Thailand WSB: Rea establishes title challenge with Thai double

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Jonathan Rea has firmly established himself as the main title challenger in the 2015 World Superbike championship by making it two from two at the inaugural round in Thailand.

The Northern Irishman repeated his race one performance on the factory Kawasaki, leading from flag to flag to eventually take the win by five seconds from Aprilia rival Leon Haslam.

Speaking afterwards, Rea commented: “Honestly, I need to savour the moment, because weekends like this don’t happen very often. I rode really well all weekend, but as well as that the team worked so hard all three days despite having a few issues. Hopefully now we can keep this momentum rolling.”

Alex Lowes completed an all-British podium in third, after a battle in the early stages of the race with close friend Haslam. Only Jodri Torres on the second of the Aprilias locked out the UK domination of the result, getting the better of former World Champion Tom Sykes on the last lap for fourth.

Sylvain Guintoli was sixth, despite crossing the line behind Pata Honda teammate Michael van der Mark, only for the Dutchman to be demoted back a place for the harsh move he pulled on his teammate in the last corner to take the place off him. Guintoli’s result was especially impressive after starting form the back row of the grid after technical problems with his Pata Honda on the sighting lap.

Former BSB racer Matteo Biacocco had another excellent result on the Althea Honda in eighth; while Salom and Mercado completed the top ten, with former champion Troy Bayliss only just missing out in eleventh.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer