WorldSSP: Stunning win for Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) in dramatic Thai race
In a dramatic and incident packed race at the Motul Thai Round on Sunday it was Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team) who took a superb win in the heat of the Chang International Circuit, with Thai wild card Decha Kraisart (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) and Niki Tuuli (Kallio Racing) also on the podium.
Late drama saw Kyle Smith (GEMAR Team Lorini) in the hunt for the victory but the Honda rider was disqualified on the last lap for failing to react to a ride through, after an earlier penalty in which he was requested to concede three positions due to unsporting behaviour. Caricasulo took advantage for a great win by 0.793s from the impressive Kraisart, with 2016 sensation Tuuli three seconds behind the race winner in third.
Caricasulo had taken over the lead with seven laps to go, with the leader up until that point Jules Cluzel (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) retiring from the race seconds later due to a technical fault having led from pole from the start.
Thai rider Thitipong Warokorn (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) produced a superb result in fourth place, riding as a substitute for injured World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu who is expected to return to action at Round 3 in Spain. Meanwhile, fellow Kawasaki Puccetti Racing man Kyle Ryde was fifth in a hectic Thai race which took place in sweltering 37°C temperatures.
Also in the top ten were Hikari Okubo (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda), Sheridan Morais (Kallio Racing), Aiden Wagner (GEMAR Team Lorini), Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) and Robin Mulhauser (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda).
In close succession early in the race Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team), PJ Jacobsen (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) were forced out with technical problems and then Thai wild card Chalermpol Polamai (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team) crashed out, having started second on the grid.
Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was given a ride through penalty due to finishing the warm up lap after the safety car, but failed to react to the penalty notification from the stewards and was subsequently disqualified.
Christian Gamarino (BARDAHL EVAN BROS. Honda Racing) crashed out of second place with 12 laps to go, with Smith in close proximity. Smith then had two run-offs and dropped down the order, fighting back with great pace before his late disqualification.
The WorldSSP riders will be back in action over the 31st March – 2nd April weekend at the Pirelli Aragón Round, the third round of the 2017 season.
Race Winner – Federico Caricasulo, GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team
“I think it was the best race of my life, and I pushed hard from the first to the last lap. It was too hot with the weather conditions, but I am happy because I was able to do more than my competitors. I want to thank my Yamaha team because they worked so hard, and I am so happy!”
#THAIWorldSBK: WorldSSP Race
1. Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Yamaha
2. Decha Kraisart (THA) Yamaha +0.793
3. Niki Tuuli (FIN) Yamaha +3.164
WorldSSP Championship Standings MOTUL Thai Round
1. Roberto Rolfo (ITA) MV Agusta 30 points
2. Niki Tuuli (FIN) Yamaha 27 points
3. Federico Caricasulo (ITA) Yamaha 25 points
Credits : Photos and content courtesy of Dorna WSBK Organization Srl