Buriram WSBK: Sykes fends off Rea to win wild battle

Tom Sykes took his first race victory of the World Superbike season in Thailand after coming out on top in a thrilling battle with Kawasaki teammate Jonathan Rea.

Sykes and Rea, along with Ducati rider Chaz Davies, were embroiled in a mighty scrap for honours that raged throughout the latter half of the 20-lap encounter at Buriram.

After seizing the lead from poleman Michael van der Mark at the start, it was Sykes who held the advantage initially, Rea not making his first attempt to pass until half-distance.

The Ulsterman took the lead for the first time with eight laps remaining at Turn 12, only to run wide the following lap at Turn 3 - allowing Sykes and Davies both to pass.

Two laps later, Rea was able to pick off Davies, whose Ducati Panigale R was clearly lacking the straight-line speed of the Kawasaki ZX-10Rs, before stalking Sykes in the closing stages.

At Turn 5 on the penultimate lap, Rea made another passing attempt on Sykes but once again ran wide, and did likewise at the same point on the track on the final tour.

Sykes then used the entire width of  the circuit to keep his teammate at bay for the remainder of the lap, doing enough to hold off the reigning champion by a mere 0.190s at the finish line.

Davies was third, just a further tenth back but unable to capitalise on a scrappy last lap for both Kawasaki men.

Van der Mark was the closest challenger to the Kawasakis in the early stages, but after being passed by Davies gradually faded, the Dutchman sealing fourth place five seconds behind the lead battle.

His Honda teammate Nicky Hayden was fifth, ahead of the sole surviving Yamaha of Sylvain Guintoli, whose teammate Alex Lowes retired at mid-distance with an apparent mechanical problem.

Althea BMW teammates Markus Reiterberger and Jordi Torres completed the top eight, followed by Lorenzo Salvadori (Aprilia) and Davide Giugliano (Ducati).

Race results:

1 United KingdomTom Sykes  Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R 31:33.493
2 United KingdomJonathan Rea  Kawasaki Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R +0.190
3 United KingdomChaz Davies  Ducati Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R +0.314
4 NetherlandsMichael van der Mark  Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR SP +5.199
5 United StatesNicky Hayden  Honda World Superbike Team Honda CBR1000RR SP +10.643
6 FranceSylvain Guintoli  Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team Yamaha YZF-R1 +13.068
7 GermanyMarkus Reiterberger  Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S1000 RR +14.481
8 SpainJordi Torres  Althea BMW Racing Team BMW S1000 RR +14.504
9 ItalyLorenzo Savadori  IodaRacing Team Aprilia RSV4 RF +21.694
10 ItalyDavide Giugliano  Ducati Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R +23.794
11 United KingdomLeon Camier  MV Agusta MV Agusta 1000 F4 +27.205
12 SpainRoman Ramos  Team Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R +32.309
13 ItalyMatteo Baiocco  VFT Racing Ducati 1199 Panigale R +36.672
14 San MarinoAlex de Angelis  IodaRacing Team Aprilia RSV4 RF +38.761
15 Czech RepublicKarel Abraham  Milwaukee BMW BMW S1000 RR +39.789
16 Josh Brookes  Milwaukee BMW BMW S1000 RR +42.840
17 Sylvain Barrier  Pedercini Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R +46.158
18  Anucha Nakcharoensri  Yamaha Thailand Racing Team Yamaha YZF-R1 +1:04.628
19 Dominic Schmitter  Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R +1:21.675
20 Peter Sebestyen  Team Toth Yamaha YZF-R1 +1:21.687
21  Sahustchai Kaewjaturaporn  Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki ZX-10R +1 lap
22 HungaryImre Toth  Team Toth Yamaha YZF-R1 +1 lap
R Xavi Fores  Barni Racing Team Ducati 1199 Panigale R  
R Alex Lowes  Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team Yamaha YZF-R1  
R Saeed Al Sulaiti  Pedercini Racing Kawasaki ZX-10R  
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About this article
Series World Superbike
Event Buriram
Track Chang International Circuit
Drivers Tom Sykes , Jonathan Rea , Michael van der Mark
Article type Race report