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A Good Start for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team today at Phillip Island, with Chaz Davies scoring two third place finishes in these opening races of the 2015 Superbike World Championship season.
Phillip Island (Australia), Sunday 22 February 2015 –

Race 1 – Today’s races took place in hot conditions with track temperatures of 42°C for race one. Davies, from second on the grid, was lying third through the opening stages, right behind Haslam and Rea. This British trio battled it out for the podium positions for the entire duration of the race, passing and re-passing each other in what was a spectacular opening race. Welshman Chaz pushed hard all the way to the line but, struggling to find acceleration through the turns in the final laps, he was unable to get ahead of his rivals, crossing the line in third position. This is an important result both for the team, that opens the season in a positive way, and the rider, who steps up to the Phillip Island podium for the first time in his career.

Bayliss, twelfth on the grid, got away well and was up into seventh place by the second lap. The Australian rider battled with various riders throughout the race, Torres, Guintoli and Sykes included. Unfortunately tyre performance dropped off significantly in the later stages of the race and Troy gradually lost ground as a result. The three-times world champion crossed the line in final thirteenth position.

Race 2 – In race 2, and in very similar conditions, Davies made a strong start, and was up in second by the end of lap one, together with Rea and Haslam, as in race one. On lap two his pace was such as to record the best lap of the race (1’31.725). The Ducati rider was lapping in third/fourth position for a good part of the race and, able to manage the tyre situation effectively, he even took the race lead at one point in the final stages. A fantastic battle to the line ensued, and saw Chaz finish once more on the third step of the podium, earning himself more important points for the championship.

Bayliss made up several positions in the initial stages and was lying eighth through the opening laps. Similarly to race one, he started to suffer from significant tyre wear towards the mid-race point with the situation becoming serious enough for him to return to the garage on lap thirteen for a tyre change. Returning to the track in eighteenth place, he could only do so much in the limited time remaining, finishing his race in sixteenth place.

At the end of the opening round of the 2015 Superbike World Championship, Davies lies third with 32 points, and Troy Bayliss takes 3 points to place nineteenth. In the manufacturer’s championship, Ducati positions third with a total of 32 points.

The next appointment for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team will be Round 2 of the championship, taking place at the Chang International circuit in Buriram, Thailand over the weekend of 20-22 March.

Quotes after the races:

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7) – 3rd, 3rd
“I’m finally on the podium at Phillip Island, and twice over - having tried every year to get here, I’ve finally done it. I would have liked to be able to do something more but it wasn’t possible, I was just missing a little more drive in the final laps and tried to conserve the tyres as well as I could. I personally have always started the championship a little badly and so this result is extremely important. It confirms that we are starting at a different level with respect to last year, and I was able to stick there with Rea fairly comfortably. We’re worked hard this weekend, concentrated on race distance, and it seems to have paid off. I thank my whole team but also all of the technicians back at Borgo Panigale for their hard work over the winter. The results obtained here are a good base on which to build.”

Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #21) – 13th, 16th
“I’m feeling a real mix of emotions at the end of the weekend. I came here to have fun, and for the fans and the Phillip Island circuit. I thought that maybe I wouldn’t have the pace to be able to run with these guys anymore but instead I’ve seen that I can still be fast and, if it hadn’t been for the tyre issue, I think I could have done a lot more. So I don’t know, it’s a pity I didn’t have more time on track, and I didn’t have time to train properly ahead of the event of course, but all in all it’s been a really fun weekend, and in many ways it feels like nothing has changed since 2008. I thank Ducati for giving me the opportunity and also all of the fans and ducatisti for their continued support.”

Stefano Cecconi – Team Principal
“I think we can say that the Superbike season has got off to a great start for us here. Chaz was fantastic in both Superpole and today’s races, and his results here demonstrate that all of the work done over the winter is taking us in the right direction. Particular thanks go to Troy, for what he has done - he’s definitely lived up to reputation as a legend. Our thoughts go to Davide of course, and we hope he can be back on the bike as soon as possible.”


