Former 250cc/Moto2 rider Ratthapark Wilairot of Thailand gave his countrymen something to cheer for by winning the second round of the World Supersport championship ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu of Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and PJ Jacobsen, who rides for(Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpre. The two riders finished second and third in a photo finish at the end of an enthralling 17 lap race that had the packed grandstands on their feet with each lap completed.
From the start it was Sofuoglu that took the lead, as the Turkish rider keen to make up for his mistake in the opening round of the series, but by lap 5 a group of five that included championship leader Jules Cluzel of MV Agusta Reparto Corse) Kyle Smith (Pata Honda Team), PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) and Wilairot who rides for CORE Motorsport Thailand, were locked together, much to the delight of the local fans.
Lorenzo Zanetti, Cluzel’s teammate, crashed out of the top 8 at turn 5 on the eighth lap, with the Italian unable to continue. Smith slid out of contention a lap later and is clearly annoyed with himself. Cluzel who had been leading for most of the race retired with 3 and a half laps to go leaving Wilairot to claim an emotional first race victory in his home country.
American Jacobsen tried in vain to close down the slender lead of his Thai rival, having to make do with third at the flag to secure his first podium of the year ahead after being passed on the final turn of the last lap by Sofuoglu who took second.
Frenchman Lucas Mahias scored his first points of the season, finishing a lonely fourth ahead of a jubilant Ratthapong Wilairot of A.P Honda Racing Thailand, who like his elder brother, had the grandstands on their feet as he fought off a fierce attach from Italian Roberto Rolfo who was sixth.
Martin Cardenas became the first Colombian in the history of the series to score points in the World Supersport championship ending the race in eighth.
Wilairot now heads to Europe with a 6 point lead over Sofuoglu in the overall standings.