The Thai heat and great passion of the local crowd provided the backdrop to the second World Superbike round. Rea made it four out of four at Buri Ram, taking advantage of Davies' error in Race 2. Melandri was back on the podium, while Caricasulo scored his first historic Supersport win.
THE GOOD For once we're mixing things up, to talk about Johnny Rea would be too obvious. So instead we want to acknowledge Federico Caricasulo and his first ever Supersport win. He won't forget Sunday at Chang in a hurry. After the mess at Phillip Island, this time the Italian found the perfect blend of intelligence and perfect riding, a performance worthy of the top step of the rostrum at Buri Ram.
THE BAD It can be only him - Smith. He should have taken the ride through but he stayed on track, hindering local rider Kraisart in the final stages and ruining his chances of a win. Caricasulo would have surely thanked him!
THE UGLY What a pity to see Leon Camier so disappointed at the end of the race. His MV Agusta continues to suffer with reliability issues, just as it did two weeks ago in Australia. The same outcome for PJ Jacobsen in Supersport. Something needs to be done.
THE SURPRISE What a surprise, or rather what a nasty surprise, when the crates were opened, only to find that some of the qualifying tyres had been damaged. Pirelli tried to solve the problem and get some new tyres delivered but the shipment got held up in customs at Bangkok. In the end, riders had to do without the ultrasoft tyre during Superpole.
THE DISAPPOINTENT It's a shame to have to say it, but it's just not there! Aprilia is struggling more than expected. It's a pity to see Lorenzo Savadori in such difficulty, not to mention his scary Race 2 crash. Luckily he was not seriously hurt. Laverty wasn't able to save the situation at Buri Ram either.
THE CONFIRMATION Whether you like it or now, in Thailand the local riders are always ready to put up a fight, complicating things for the frontrunners. Two years ago it was Wilairot, who scored a win that remains stamped in the minds of the Asian fans. yesterday it was the turn of Kraisart. He didn't win, but he came within a whisker of Caricasulo, at the end of a weekend which saw him consistently place at the front. Hats off to him and to Polamai too!
THE PASS He took out two in just one shot. We're talking about Johnny Rea, able to surprise both Davies and Lowes. Only Rossi has done better, at Sepang, when he got past Iannone, Marquez and Lorenzo in just one move.
THE MISTAKE It's obvious, but one that weighs heavily. What a shame to see Chaz Davies crash out in Race 2, just as he'd set his sights on Marco Melandri. He leaves Thailand 30 points behind Rea. Less of a gap than this time last year, but it won't be easy to close it.
I TOLD YOU SO “I need to make the most of pole to reach the podium”. Marco Melandri remained true to his word. It was just a pity Sykes got the better of him in both races. Time to make up for that at Aragon!