Sykes, Rea and Davies 1-2-3 in hectic second race
Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) finished in that order, all covered by only 0.314 seconds, after a tough fight for the podium places at Buriram in Thailand.
The second race of the overheated Thai WorldSBK weekend saw the two Kawasakis head off to the leading positions once more, with Sykes ahead of his team-mate Rea, and the rest seemingly dropped from leading contention very early in the 20-lap race.
Rea was with Sykes again even before the start of the second half of the race had been reached, with their different set-ups telescoping then contracting the distance between them as each lap unfolded.
Van der Mark was holding off Davies until lap 10, when the Ducati rider made a move to pass.
Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) had a technical problem on lap 11 of 20, and slowed down to eventually stop trackside.
As Sykes and Rea battled after the halfway mark Davies and van der Mark closed in, reducing the gap to less than a second on lap 12.
Nicky Hayden (Honda World Superbike Team) had worked his way up to fifth by just over half way.
Davies was the threat for Sykes and Rea to deal with, van der Mark off the back of the top three by the end of lap 13. Rea took the lead on lap 14. With the top three now riding as one bunch, Rea had a moment and ran wide on turn three very shortly after, allowing both Sykes and Davies through with seven laps remaining.
Rea made his move stick on Davies into the fast left kink of turn four on lap 16, setting after Sykes again.
The top three were covered by only 0.282 seconds with two laps to go.
Pass and re-pass went in on the penultimate lap between the KRT riders and on the final lap Rea looked set to have made it stick twice. He ran wide, however, and let Sykes past in one corner. As the final corner approached Sykes rode hard and defensively as he exited turn 11, making sure Rea would be too far inside the track to make a final attack on he brakes.
Sykes won by 0.190 seconds, with Davies third and just 0.314 seconds from victory. Van der Mark was a clear fourth, 5.199 seconds down, and his Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden fifth, also after a lonely race for much of the 20-laps.
Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) placed sixth, Markus Reiterberger (Althea BMW Racing Team) seventh and Jordi Torres (Althea BMW Racing Team) eighth.
Lorenzo Savadori (IodaRacing Team Aprilia) scored ninth place for Aprilia, 21 seconds from the lead, and the slowing Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) put himself tenth on the final lap.
Leon Camier (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) was 11th and Josh Brookes (Milwaukee BMW) 16th and just out of the points.
In the championship, after four races and two rounds, Rea leads with a near-perfect 95, Sykes mimics his race number in second place overall with 66 points, van der Mark has 65. Davies is fourth with 55 and Guintoli has 40.