Thailand WSS: Wilairot takes incredible home win

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Ratthapark Wilairot has taken an incredible maiden win in the World Supersport championship ahead of a home crowd at the first ever Thai round of the series. The local rider rode a strong race to be in excellent position to capitalise when his rivals dropped out.

Championship leader Jules Cluzel was an early leader, and led until three laps to go, when a mechanical on his MV Agusta F3 left him retiring to the garage in disgust. However, by then Wilairot had despatched Brit Kyle Smith, triple world champion Kenan Sofuoglu and former MCE BSB podium finisher PJ Jacobsen.

Cluzel wasn’t the only one to suffer during the race, however, with Pata Honda rider Kyle Smith and the second MV rider Lorenzo Zanetti both crashing out unhurt.

That left Jacobsen and Sofuoglu to battle for the podium, with the Turk pulling off a last corner move, after a series of fast laps to close down the American, to take second.

Lucas Mahias was fourth, while the younger of the Wilairot family Ratthapong completed a dream day for the family by finishing fifth as a wildcard. As the final icing on the cake, Ratthapark now holds the championship lead by ten points from Sofuoglu

Speaking afterwards, the delighted local commented: “It’s an incredible feeling! I knew before today that we could be on the podium, but when I saw all the fans today I knew I had to do well for them. Hopefully today is a day that all Thai fans will remember for a long time.”

Gino Rea was the only Brit to finish, in tenth, while his CIA Landlord Insurance Honda teammate Kieran Clarke joined Smith on the non-finishers list.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer