Jonathan Rea Looks To Continue His Perfect Start To 2016 In Thailand
The 2016 FIM Superbike World Championship continues this coming weekend with round 2 at the Chang International Circuit in Buriram. Jonathan Rea took his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R to a double win last time out at Phillip Island and is hoping to continue his perfect form at the Thai circuit.
Rea has good reason to be confident as he took a double victory at the inaugural WorldSBK race in Buriram twelve months ago on his way to securing the 2015 Championship. It is clearly a circuit that he performs well at having secured pole position and setting the fastest lap in each of the races last year.
Rea made a new step up in his career statistics at Phillip Island. His race wins took him to a total of 31, equal with double WSBK champion Colin Edwards. They now share fifth overall in terms of total race victories. The victories also gave Rea a perfect score of 50 points for the weekend and he left Australia with a 14 point lead in the Championship.
With a stadium style design philosophy and a giant grandstand for the enthusiastic local fans to occupy, the 4.554km Chang International Circuit is an exemplar of modern circuit design. It features three long straights allied to more technical sections, making it a difficult venue to find a truly ideal machine set-up for.
The new-look 2016 race weekends in WorldSBK consist of two free practice sessions on Friday. Superpole qualifying will begin at 13:30 (GMT +7) on Saturday with race one starting at 16:00. The second race will take place at 16:00 on Sunday.
After the Thai race weekend is completed the championship heads to Europe and the home base of the logistical base of the KRT team, in Spain. The Motorland Aragon round will be the third of the year and will feature races on the 2nd and 3rd of April.
Jonathan Rea stated: “Going to Thailand off the back of an incredible start to the season, with a double win in Australia, just gives me a lot of satisfaction – and motivation as well. Motivation to keep the bike at the front. Friday is the most important day to understand set-up because on Saturday we are already racing. With the new schedule we have a little bit of a different strategy for our race weekends. We were quite lucky in Phillip Island with our pre-event tests so in Thailand we need to make sure we can plan the weekend carefully. Hopefully, come Saturday and Sunday, we can have two good results again.”