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SBK race podium Thailand Superbike 2015

2015 Eni SBK World Superbike Championhip, Buriram Thailand Round 2 of 13

A Huge Crowd Shows Up for World Superbike Premier in Thailand
Jonthan Rae Takes Out a Tastey Thai Treat With SBK Double Wins

Buriram,Thailand, March 20-22nd 2015th - SBK WorldSuperbike mades its first ever visit to thethe Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand sawTeam Motocard Kawasaki Racing's Jonthan Rea domonate with back to back wins in two lights-to-flag victory by Jonathan Rea, claiming his 18th career win and extended his lead in the championship to 10 points in the process. The third double of his career capped a perfect weekend for the Ulsterman, who was dominant all weekend long as he also claimed Pole Position and recorded the fastest laps in both encounters. Incredibly enough, he led every single lap of racing, too. The Chang Circuit drew a huge crowd of 84,000 race fans for the country;s fisrt ever World Championship roadrace on the beautiful new sta e of the art road course.

Jonthan Rea actio photo kawasaki Thailand
Jonthan Rea looked invincable in Superpole, and would prove so again in Sunday's races.

Jonthan Rae Takes Tissot Superpole in Thailand over Haslam, Lowes
Retired Champ Troy Baylis in 7th next to teamate Davies

Superpole Saturday 21 March - The first-ever Pole Position in the history of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship in Thailand went to Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who came out on top of an exciting final 15-minute shoot-out that decided the grid for tomorrow’s two 20-lap races. Today’s result marks the sixth Pole Position of his career.

Superpole 2 was once again all action from start to finish with riders able to manage two flying laps on the softer Pirelli tyre without any issue. This provided some nervous moments for the teams but pure excitement for the packed grandstand along both straights, as it was not clear when the ultimate top time would occur.

Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) was the first to throw down the gauntlet with the fastest lap of the weekend, the first ever sub 1.34s lap of the Chang International Circuit. Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) almost bettered it with his first flying lap before a mistake on his next lap ruined any chance he had at that point of the session.

As the chequered flag was waved signalling the end of qualifying it was joint championship leaders and former team mates Rea and Haslam that came out on top, the pair separated by 0.011s. The Kawasaki rider notched up his second consecutive Pole Position after taking top spot in Australia.

Alongside the front two Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) completes the front row with Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team) making up row two ahead of Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team, Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike), and Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team).

The Aruba.it Racing Ducati Superbike Team are on rows two and three of the grid with Davies and Bayliss in tomorrowís SBK races at Buriram. Ducati Superbike Team and riders Chaz Davies and Troy Bayliss in today’s Superpole at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand. The factory riders qualify sixth (Davies) and seventh (Bayliss) for tomorrow’s Superbike races.

This morning’s final timed practice session took place in surprisingly wet conditions. Despite rain both prior to, and during the session, several riders took to the track briefly to test out rain settings, but qualification for Superpole was of course established by times set yesterday in dry conditions. Both Davies and Bayliss thus qualified directly for Superpole 2, in third and seventh place respectively.

Superpole 2: in dry conditions, the two factory riders completed a first lap on the race tyre. The times recorded saw Chaz lying third and Troy ninth in the initial stages. With the risk of rain looming over the pits, almost all riders were straight back out on track with the qualifying tyre, Chaz and Troy included. Davies completed a very fast first lap, in 1’34.087, followed by a second lap that was another three thousandths of a second quicker. A 1’34.084 thus assured the Welshman of final sixth position. Although Troy made just one flying lap with the qualifier (1’34.334), it was enough to place him in overall seventh position. The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team riders will therefore line up on the second and third rows of the grid for tomorrow’s two 20-lap races.

Haslam, Rea and Lowes on the Superpole Podium. Are riders getting shorter, or are SBK Podium gilrs just getting taller

Poleman: Jonathan Rea, Kawasaki Racing Team
“We know the Kawasaki really takes profit from the qualifying tyre." My pace has been really strong all weekend in race conditions so I knew just to make clean laps in Superpole. I saw a 1’33.3 near the end of the session and I thought it may not be enough.”

