Tom Sykes has taken a stunning first victory of the season and beat his Kawasaki Racing Team-mate Jonathan Rea to the line, in a scorching second race at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand
Sykes got a strong start off the line and was closely followed by Rea as we looked to be having a repeat of race one from yesterday at Buriram.
Aruba.IT Racing Ducati duo of Chaz Davies and Davide Giugliano had a moment in the first few corners which saw the Italian lose a few places as well as podium contender Davies lose some time in the opening laps. Michael van der Mark was able to salvage another weaker start with his Honda WSBK and sat in third position and it was now his chance to prove if he could stay up with the Kawasaki duo.
Pata Yamaha’s Alex Lowes was locked in a battle with Davies for fifth position on the second lap but despite this the former BSB champion was unable to stay with Davies for the remainder of the race and he day came to an end with 11 laps to go.
At the end of the fourth lap Sykes had pulled a half a second gap on the rest of the field it seemed the Yorkshireman was hoping to pull away and dominate the race; but not for long as Rea set the fastest lap of the race.
Just before the half way point of the race Davies was able to get past van der Mark for third position as he then pushed to get close to the leaders, who had pulled over a second gap.
The Kawasaki battle began with 10 laps remaining as Rea made his move at his favourite over-taking spot of turn five, however he was unable to make it stick by not hitting the apex through turn six. It wasn’t long before Davies had bridged the gap and was up with the pair.
In the first of six attempts at securing the double victory, Ulsterman Rea made another move on Sykes for the victory and was able to hold it. Not for long however as a mistake on the 13th lap saw him run on into turn 3 and slip down to third position.
Rea wasn’t going to let another potential double victory slip away from him however, as he made yet another move at turn five on the penultimate lap after smoothly getting past Davies. But Rea made another uncharacteristic mistake and despite his best efforts on a thrilling final lap he was unable to get back past his team-mate and finished 0.190s behind Sykes; who took his 27th WSBK victory.
Davies secured yet another podium, showing his level of consistency for 2016, and van der Mark was unable to bridge the gap to the leaders and finished a distant fourth position, five seconds behind.
Nicky Hayden crossed the line in fifth, unable to equal his best ever WSBK result of fourth aboard the Honda as he makes the switch up from MotoGP; he was able to secure fifth on the 12th lap of 20.
Race 2 top ten:
1 66 T. SYKES 1’34.236 1’34.888
2 1 J. REA 1’33.997 1’34.944 0.190
3 7 C. DAVIES 1’34.261 1’34.795 0.314
4 60 M. VAN DER MARK 1’34.413 1’35.518 5.199
5 69 N. HAYDEN 1’34.714 1’35.636 10.643
6 50 S. GUINTOLI 1’34.711 1’36.053 13.068
7 21 M. REITERBERGER 1’34.783 1’35.433 14.481
8 81 J. TORRES 1’34.898 1’35.937 14.504
9 32 L. SAVADORI 1’34.920 1’36.405 21.694
10 34 D. GIUGLIANO 1’34.821 1’36.282 23.794