The 17-lap WorldSSP race at the Chang International Circuit proved to be a dramatic affair from the start with many top riders crashing or having technical problems. For season-long official Kawasaki rider Ryde and stand-in rider Warokorn it was a long race, but a highly successful one.
Riding instead of the injured Kenan Sofuoglu at this round Warokorn relied on his local knowledge and home crowd support to take him and his Ninja ZX-6R from 18th on the grid after qualifying to fourth in the race itself. He finished seven and a half seconds from the winner as he got the better of a late battle with his team-mate for the weekend.
British youngster Ryde felt the heat on raceday, with official track temperatures reaching 50°C, but stuck to his task with enthusiasm and determination to score well. He was only four seconds from the podium, and just in the slipstream of Warokorn. With a total of 24 points to his name now Ryde is only six points behind the lead of the championship after two rounds.
Motorland Aragon in Spain hosts the third round of the championship, with raceday on April 2.
Kyle Ryde, stated: “I cannot argue with a top five. I am really happy that I was not that far behind first place. I was really nervous this morning because I was not particularly fast in warm up but I was seven seconds from the win. It is great be running in the front group but this weekend has been very hot. I thought I was quite fit but I think I will need to be a bit fitter for next time here. The last five laps were hard and even harder when there are people behind you. It was a good race. It was a great job from the team and I would like to say a big thanks to Andrew Pitt because yesterday and on raceday he has really helped with last year’s experience with Kenan and Randy. It all counts to get that fifth place.”
Thitipong Warokorn, stated: “It was an incredible race. I put a lot of effort into it because it is my home race and all my fan club and sponsors were here. The Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team gave me the opportunity to do my best. There were a lot of riders in front of me and it was difficult to overtake, but I passed them one at a time and then took one more place in the last corner for fourth. I could hear the crowd a little bit but I could see them and my fan club cheering for me. Many thanks to Kawasaki and to Manuel Puccetti for this opportunity. I did my best and took a not so bad finishing position. ”
Kazuki Watanabe (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was ninth in the race. Lachlan Epis (Response RE Racing Kawasaki) and Nacho Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) were 12th and 13th respectively. Gino Rea (Team Kawasaki Go Eleven) was excluded from the results while Michael Canducci (Puccetti Racing Junior Team FMI Kawasaki) and
Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) experienced technical issues and retired.