2nd place: Leon Haslam, Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils
“I'm pleased with this Superpole. The first row was our goal and in terms of race pace we are doing well, the RSV4 adapted quickly to the new track. I expect that there will be several riders capable of making a play for the win.”

3rd place: Alex Lowes, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki
"It’s my first time on the front row, the boys have done a good job and hopefully I can repay the lads tomorrow with a decent result. I could’ve gone quicker but all that matters is that we are on the front row, we’ve got a chance tomorrow and I can’t wait."

Chaz Davies, Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #7– 6th (1’34.084)
“This weekend’s not turning out to be an easy one for us but we won’t stop trying. Yesterday I was missing feeling at the front and although we’ve made some changes today I know we’re still having some issues. It’s difficult to be consistent as the front is a bit nervous and that’s all it takes, a small mistake, to lose precious tenths. We’ll continue to work tomorrow and we have a few things to try in warm-up – I hope we can come up with something. I'll do my best, also because, as we know, anything can happen come race day…”

Troy Bayliss, Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team #21 – 7th
“I’m reasonably happy, and think I’m more or less where I thought I’d be on the qualifying tyre, but I’d have liked to do a little more in the free practice earlier. In terms of race pace I don’t think we’re doing too badly but I know tomorrow’s races will be tough. We’re still missing a little acceleration but I know we’ve worked in the right direction this weekend. We’ll see if we can find a little more in warm-up tomorrow and then I hope to be able to score two reasonable results…”

Today’s grid sees the first seven riders classified covered by less than one second, with five manufacturers represented in the top-eight places on the grid.       Superpole Results PDF

Pirelli Poleman Jonny Rea gets ready to rumble.....

SBK Thailand StartWith a crowd of 84,000 spectators, the first ever SBK World Superbike round at Chang International in Thailand drew one of the biggest turnouts in years for a WSBK race.

Rea Takes Lghts to Flag Win in Race One
Second place for Haslam, Sykes edges out Torres for third.

Sunday 21 March, Superbike Race One - The first ever WorldSBK race to be held in Thailand has been won by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who dominated the 20-lap encounter at the all-new Chang International Circuit in Buriram. Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) and Rea’s team mate Tom Sykes joined him on the podium.

Rea led from the start, building up a two-second lead over the chasing pack by the end of lap five and winning by 6.329s at the flag. Courtesy of the seventeenth win of his career, the Briton now lies atop the standings with a five-point lead over Haslam. Former champion Tom Sykes made a great start from the second row, shadowing his team mate for the opening few turns before he was passed by the Aprilia Racing machine of Leon Haslam, who then set about hunting down Kawasaki-mounted Rea.

Rea leads Lowes, Davies and Haslam in both races before pulling away to win both races by safe margains. Chad Davies would crash the Ducati both races, leaving Troy Bayliss as the highest finising Team Ducati rider both races.

As the leading two eased away, the battle for 3rd was intense with Sykes, front row qualifier Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team) and Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) embroiled in a titanic fight, that saw a number of close overtaking moves around the 4.5km circuit. Davies crashed out of 5th at the end of the 9th lap, the double podium finisher in Australia was able to remount, eventually finishing in 11th.

By half distance the gap between the leading two was constant but as Alex Lowes slid out of podium contention at the final turn on lap 13, the closest on track battle was for 3rd between Sykes and WorldSBK rookie Jordi Torres who was looking strong in 4th and gradually closing in on the former champion.

Leon haslam action photo Aprilia Thailand
Haslam checks out his Pit Boad as he wheelies down the Front Straight.

With the packed grandstand erupting to the cheers of the enthusiastic fans at the end of the final lap, Rea was able to clinch the win. Haslam crossed the line 1.9s ahead of Sykes and Torres, the trio completing the top-four. Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) rode a lonely race to be classified an eventual 5th ahead of a recovering Alex Lowes who was able to salvage 10 points with a sixth place finish.

