The second World Supersport race of this season did take part in Thailand at the Buriram circuit. Jules Cluzel made a perfect comeback after his nasty crash from the previous round in Australia and took pole position. The local wildcard rider Chalermpol Polamai achieved an impressive second place on the starting grid, Lucas Mahias completed the front row.
Another local wildcard rider Decha Kraisart started from 4th place, Zulfahmi Khairuddin (for whom it’s also something like home race as they don’t do the Malaysian round this year) was 5th, Kyle Smith 6th.
Cluzel started really well and went to the lead. Also both wildcard riders did a good start. Federico Caricasulo had really great start from the 3rd row, he moved some places up.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin was there on top too but unfortunately for the Malaysian rider his bike had technical issues and he had to gave it up.
A few moments later also PJ Jacobsen’s bike had technical problems and it was over for the American. He had quite a hard weekend there as he and his team made an tactical mistake during qualification and he wasn’t able to do a fast lap and started only as P11.
Gino Rea got the ride through penalty as he finished the warm up lap behind the safety car. But Gino didn’t do this and so later he was disqualified.
Unfortunately for the locals Polamai crashed from the leading group.
Lots of dramatic moments were happening in the first few laps. Also Lucas Mahias did retire from the race (for some technical problems probably). Christian Gamarino crashed.
Meanwhile, Jules Cluzel was on top. Caricasulo and Kraisart were chasing him. Also Kyle Smith was there and from the other group Niki Tuuli, Kyle Ryde and Hikari Okubo were coming closer.
Kyle Smith got himself in troubles for some of his moves and being wide on the track. In the end he was black flagged.
Caricasulo and Kraisart did come closer to Cluzel and it seemed like there could be some big battle for the victory. But unfortunately Cluzel’s bike was another victim of the heat there and he wasn’t able to finish the race. Another bad luck for the Frenchman!
Caricasulo suddenly was in the lead and he kept it till the end. Local wildcard rider Kraisart finished second and as he said it was the best day in his life.
There was some nice battle for P3 but then when Smith was DSQ it was pretty sure that Niki Tuuli would be on the podium. Great race from the Finnish boy! He started from 13th place to the race so it’s 10 places up! As he said after the race “it feels like a victory”. So this says it all.
Another Thai rider Thitipong Warokorn was 4th. He was there in Kawasaki Puccetti as the replacement rider for the injured Sofuoglu. Kyle Ryde was 5th, Hikari Okubo 6th, Sheridan Morais 7th, Aiden Wagner 8th, Kazuki Watanabe 9th and Robin Mulhauser completed top 10.
Roberto Rolfo won in Australia but this time it was only P11 for the Italian. Lachlan Epis was 12th, Nacho Calero 13th and Davide Pizzoli 14th. And that’s all. Only 14 riders saw the chequered flag.
So sum it up. There were 2 disqualifications (Smith, Rea) which is very rare. Lots of Championship favourites didn’t finish the race (Cluzel, Mahias, Jacobsen). Kenan Sofuoglu still wasn’t able to race because of the injury but he should be back for the next round.
The Profile Triumph (Stapleford, Hill) team withdrew from this round on Friday because of some technical troubles.
Alex Baldolini broke his ankle and wasn’t allowed to race.
Roberto Rolfo is still in the lead in the Championship with 30 points. Niki Tuuli is second with 27 points, Federico Caricauslo has 25 points.
Yamaha leads the Manufacturers Standings while GRT Yamaha team leads in the Team Standings.
The Championship is now moving to Europe. The Aragon round will take part in 3 weeks and riders from the European Supersport Championship will be there together with WSS riders.
Photo: Yamaha Racing