Thitipong claims the honours for Thailand
Images courtesy of ARESSP
Randy Krummenacher won a fierce World Supersport contest at Chang International Circuit this afternoon, to beat race favourite, Luca Mahias by 48 hundredths of a second. The Swiss rider kept his cool in a race of shifting fortunes and some attrition among the leaders on his bright yellow Bardahl Evan Brothers Yamaha to claim a cleverly earned win. Out of Thailand’s much feared wild cards, it was Thitipong Warakorn who led the way by finishing fifth.
When the red lights went out, Jules Cluzel came through from the middle of the front row and came out of Turn 1 ahead of the official Yamahas of Caricasulo and Mahias.
Mahias passed his team mate on Lap 3 and closed up tight on Cluzel. Krummenacher joined the group for three laps but was a few tenths off the pace and fell back into the clutches of Sandro Cortese, in fifth. Behind them, Ratthapong was the liveliest of the wildcards, pushing into sixth on lap 2 and putting a second between him and the chasing group of Okubo, Thitipong, Anthony West and Raffaele de Rosa. Niki Tuuli led the third group in which had Decha Kraisart at the rear of a six bike swarm.
A battle ensued between the two Frenchmen at the front that allowed Krummenacher and Cortese back into contention to make it five in the leading group. Mahias took the lead at the start of lap 9 after slithering past Cluzel on the brakes into the final turn.
Cluzel re-took the lead on lap 12 while, 5 seconds behind the front group, Ratthapong found himself under pressure from Thitipong while Okubo,West and de Rosa kept the fires burning behind them.
Krummenacher got in front of Caricasulo and Mahias to take the fight to Cluzel on Lap 14, who tucked the front of his R6, to leave the Yellow Bardhal machine in the lead. Meanwhile Thitipong got the better of Wilairot in the group behind and Anthony West put the Yamaha Thailand man under pressure for his seventh position. On lap 15 West then Okubo and de Rosa got in front.
As they began the final lap, Krummenacher looked comfortable but Mahias had a plan, quickly extinguishing the daylight between himself and the leader as they entered the technical third sector. As is often the case at the Buriram track, victory was determined in the final turn, with Mahias lunging on the inside under braking, putting his machine in front, but running wide onto the kerb. The Frenchman got himself upright and back onto the asphalt as Krummenacher ran to the outside of the track as he completed the turn. The two clashed, but the momentum was with the Swiss and he crossed the line 48 hundredths of a second in front. Caricasulo was one second behind in third with a buffer of 1.7 back to Cortese.
Thitipong got clear of fellow Kawasaki rider, West, to take fifth, Okubo crashed at the final turn to hand seventh place to de Rosa, while Ratthapong was eighth. Niki Tuuli and Luke Stapleford completed the top ten. Ratthapong’s stable mate, Decha Kraisart finished 13th for Yamaha Thailand.