Behind the top-six the remaining top ten positions were rounded out by Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati), Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team), David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati) who rounded out the top ten respectively after an enthralling race long fight.

Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Niccolò Canepa (Team Hero EBR) both retired in the early stages along with local wildcard rider Chanon Chumjai (RAC Oil Racing Team). Michael van der Mark (Pata Honda World Superbike) retired from the top ten at the start of lap seven as did Anucha Nakcharoensri (YSS TS Racing). Christophe Ponsson (Grillini Racing Team Kawasaki) was the only other faller, the youngest rider on the WorldSBK grid crashed uninjured at turn one on lap five.

Rea Lowes race action photo SBK Thailand 2015

Rea Makes It a Full House in Race Two with Double Win in Thailand
Haslam and Lowes complete the podium, Torres ahead of Sykes in fourth

Superbike Race Two - The second WorldSBK race of the day at the Chang International Circuit saw another lights-to-flag victory by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), who claimed his 18th career win and extended his lead in the championship to 10 points in the process. The third double of his career capped a perfect weekend for the Ulsterman, who was dominant all weekend long as he also claimed Pole Position and recorded the fastest laps in both encounters. Incredibly enough, he led every single lap of racing, too.

Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), who was keen to make up for the error that cost him a race one podium made a lightning start, shadowing Rea for the first half of the race before succumbing to fellow British rider Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), who notched up his second consecutive 2nd place of the day. Race two marked the fourth consecutive encounter with an all-British podium. Never in WorldSBK history has the rostrum been made with riders of the same nationality in four successive races.

Other KRT rider Tom Sykes had a fairly uneventful race to claim 5th just behind Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), who scored another solid result in his debut WorldSBK season in 4th. The Spaniard pushed hard to overtake the former champion with two laps to go, eventually completing a successful manoeuvre into turn 3.

Guintoli (1) finsihed 6th ahead of teamate Ven derMark (60) after starting in last place/

Clutch problems for the reigning World Champion Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team) saw the Frenchman having to start from the rear of the grid after missing the sighting lap. He would have an incredible first lap that saw him complete the first lap in 12th. He would eventually finish 6th after getting the better of team-mate Michael van der Mark, who made up for his retirement in race one by finishing 7th.

A group of four riders fought hard for the majority of the 20-lap race for the remaining top ten spots. Matteo Baiocco (Althea Racing Ducati) took 8th ahead of David Salom (Team Pedercini Kawasaki) and Leandro Mercado (Barni Racing Ducati), with Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team) finishing just outside of the top ten in 11th.

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati Superbike Team) suffered his second crash of the day early in the race but fortunately as in race 1 he was able to remount, eventually scoring the final championship point with 15th. Team Hero EBR riders Niccolo Canepa and Larry Pegram didn’t participate in race 2, both suffering engine issues caused by the extreme heat.

Jonathan Rea: “For me it has been a perfect weekend with pole position and two race wins - we could not have asked for any more. The bike can always be better but at the beginning of the weekend the Ninja ZX-10R was at a really good level, my pace was really fast, the rhythm was good so we did not necessarily chase something we really could have got lost with. Our base setting right now is good and it gives me confidence to push the boundaries and understand the bike. I have not had so many double wins in my career but I have been lucky to have some. They do not come round a lot so I want to savour this moment and reflect on what we have done tomorrow and enjoy these next few days.”

Leon Haslam: “The team did a great job. Between the two races we took a big step forward. Rea was simply too fast today. We decided to use a harder front tyre and maybe with the softer one we could have been faster in the first part of the race, but it didn't gives us the guarantees we needed in terms of distance. In any case I'm pleased with the weekend, especially because compared to Friday we have really improved and I can't wait to get to Aragon. Being on the podium for the first two rounds of the season is definitely a great starting point.”

Alex Lowes: “I’m really happy to be back on the podium - it’s a third place but for us it means a lot after Phillip Island! It really should have been two podiums today, I just made a small mistake because I was determined to catch Leon and get second. As a team we’ve all worked so hard but the result is that we are back on the podium and back in the front group, and if we can keep a bit more consistency like this for the rest of the year then it will be a great season for us.

