Superbike World Championship – Thailand, 12/13 March, 2016

Won by Two

Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes shared the wins on the Buriram circuit. The two Kawasaki riders now hold the first two places in the standings.

The Races

After clocking in the same lap time to within one hundredth of a second during the qualifying session, Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes were unable to settle the score during the races. The two Kawasaki riders each took a chequered flag. During the first round, Rea let his teammate take the lead for a good fifteen laps before attacking, and Sykes was unable to get it back.

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The next day, the reigning world champion tried his luck three laps earlier but Sykes stood firm and crossed the finish line first.

“In the first race I saw where Jonathan was faster than me,”

said Sykes.

“I knew where he’d try to overtake me in the second and I made sure he wasn’t able to. We also improved the behaviour of the bike between the two races.”

The Championship

With three wins and a second place in four races, Jonathan Rea is holding his own. The reigning world champion has even increased his lead in the overall standings of the Superbike World Championship since he now has a twenty-nine point lead over his teammate. Thanks to his second place in the first race and after winning the second, Tom Sykes has moved up four places.

The Background

Last year, Sykes had to wait until May to win a race. This season he’s in a much better position to challenge the supremacy of his teammate.

“I feel much better on the bike this year,”

said the Kawasaki rider.

“With the lighter weight of the crankshaft, the character of the engine is much more suited to my style of riding.”

For Marcel Duinker, his chief engineer, the 2013 world champion will be much harder to beat this season than last year.

“We’ve returned to specifications close to those that we used up until 2014,”

said the Dutch technician.

“Our engine has less inertia and the bike pushes much less during braking. It means Tom can brake harder before revving the bike back up to speed.”

The results show they’re right on course.

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