Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea has secured his third race win out of three in 2016 as he beat his team-mate to the line at the Chang International Circuit.
The Kawasaki pair’s pace was inseparable in Superpole, as they set exactly the same lap times in Thailand for the second and third positions on the grid behind Michael van der Mark in 90% humidity.
As the 20 lap race got underway both Rea and Sykes took the lead into the first corner as pole-man Micheael van der Mark had a slow start off the line, who was able to regroup and was fighting with the Ducati pair for third.
In an early attempt to dominate proceedings, Rea tried to pull away from Sykes on lap two however the Ulsterman was unable to make this stick as Sykes got the lead from his team-mate following a mistake from Rea in the corner of lap two.
With 16 laps to go van der mark was able to breach a gap of 0.611s and the front three were bunched up, locked in a battle for the top step.
Reigning British Superbike Champion Josh Brookes had a tough debut in Thailand as he was down in 19th on his Milwaukee BMW, however he was able to salvage one point as he crossed the line in 15th position.
15 laps were left in race one and stunning young talent van der Mark was really challenging for the lead with the KRT pair. However the Dutchman had a big moment as he went in too hot aboard his Honda, meaning he was forced to run wide so as not to hit Rea.
Alex Lowes had a steady start to the opening race aboard his Pata Yamaha R1 as he was up into fifth position ahead of a strong Giugliano, and was able to secure a solid sixth position.
Kawasaki domination had certainly began to sink in at half race distance with the pair eeking out a 2.5s lead ahead of the rest of the field.
The Aruba.IT Racing Ducati pair had a moment with six laps left as hot-headed Giugliano ran off track after almost going into back of Davies. This was unfortunately not the end of the drama for the duo as the Italian lost the front end of his 1199 Panigale R, chasing Davies for fourth in a crash identical to his team-mates crash a year before.
It looked as if we were to get an exciting end to the race with the leaders; halfway through last lap it looked as if Sykes was going for one final push however the gap was too big for the Yorkshire man to reach.
1 J. REA 1’33.936 1’35.093
2 T. SYKES 1’34.098 1’34.662 0.222
3 M. VAN DER MARK 1’34.304 1’36.438 9.623
4 C. DAVIES 1’34.769 1’36.259 17.167
5 M. REITERBERGER 1’34.947 1’35.920 18.894
6 A. LOWES 1’34.676 1’36.261 20.754
7 S. GUINTOLI 1’34.654 1’37.005 24.221
8 J. TORRES 1’35.470 1’36.918 31.064
9 A. DE ANGELIS 1’35.373 1’36.856 34.348
10 L. SAVADORI 1’35.520 1’36.743 34.479