Cluzel takes clever win in Thailand

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After a 17-lap race held in high 36°C air temperatures Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was the eventual winner, after a near race long leading stint from PJ Jacobsen (Honda World Supersport Team) got overturned in the final few laps.

A four rider leading bunch, formed by, Jacobsen, Cluzel, Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) contested the podium places, with Sofuoglu being dropped for a time by a pass from his team-mate on lap 12 of 17.

Cluzel passed inside Jacobsen on Turn 3, of lap 14, with Jacobsen back ahead soon after. Sofuoglu made a pass on his team-mate in the same lap and pushed on.

A penultimate lap change, as Jacobsen ran wide, allowed Cluzel through, then Sofuoglu passed, and was re-passed.

Another Honda/Kawasaki joust saw Sofuoglu through finally, with Jacobsen third and Krummenacher just fourth.

In fifth place Kyle Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) was 3.6 seconds from the win, and privateer Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25 MV Agusta) sixth, eight seconds from Cluzel’s top scoring performance.

Local Thai hero Ratthapong Wilairot (A.P. Honda Racing Thailand) was off on lap three but Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) from Malaysia was a strong seventh, with Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), Gino Rea (GRT Racing Team MV Agusta) and Ondrej Jezek (Team GOELEVEN Kawasaki) completing the top ten. Glenn Scott (GEMAR Balloons – Team Lorini Honda) was top Aussie rider in 13th.

In the championship points, Krummenacher still leads, now with 38 points, Jacobsen is second on 27 and no-scorers from the Australian opener, Cluzel and Sofuoglu, are now third and fourth, with 25 and 20 points respectively.

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Gordon Ritchie

By Gordon Ritchie