“I don’t really know about the yellow flag penalty, it’s a bit of a shame - Salom went off on the Astroturf at turn four so he shut off and Troy and I obviously passed him and when we arrived at the next corner there was a yellow flag! To be honest I didn’t think much about it. It’s disappointing as two top-sixes would have been good but it is what it is.

“So, one mistake away from it being a really great weekend but I’m really happy with race two, I was quite aggressive at the start but I rode a steady race and it’s a great way to thank the team for their hard work. Now I can concentrate on keeping it going for the next round in Aragon!”

Tom Sykes: “First podium of the year in the opening race so we are heading in the right direction. One step at a time and a podium finish was not so bad considering the feeling I had with the bike. I am not able to do exactly what I want yet. When it is like that you have no answer for guys who have finished in front of you. We tried everything we could and in the end third position was acceptable for where we are at the moment. I got caught up in turn three of the first lap in race two and got dropped back a bit as a result. We had some small issues after that and corner entry was a little bit difficult to manage. We will keep working and try to improve the bike.”

In terms of the overall championship standings Rea leads the way with 95 points out of a possible 100, ten ahead of Haslam as the series heads to Aragon in Spain in three weeks’ time.      Race 2 Results and Standings

Jonthan Rea Team Ducati

Wilairot Delights Home Crowd with Maiden WSS Win
Ratthapark Wilairot (CORE Motorsport Thailand Honda) has won the second race of the year for the Supersport World Championship. The 26-year-old Thai crossed the line ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpress), who were second and third in a photo finish at the end of an enthralling 17-lap race that had the packed grandstands on their feet with each lap completed.

Frenchman Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) scored his first points of the season, finishing a lonely 4th ahead of a jubilant Ratthapong Wilairot (A.P Honda Racing Thailand) who like his elder brother, had the crowd on their feet as he fought off a fierce attach from Italian Roberto Rolfo (Lorini Honda).

Martin Cardenas (CIA Landlords Insurance Honda) became the first Colombian in the history of the series to score points in the World Supersport Championship as he ended the race in 8th place.

Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) crashed out of the top-8 at turn 5 on the 8th lap, the Italian was unable to continue. Kyle Smith (Pata Honda World Supersport) slid out of contention a lap later, the British rider who was on the podium in Australia clearly annoyed with himself.

Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), who had been leading for most of the race, retired with three and a half laps to go due to a technical problem. Wilairot now heads to Europe with a 6-point lead over Sofuoglu in the overall standings.     
Race Results and Standings

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Buriram (Thailand), 22 March 2015 – Two races that followed almost exactly the same script marked the début of the Thai Buriram circuit on the 2015 WSBK calendar. 

Determined and generous, Leon Haslam rode his RSV4 to the second step of the podium twice in two races pushed to the limit wire to wire, strengthening his position in the overall standings. 

In Race 1 Leon Haslam got off the line well from the second spot on the grid in the lead pack made up of Rea, Sykes, Lowes and Davies. Overtaking quickly, Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils came up to second place to begin hunting down Rea. With an extremely fast central portion of the race, the Brit seemed to be worrying the lead rider, but in the end he had to "settle" for an excellent second place finish.

Race 2 also featured a duel between Rea and Haslam, who both demonstrated a decidedly better pace than their rivals throughout the weekend. Leon and his team made some changed to the RSV4 between the two races, managing to squeeze a bit more speed from it. The opposition from his adversaries, which is always fierce in Superbike, kept Haslam from staying in contact with the lead rider.

The double second place, on a brand new track, is an important result that confirms Haslam's role as a pretender for the title as SBK prepares to return to Europe for the next round. 

In Thailand rookie Jordi Torres once again showed great maturity and confirmed the quality of the Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils decisions. Improving constantly, the Spaniard took full advantage of the start he earned yesterday in Superpole on the second row of the grid, without taking any risks in the first laps, but staying within reach of the podium. The characteristics of this circuit did not help him in his efforts: Jordi is still familiarising himself with his powerful Aprilia RSV4's braking system and he was competing on the track with some of the best “brakers” in the Superbike Championship. Thanks to his excellent progress in the final phases, in both races he finished just short of the podium. So he'll be going to his home race in Aragon with high ambitions.

