If the second round of the 2018 WorldSBK season is anything to go by the regulation shake-up could see an absolutely compelling season. Buriram gave plenty to talk about!
Riding Your Ass Off
After finishing fourth in Race 2, Jonathan Rea said that he “had to ride his ass off” to try and get through the field from ninth on the grid.
The Northern Irishman said earlier in the weekend that the changes to his Kawasaki have forced him to adapt his style on the ZX10-RR, and ride it more like a supersport machine.
Forced to carry greater corner speed, it meant that Rea’s ultimate pace was as fast as anyone in Thailand, but that it was difficult to get through the front. Mistakes blighted his second race as he was forced to ride at the limit throughout.
Davies Rights Some Wrongs
Buriram was the only circuit on the calendar where Ducati had yet to claim a win. Chaz Davies was able to claim the spoils on Sunday, with a superbly judged performance.
After the race when asked about the new regulations, he said that not much has changed for Ducati with the riding style the same and being forced to ride as hard as ever.
Thailand offered a real test for the Welshman, but over the course of the last four years they have made steady progress at the circuit, and it has gone from a true weakness to one that Davies can now tick off his list.
Closer than Ever
Over the last three seasons Jonathan Rea has used Buriram as his playground. He’s laid the foundations of his championship challenges in Thailand, and with Chaz Davies having been 40 and 30 points adrift after Round 2 in recent years, the Welshman now finds himself only 12 points behind Rea.
We should see some fireworks from the Ducati star when we get back to Europe. It’s clearly “Game On” for the championship.
Yamaha and Honda Make Progress
After the opening round of the season Yamaha looked to have taken a step backwards, and Honda a number of steps forward. In Buriram though, both outfits were able to contend at the front, and it’s clear that after Leon Camier’s performance on Saturday that the future is a lot brighter for Honda.
The Red Bull Honda squad are still waiting to switch their electronics, and have been able to use that consistent platform as the basis of their performance, whereas Yamaha finally made the switch to their Japanese Superbike specification.
After Race 2, Michael van der Mark said that it was proof that Yamaha are close to the front and that in WorldSBK it’s closer than ever.
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