Smith Friday’s fastest in Thai heat

Friday, 10 March 2017 10:12 GMT

GEMAR Team Lorini rider quickest in both Friday practice sessions

Friday’s WorldSSP action at the Motul Thai Round in the heat of the Chang International Circuit saw Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) complete the day as the top man thanks to a 1’38.259 time.

Having also led FP1 Smith showed his pace again in an afternoon session which took place with 34°C ambient and 43°C track temperatures. Local wildcard Decha Kraisart (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) also dealt well with the conditions as he impressively lapped second quickest, just 0.15s down on Smith.

Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) and PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) were all in the top five. In addition to Kraisart his fellow Thai wildcard Chalermpol Polamai (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) also ran well in sixth.

The end of the first day of action at round two of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in Thailand also saw Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing), Kyle Ryde (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) in the WorldSSP top ten, putting them all straight into Tissot Superpole 2.

Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK#25) broke a chain late in the FP2 session and required a ride back to the pits from a steward, ending up 18th on the timesheet.

FP1 earlier in the day had seen Smith set a best time of 1’38.567 to lead the way from Cluzel by 0.231s, with Kraisart also in the top three. The FP1 top five also featured Mahias and Jacobsen, who will both be aiming for podium results this weekend. The morning session saw run-offs without major consequences for Ryde, Okubo and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura), whilst Polamai crashed at turn 1 but was unharmed.

Defending WorldSSP World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is still absent having sustained a hand injury during pre-season and is aiming to return to action at Round 3 in Aragon.

The WorldSSP riders return to the track at 11.20am local time in Thailand on Saturday for FP3.