The Thai WSBK round drew to a close in the early hours, and once again the victory was taken by an always on form Rea. The new reverse grid set up saw him start race two from 9th, but by lap two was already up to second with Marco Melandri closely in front.
For the first time this year, we saw the red flag come out after a nasty highside for Milwaukee Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori, which saw oil spill all over the corner. As they headed out to the grid for the race restart, we lost Michael van der Mark due to an oil leak from his bike which couldn’t be located.
There was a similar issue for MV Agusta’s Leon Camier, but his bike was cleared to race. It wasn’t until there were just a few laps left that the mechanical flag was waved, and he was summoned into the pits with his smoking bike.
After race one yesterday, Marco Melandri complained of brake issues, and that he expected Tom Sykes to pass him on the last corner yesterday. Watching his performance today made us feel like this wasn’t the case for race two, until Sykes passed Melandri on the very last corner of the last lap to snatch 2nd off him.
Ultimately, the podium was much the same – Rea, followed by Sykes and Melandri.
Does the new grid format for race two actually make a difference? We are only in the early stages of the season and it is too early to tell.
World Superbike heads to Aragon on the 31st March; will it be another Kawasaki 1-2?
World Superbike Race 2 results:
Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki Racing Team – 25:02.029s
Tom Sykes – Kawasaki Racing Team + 4.078s
Marco Meladri – Aruba.it Ducati + 4.195s
Alex Lowes – Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team + 10.005s
Jordi Torres – Althea BMW + 14.733s
Chaz Davies – Aruba.it Ducati + 16.972s
Nicky Hayden – Red Bull Honda WSBK + 20.543s
Xavi Fores – BARNI Racing Team + 24.283s
Roman Ramos – Team Kawasaki Go Eleven + 24.864s
Markus Reiterberger – Althea BMW + 26.008s
Leon Camier – MV Agusta 6 laps
Randy Krummenacher – Kawasaki Puccetti Racing 11 laps
Stefan Bradl – Red Bull Honda WSBK 11 laps
(photo credit: ultimatemotorcycling.com)