2017 Thailand World Superbike Results, Race 2
We asked it yesterday, and we’ll ask it again today—can anyone stop Kawasaki Racing Team’s Jonathan Rea in 2017 World Superbike? The 30-year-old Northern Irishman put in a perfect performance two weeks ago at Phillip Island, winning both WSBK races after securing Superpole.
Heading into Thailand’s Chang International Circuit for round two of 13, the two-time reigning WorldSBK Champion Rea completed the feat once again. After claiming pole on Saturday, Rea showed no remorse in race one, winning by over six seconds ahead Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies.
Rea carried this momentum into a re-started race two, and claimed the victory for a perfect score in Thailand. The SBK race was restarted due to debris remaining on the track after Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori crashed at turn 12 on lap four.
Regardless of the updated World Superbike grid rules, which line up the race-one podium finishers in reverse order on the third row for the second race, Rea was already in the lead by lap four. Rea restarted race two in pole position, and was unchallenged for the remaining 16 laps.
Rea finished 4.078 seconds ahead of teammate Tom Sykes, and 4.195 seconds ahead of Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Marco Melandri. This was Rea’s 42st WSBK-career victory (27 with Kawasaki), and his 92nd podium (50 with Kawasaki).
“The best start to a season ever in my career. It is important to maximize these points when we can because it is how I built my championships in the past,” Rea says. “When we can win, make sure we win, and then we can try and consolidate. These four victories are nearly halfway to my win tally from last year already! It is a good start and I just feel comfortable on the bike.
“We took the bike set-up we had from Phillip Island to here and it just pretty much worked. That is unheard of, so I have a good bond with the bike. There are still some areas we need to improve for the coming races but KHI are working hard on this. We expect to improve the bike again in the next races.”
When race 2 at Chang International Circuit restarted, Rea was followed closely by Melandri and Sykes. But Sykes’ ZX-10RR got the best of Melandri’s Ducati Panigale R, and the Brit would claim second 0.117 of a second ahead of Melandri.
Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes earned fourth, finishing ahead of Althea BMW Racing Team’s Jordi Torres and the man who finished second in race one, Aruba.it Racing Ducati’s Chaz Davies. The Welshman Davies crashed during the third lap, but was able to rejoin the grid. When the race restarted, Davies was in 19th place.
The sole American in World Superbike, Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team’s Nicky Hayden, finished seventh, followed by Xavi Fores (BARNI Racing Team), Roman Ramos (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team).
Besides Savadori, there were other multiple DNFs during race two. Lowes’ teammate, World Supersport Champion Michael van der Mark, was unable to compete in the restarted race due to technical issues, and suffered a DNF. Hayden’s teammate Stefan Bradl, a Moto2 Champion, crashed out on turn 12, and Milwaukee Aprilia’s Eugene Laverty wrecked on turn six. Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) were forced to retire due to technical issues on their respective machines.
Rea now has 100 points, 30 ahead of Davies and 38 ahead of Sykes. The 2017 World Superbike Championship continues March 31-April 2 at Motorland Aragon in Spain for round three of 13.
2017 Thailand World Superbike Results, Race 2:
|11||Alex De Angelis||Kawasaki||SM||00’27.599|