After starting from the front row of the grid, Pata Honda rider Kyle Smith crashed out of the second-round World Supersport championship race at the Chang International Circuit at Buriram in Thailand.
To the delight of a large partisan crowd, the 17-lap race was won by local Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot on another Honda CBR600RR, appropriately marking Honda’s 100th World Supersport victory since 1997.
After debuting fourth in the season opener at Phillip Island in Australia, World Supersport rookie Smith, 23, had shown good race pace throughout the weekend and was battling in the leading group before crashing out at the fast left-hand turn 10 at the 4.554km Buriram circuit.
Smith will have a chance to fight again in round three of the series, which takes place in his adopted Spain at the Motorland Aragon circuit on 10-12 April.
Kyle Smith - DNFI felt really strong in the first part of the race. I knew there were a lot of laps and even though I’d been passed by a couple of riders, I knew my race pace over the weekend had been better than theirs so I wasn’t worried. I thought that as long as I stayed inside the leading group I would be fine. I felt like the front had been pushing a little all weekend and I had been making up for that with a slightly slower corner entry and then a faster exit. But as the pace in the race was a little higher, I was having to enter the corner faster and that ended up pushing the front more. I could still ride and felt stronger than the others and, as I pushed to close the gap and make an attack, I lost the front and crashed. There’s not much to say about that apart from to say it was rider error and to apologise t o the team.
Pieter Breddels - technical co-ordinatorI think we had a good warm-up this morning and Kyle got off to a really good start in the race. Unfortunately, he got a little tangled up with other riders and dropped to fifth and had to fight back to the front. As he was doing that he had another crash and unfortunately that was the end of the race. It’s a shame because I think he had the speed to win. I want to congratulate Ratthapark and CORE” Motorsport Honda for their win today, so at least Honda was on top and it’s fantastic for the company to celebrate 100 victories in this way.
1 Ratthapark Wilairot 27m57.523s THA HONDA CORE Motorsport Thailand2 Kenan Sofuoglu +1.828s TUR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing3 Patrick Jacobson +1.860s USA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres4 Lucas Mahias +8.664s FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres5 Ratthapong Wilairot +12.110s THA HONDA AP Honda Racing6 Roberto Rolfo +13.599s ITA HONDA Team Lorini7 Marco Faccani +14.025s ITA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing8 Martin Cardenas +14.857s COL HONDA CIA Landlords Insurance Honda9 Alex Baldolini +21.690s ITA MV Race Department ATK#2510 Gino Rea +30.328s GBR HONDA CIA Landlords Insurance HondaChampionship Standings
1 Ratthapark Wilairot 36 pts THA HONDA CORE Motorsport Thailand2 Kenan Sofuoglu 30 pts TUR KAWASAKI Kawasaki Puccetti Racing3 Jules Cluzel 25 pts FRA MV MV Agusta Reparto Corse4 Patrick Jacobson 22 pts USA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres5 Gino Rea 22 pts GBR HONDA CIA Landlords Insurance Honda6 Lorenzo Zanetti 20 pts ITA MV MV Agusta Reparto Corse7 Roberto Rolfo 18 pts ITA HONDA Team Lorini8 Alex Baldolini 16 pts ITA MV Race Department ATK#259 Lucas Mahias 13 pts FRA KAWASAKI Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres10 Kyle Smith 13 pts GBR HONDA Pata Honda World Supersport Team