WSBK

Double victory in Thailand for Kawasaki‰Ûªs Jonathan Rea

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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‰Ûªs opening race, led from the start, 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 ‰ÛÒ 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 Troy Bayliss we both later penalised with a drop of 1 position for overtaking under yellow flag situation at 13.23 on lap 14.
The WSBK field rounds the first turn at the all new track in Thailand for the first time - Credit: Geebee Images
The second WorldSBK race of the day at the Chang International Circuit saw another lights-to-flag victory by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who claimed his 18th career win and extended his lead in the championship to 10 points in the process.

The third double of his career, the victory capped a perfect weekend for the Ulsterman, who was dominated the event claiming pole position and recording the fastest laps in both encounters. Incredibly enough, he led every single lap of racing, too.

‰ÛÏFor me it has been a perfect weekend with pole position and two race wins - we could not have asked for any more,‰Û
Jonathan Rea is making a habit of standing on top of the podium early in 2015 - Credit: Geebee Images
Race One Results
1. Jonathan Rea 31m33.852s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
2. Leon Haslam +6.329s GBR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
3. Tom Sykes +8.183s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
4. Jordi Torres +8.513s ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
5. Sylvain Guintoli +20.502s FRA HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team
6. Matteo Baiocco +26.118s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
7. Alex Lowes +26.149s GBR SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
8. David Salom +27.925s ESP KAWASAKI Team Pedercini
9. Troy Bayliss +28.174s AUS DUCATI Aruba.it Racing-Ducati Superbike Team
10. Leandro Mercado +32.610s ARG DUCATI BARNI Racing Team

Race Two Results
1. Jonathan Rea 31m31.173s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
2. Leon Haslam +4.946s GBR APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
3. Alex Lowes +8.701s GBR SUZUKI Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
4. Jordi Torres +10.628s ESP APRILIA Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
5. Tom Sykes +14.326s GBR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Racing Team
6. Sylvain Guintoli +21.060s FRA HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team
7. Michael van der Mark +21.246s NED HONDA Pata Honda World Superbike Team
8. Matteo Baiocco +23.868s ITA DUCATI Althea Racing
9. David Salom +25.744s ESP KAWASAKI Team Pedercini
10. Leandro Mercado +29.692s ARG DUCATI BARNI Racing Team

Championship Standings
1. Jonathan Rea 95 pts
2. Leon Haslam 85 pts
3. Tom Sykes 50 pts
4. Sylvain Guintoli 41 pts
5. Jordi Torres 39 pts
6. Chaz Davies 38 pts
7. Alex Lowes 32 pts
8. Matteo Baiocco 30 pts
9. Nicolas Terol 26 pts
10. Leandro Mercado 21 pts

Top Image: Jonathan Rea on his way to clean sweeping the Thai WSBK round

Credit: Geebee Images

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