Cool temperatures and gusting winds had no palpable effect on Superbike Qualifying today at Chang International Circuit for the penultimate round of the FMSCT All Thailand Superbike Championship. With thousandths of a second separating the top litre class runners and close to record times in Supersport 600, the battle for grid positions provided an abundance of drama.
IN SUPERBIKE SB-1, the Cobra Powerspeed Hondas of Suhathai Chaemsap and Jakkrit Sawangsawat got among the regular Superbike contenders as they again joined the hunt for points in the Buriram Circuit’s own four round series. As the session progressed, however, it reverted to the battle of the factory Yamaha and Kawasaki Titans, Anucha Nakcharoensri and Thitipong Warakorn.
Thitipong took the session lead from Anucha with a few minutes remaining and looked like he would hold on. In response, the Yamaha man kept his eyes on the prize, beginning his eighth and last lap a few seconds before the chequered flag came out. He PULLED IT OFF, managing a blisteringly fast, inch perfect lap of 1:36.122 to take pole position by seven hundredths of a second.
Behind these two, Suhathai managed 1:38.815 to complete the front row of tomorrow’s grid, ahead of Thitipong’s team mate, Chaiwichit Nisakul, whose session was cut short when his bike barbequed itself after crashing at Turn 10. At that point he had banked a lap of 1:37.521, which was good enough to lead the second row from Cobra Powerspeed’s Jakkrit and the SPW Performance Kawasaki of Chanon Chumjai.
THE SUPERSTOCK ST-1 Qualifying war continued between the Yamaha Thailand’s Anon Sangval and the Laiprang Kawasaki’s Ben Fortt, with the session long battle won this time by the barely measurable margin of two thousandths of a second by Anon. the Suzuki of Aekkachai Chiengwong was third from the Kawasakis of Apidej Boonsri, Colin Butler and Nattapol Wongwuttiyan, while the Aprilia Thailand RSV4 R of Bodeepak Watcharakajonwong leads the third row ahead of the rookie ST-2 class field.
YAMAHA THAILAND’S PRAWAT YANNAWUT continued his absolute dominance of the Supersport 600 class to take his eleventh pole position of the season with 1:39.608.
Behind Prawat, the TS Yamaha of Ratchada Nakcharoensri managed a second best time of 1:42.339, only to be disqualified when the post Qualifying scrutineering check showed that her team had failed to lock-wire the sump plug after an oil change. That left the Thai Honda Racing Club CBR 600RR of Passawit to fill the middle of the front row ahead of the SPW Performance Suzuki of Wuttichai Namsiri and the SS-2 rookies who make up the rest of the grid. It was a personal best lap for Ratchada on her birthday, but the technical infringement means that she will start from the back of the grid for tomorrow’s race.