Jordi Torres: “I am really happy about the work we did this weekend because, despite missing a session, we were able to come back well. The FP2 session is important for me because in the first session I learn the new track, whereas I need the second session to set up the base from which to work. Then on Saturday I have to focus on being fast for the qualifiers and Superpole. When I found myself behind Sykes I thought back to Phillip Island, where I crashed whilst trying to overtake him, and I decided to stay calm and study him in Race 1 without taking any risks. That was useful for me in Race 2. In the end I finished in the same position, but I'm learning lap after lap. Like I always say, the Aprilia RSV4 was made to win, and only when I reach that goal will I be able to be 100% satisfied.”


Team Suzuki Press Office, March 22nd - Soaring temperatures and a big crowd saw Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Alex Lowes ride to a stunning podium finish as Thailand hosted its debut World Superbike races at the Chang International Circuit this afternoon.

Determined to get a great start with his Yoshimura-powered GSX-R, Lowes took second on the opening lap of the final race, holding the position for the first half against the Aprilia of Leon Haslam. Succumbing on lap eight, he continued his stellar 1’34 pace, to maintain a strong gap throughout the remainder of the action, claiming the third place finish and rounding out the day with a podium celebration.

Having demonstrated blistering consistent pace all weekend, a bad start to Lowes’ opening race initially saw him demoted him to fifth position before quickly advancing hard on the wheels of Tom Sykes’ Kawasaki. Proving somewhat of a roadblock for the next four laps, Lowes took his chance at turn three, regaining his grid position in the hunt for the podium. A mistake on the 12th lap saw the British racer low-side his Suzuki at turn 12 but his determination saw him remount quickly, allowing him to cut back through the pack to finish sixth on the road. A protest from a rival team saw Lowes’ demoted to seventh for allegedly passing under a yellow flag.

Struggling with the new circuit, a determined Randy de Puniet battled to 10th by the mid-point of his first Thai race before a last lap mistake dropped him to 13th. The afternoon’s disappointment continued in the concluding action as the Frenchman retired his GSX-R1000 on lap six, taking three points from the second round and leaving him 15th in the standings.

Jonathan Rea claimed both race victories and fastest lap awards aboard his Kawasaki in front of a 50,000-strong crowd at the new Chang circuit in Buriram. Lowes’ podium contributed to his day’s haul of 25 points, promoting him to seventh in the Championship after four races.

Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s next weekend of competition will herald the start of the Europe season, as the eni FIM Superbike World Championship heads to Aragon in Spain on Sunday April 12th.

Alex Lowes: “I’m really happy to be back on the podium - it’s a third place but for us it means a lot after Phillip Island! It really should have been two podiums today, I just made a small mistake because I was determined to catch Leon and get second. As a team we’ve all worked so hard but the result is that we are back on the podium and back in the front group, and if we can keep a bit more consistency like this for the rest of the year then it will be a great season for us.

“I don’t really know about the yellow flag penalty, it’s a bit of a shame - Salom went off on the Astroturf at turn four so he shut off and Troy and I obviously passed him and when we arrived at the next corner there was a yellow flag! To be honest I didn’t think much about it. It’s disappointing as two top-sixes would have been good but it is what it is.

“So, one mistake away from it being a really great weekend but I’m really happy with race two, I was quite aggressive at the start but I rode a steady race and it’s a great way to thank the team for their hard work. Now I can concentrate on keeping it going for the next round in Aragon!”

Randy de Puniet: “It was difficult for me from the first day; we have struggled with the braking and tried many things. The first race was going well because after 12 laps I was 10th and close to the top-six and even though I wasn’t as confident as I had hoped, I was improving my lap times a lot. After lap 12 I struggled with the braking and could only finish 13th.

