2016 Thailand World SBK Race 1 Results
Following a two-week break from the 2016 World Superbike season opener at Phillip Island, the grid headed northwest to Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, for round two of 14.
Though Honda World Superbike’s Michael van der Mark was the favorite after topping Friday’s free practice sessions and earning his first-ever Superpole win of 2016 SBK, nothing could stop the Kawasaki Racing Team ZX-10R Ninjas.
The reigning WSBK Champion Jonathan Rea, who doubled at Phillip Island Superbike, and teammate Tom Sykes were the only riders to lead laps at Saturday’s race-one in Thailand. Rea earned the win just ahead of Sykes, as the rest of the grid trailed by nearly 10 seconds.
Starting from second on the grid, Rea led the opening lap. But the 2013 World SBK Champion Sykes, who started from third on the grid, took over on lap two, and held the lead until lap 14.
En route to the fastest lap of the race, Rea passed his teammate and remained up front for the remaining six laps to earn his third-straight win of 2016 SBK for a perfect 75 points. The Northern Irishman beat Sykes to the line by 0.222 of a second. Earning third, 9.623 seconds behind Rea, was van der Mark.
Jonathan Rea says: “The pace was fast; I did not expect it to be so fast as all weekend we have been slower than last year. So it was a good, fast race. I put my head down and with four laps to go I got a small gap of about 0.7 or 0.8 seconds on Tom. On the final laps I got caught out in the first turn by another rider but it was not so much.
“I had done all my work by then as I had completely emptied my tank with about four laps to go to try and get away. I am a little bit tired now because I went full gas in those last four laps. We were able to capitalize on that work and I feel like I rode for a stronger win than I have had for a long time. Tomorrow, I expect my bike set-up will be much stronger.”
Tom Sykes says: “I am quite happy with that because compared to last year we made a much stronger race. Unfortunately I was struggling in two or three corners, which gave away a lot of advantage. Jonathan was riding very well and on the last laps he was strong but we were also strong at that stage compared to previous races.
“This is a positive and the gap was not so big to the winner. We have a much better feeling, so this is a good step. The Ninja ZX-10R was working consistently and we had some great lap times, so we’ll see how it goes next race. We need to try and improve for tomorrow but as a start that was quite acceptable. I am disappointed not to win on one hand but we have had a big improvement on the other hand. We are working in the right direction.”
Michael van der Mark says: “I’m so happy about my first WorldSBK pole position. I wasn’t really expecting it but once I got out on track, I had such a good feeling and just went for it. The Kawasakis are usually very competitive over a single lap but today we managed to be quicker. I made a mistake at the start of the race, I was probably a bit too excited to be on pole position.
“I then had a problem with downshifting and went wide at turn 1, losing a couple of more places. Step by step I was able to close the gap on Tom and Jonathan. When I got really close, I had a big moment at turn eight which cost me some time and after that, their pace did not allow me to make up ground. Anyway, I was able to be consistently quick and we just need a couple of adjustments in order to be even more competitive tomorrow.”
Fourth went to Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies, who battled closely with teammate Davide Giugliano. Unfortunately, the Italian Giugliano low-sided, allowing the Welshman Davies to earn fourth; Giugliano would remount to finish 18th.
Fifth went to Markus Reiterberger aboard the Althea BMW Racing Team S1000RR; he was followed by the Pata Yamaha World SBK Team riders of Alex Lowes and Sylvain Guintoli, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 were Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres, and the IodaRacing Team Aprilia RSV4 RF piltos of Alex De Angelis and Lorenzo Savadori.
As for the sole American in World Superbike, Honda World Superbike’s Nicky Hayden was running up front, but was forced to retire on lap 11 due to technical issues with his CBR1000RR SP.
Heading into Sunday’s 20-lap race two at Thailand, Rea has a 75 points, 23 ahead of van der Mark. Sykes is in third with 41 points.
2016 Thailand World SBK Results, Race 1 Saturday:
|1||Jonathan Rea||65||GBR||25||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||31’32.311|
|2||Tom Sykes||66||GBR||20||Kawasaki Racing Team||Kawasaki||+0.222|
|3||Michael van der Mark||60||NDL||16||Honda WorldSBK||Honda||+9.623|
|4||Chaz Davies||7||GBR||13||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+17.167|
|5||Markus Reiterberger||21||GER||11||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW||+18.894|
|6||Alex Lowes||22||GBR||10||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+20.754|
|7||Sylvain Guintoli||50||FRA||9||Pata Yamaha||Yamaha||+24.221|
|8||Jordi Torres||81||SPA||8||Althea BMW Racing Team||BMW||+31.064|
|9||Alex De Angelis||15||RSM||7||IodaRacing Team||Aprilia||+34.348|
|10||Lorenzo Savadori||32||ITA||6||IodaRacing Team||Aprilia||+34.479|
|11||Leon Camier||2||GBR||5||MV Agusta Reparto Corse||MV Agusta||+37.013|
|12||Román Ramos||40||SPA||4||Team Go Eleven||Kawasaki||+41.113|
|13||Matteo Baiocco||15||ITA||3||Althea Racing||Ducati||+44.369|
|14||Xavi Fores||12||SPA||2||BARNI Racing Team||Ducati||+45.053|
|15||Sylvain Barrier||11||QAT||1||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki||+51.939|
|16||Saeed Al Sulaiti||11||QAT||0||Team Pedercini||Kawasaki||+54.314|
|17||Davide Giugliano||34||ITA||0||Aruba.it Racing||Ducati||+1’06.541|
|18||Dominic Schmitter||9||SWI||0||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki||+1’09.530|
|19||Peter Sebestyen||56||HUN||0||Team Toth||Yamaha||+1’40.904|
|20||Sahustchai Kaewjaturaporn||19||THA||0||Grillini Racing Team||Kawasaki||+1 lap|
|21||Imre Toth||10||HUN||0||Team Toth||Yamaha||+1 lap|
|22||Anucha Nakcharoensri||14||THA||0||Yamaha Thailand Racing Team||Yamaha||+3 laps|
|NC||Karel Abraham||17||CZE||0||Milwaukee BMW||BMW||DNF|
|NC||Nicky Hayden||69||USA||0||Honda WorldSBK||Honda||DNF|