Return To Action For Jonathan Rea and Kawasaki In Thailand.
The 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship returns to action this weekend with round two at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand.
After a tough start to the season at Phillip Island in Australia at the end of February, defending champion Rea lies third in the standings behind team-mate Tom Sykes and Marco Melandri (Ducati). Rea hopes to return to form this weekend at the 4.554km Thai circuit, where he took a double win last year.
After the grand undulations and wide radius corners at Phillip Island Buriram is nearly a polar opposite in its design. Built in a modernist ‘stadium’ style, with a vast grandstand overlooking pitlane, Chang features many corners in a relatively small area. With a long main straight and several other high-speed sections leading into hard braking areas, the circuit provides an intense workout for both riders and machines, especially in the hot and humid conditions that accompany any Thai race weekend.
The weekend schedule will once again provide three Free Practice sessions on Friday, the first taking place at 09:45 (GMT +7). Racing will be at a later time on Saturday and Sunday this weekend with the start lights going out at 16:00 local time each day.
Jonathan Rea, stated: “Thailand is a very different circuit to Phillip Island but one that is a more conventional. The circuit itself is a compromise of long straights where you need good top end power, and slower, flowing, sections that require a good chassis balance when it comes to setting up the bike. I’m very excited about the race because it is a track I enjoy and had some successes at in the past. Although I didn’t start the season in the best way, with an injury and sickness, these last weeks I’ve been working hard to arrive at 100% in Buriram. I now have very strong motivation to have a competitive weekend and we will be aiming for the top step.”