One of the promotional posters of the next Pirelli Thai Round has the Thai rider Ratchada Nakcharoensri in the center of the image, while reigning four-time WorldSBK Jonathan Rea is on either side, with another local idol Thitipong Warokorn, who will act as a wild card in the blue-riband WorldSBK class.
The story is still significant: Although very little is known in Europe, this young Thai motorcycle racer brings a large crowd of loyal fans in her country, where she competes for several years in various national competitions. Her appearance in the second meeting of the season, as a wild card in the WorldSSP category, will therefore be one of the headlining appearances of the weekend for the passionate Thai fans. It will also be an opportunity for the global audience to discover another of the many great talents of Asian motorcycling.
Nakcharoensri, 28, will debut on the world stage with this appearance, but has previous experience in the displacement and at her home track. At the Chang International Circuit, she ran in 2017 as a wildcard in the competitive FIM Asia Road Racing Championship, and last year she was third, also in the Supersport 600 category, in the PTT BRIC Superbike championship.
Known by the nickname of 'Tann' amongst Asian fans, Ratchada began competing at the age of 11, influenced by her older brother Anucha, a national champion of Superbike. Anucha wildcarded in the inaugural Thai Round in WorldSBK, in 2015, where she finished 17th in Race 2 of WorldSBK – the best finish by a Thai wildcard in WorldSBK at the Chang International Circuit.
If the Thai rider lines up on the grid on Sunday, she will join Spanish rider, Maria Herrera (MS Racing), who this year competes as a regular rider in the World Supersport category. It would be the first time that two women would’ve competed in the FIM Supersport World Championship race, although in 2009, there was a precedent when American Melissa Paris and Canadian Marie-Josée Boucher in the WorldSSP Round held at the Miller Circuit. On that occasion, however, the Canadian rider didn’t make the start in the race. Now, Nakcharoensri, who runs with the Yamaha PTT Lubricants TANN Racing, and the Toledo rider of MS Racing can write one more line of history in the Superbike World Championship paddock. There are already several female competitors in WorldSSP300, with the current champion Ana Carrasco leading the way.
Follow the next Round Pirelli of Thailand and the international debut of Ratchada Nakcharoensri with our WorldSBK VideoPass