“Unfortunately in race two we had an engine issue. We need to forget this race and start from zero in Aragon. The only positive points are I am in good shape and impatient to ride at Calafat in 10 days to try the new Marelli system, because every step is important for us. The team worked really hard and it was great for Alex to finish on the podium so we know we can do it, now we just need to put everything together.”

Paul Denning - Team Manager: “After showing great potential in Philip island and suffering a really difficult race day, it’s been very positive to reconfirm the potential of the 2015 Suzuki GSX-R, and of course Alex himself, this weekend in Thailand. I wouldn’t have said the track suited the bike particularly well but we were fast all weekend, qualified well and aside for a very small mistake in the first race, should have been on the podium in both races. Congratulations to the whole team but especially to Alex, who is only in his second year of international competition but is starting to look like a serious contender.

“On Randy’s side there are unfortunately a lot less positives, it was a tough weekend from start to finish and we need to reset in Aragon and go forward from there. We all know he is a very high-quality rider, but there are some different characteristics to the Superbike and there is some more adapting to be done. We will get there, and as a team we are 100% behind him.”

Althea Racing Takes Top Ducati Placing in Both Races at Chang International Circuit

The second round of the World Superbike Championship at the Chang International Circuit has concluded with very positive results for the Althea Racing Team, the first Ducati to cross the line in both races and obtaining fourth position in the overall Team standings.

In Thailand, high temperatures and humidity did not prevent the Althea Racing riders from achieving two solid results. The team came to Asia convinced that the track could suit the Ducati Panigale R. Unfortunately, the four cylinders were at an advantage, making the most of the long straights of the Buriram circuit.

Despite this, both Althea riders ran great races. Matteo Baiocco, starting from twelfth on the grid, was able to improve lap after lap to conclude race 1 in sixth place, and race 2 in eighth, the first and only Italian to cross the line and the first of the Ducatis. In race 1, Baiocco made a great start before battling with champions of the likes of Troy Bayliss (factory Ducati) and managing to get the best of factory Kawasaki rider David Salom on the very last lap, recording his fastest lap in the final stages and proving that he was in great physical shape for this tough round. He repeated the performance in race 2 after a great battle with the omnipresent Troy Bayliss.

On his side, Nico Terol had more trouble finding the right feeling with the Asian track. From 14th on the grid, he closed race 1 in twelfth place but with the desire to improve in race 2. The references obtained in race 1 allowed him to improve significantly on his lap times, reducing the overall gap by several seconds and again scoring a number of useful championship points. Nico is already ready to return to his home country, and Aragon, a track at which he already won races in both 125 GP and Moto 2.

Riders comments at the end of the day:

Matteo Baiocco: “I’m pleased to have made continuous improvement throughout these two races. Even in qualifying we saw that that we could be inside the first eight and we are able to achieve this in the races too. I made two good starts, keeping pace until the end. I have grown a lot since Phillip Island and now we head to Aragon in high spirits. I am also very pleased for the Team as the guys have worked really hard, the bike was working well and to be the first of the Ducatis across the line makes both me and the team very happy.”

Nico Terol: “I have had more trouble than I expected this weekend, I was unable to interpret the circuit as I wanted. This only spurs me on to work harder, the team has worked really well, seeking and testing different solutions which gave me better feeling with the bike in race 2 – I improved a little. Now I’m focusing on Aragon, a circuit that I really like and where I want to make two great races in front of my fans.”

Genesio Bevilacqua: “We came to Thailand not knowing how we would interpret this new track. We’ve done all we can with our technical package, but strangely we realized after the first half hour that we would have some serious problems in terms of the long straights, that did not allow us to be competitive against the four cylinders. Our job was to focus in order be as competitive as possible as twin cylinders. We made two great races, Baiocco put in an important performance, positive in terms of both his, and the team’s morale. We’re pleased to go home with two great results and Terol too has made continuous improvement. The fact that we were the first Ducati across the line in both races is also important as we look ahead – from Aragon onward we will surely have the chance to score some important results.”

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