seasons.
Pole-sitter van der Mark crossed the line in fourth to see himself off the podium for the first time in 2016 despite pushing hard all race, but the Dutchman is still on an incredible run at the start of only his second season. After a mechanical problem in Race 1 saw his Honda teammate Nicky Hayden retire, the number 69 Honda crossed the line in Race 2 in 5th to keep both the Fireblades in the top 5.
The first drama came when van der Mark and Chaz Davies made contact on the first lap as they tousled for position, before van der Mark led them off to chase the Kawasaki Racing Team pair of Sykes and Rea. Davies then pounced on the Dutchman, and the Welsh Ducati rider was able to close the gap to Sykes and Rea.
The stunning three-way battle rolled on all the way to the line, with some incredibly close passes seeing the three riders leave nothing on the track. Eventually coming home third after an overnight improvement of over 15 seconds over race distance, Davies being on the podium is valuable for Ducati in Buriram.
Sylvain Guintoli brought the new YZF R1 home in seventh for another good result on the Japanese manufacturer’s return to WorldSBK, ahead of the Althea BMW pair of Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres. Rookie Lorenzo Savadori brought Aprilia home in the top ten once again in P9, with that top ten completed by Ducati rider Davide Giugliano, who missed the Round through injury in 2015 and had a difficult second race at Chang International Circuit.
Leon Camier recovered well from a tough start to bring MV Agusta points once again in 11th, ahead of Team GOELEVEN’s Roman Ramos, VFT’s Matteo Baiocco and IodaRacing’s Alex De Angelis on the second Aprilia machine, who scored more points for the Italian manufacturer despite a small run off in the closing stages. GP winner Karel Abraham completed the top 15 for Milwaukee BMW after outpacing teammate Brookes in Thailand.
Local riders Anucha Nakcharoensri (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) and Sahustchai Kaewjaturaporn (Grillini) were both classified, with wildcard Nakcharoensri coming home in 18th.
After seeing his teammate Rea dominate much of the 2015 season, the first strike in the fight back for Tom Sykes has landed in Thailand in Race 2, with the next chance for the reigning Champion to take back the win coming at MotorLand Aragon, the scene of the Davies’ first Ducati win last season.
Motul Thai Round – Race 2
1. Tom Sykes (GBR) Kawasaki Racing Team
2. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki Racing Team +0.190
3. Chaz Davies (GBR) Aruba.it Racing – Ducati +0.314