Italian Federico Caricasulo took his first WorldSSP win today at the Buriram WorldSBK round in a race of high attrition as both Jules Cluzel and PJ Jacobsen both retired with engine blow-ups which will have injured reiging champion Kenan Sofuoglu rubbing his hands.
Cluzel, who took pole position, had established a narrow lead over the pack was forced to pull off the track with six laps to go as his CIA Honda expired while MV Agusta’s Jacobsen retired after only three laps, leaving Caricasulo, wildcard Decha Kraisart and Britain’s Kyle Smith to fight for the podium.
Smith had to come back from the middle of the top ten after suffering brake problems but was disqualified on the last lap after ignoring a race direction decision to dock him three places for an incident involving Christian Gamarino.
Smith went past the Italian with a move from a long way back, which looked like a lunge but may well have been caused by his brake problems, and Gamarino was so surprised, he lost the front. Smith was given a ‘lose three positions’ notification but didn’t heed it and his second place was removed. A race fastest lap will be scant comfort for the Briton.
Smith’s exit promoted Niki Tuuli to the podium, making it a Yamaha clean sweep while Sofuoglu’s replacement Thitipong Warokorn found a load of pace at the end of the race to pass temporary team-mate Kyle Ryde for fourth place on the last lap.
Hikari Okobu took sixth place with Sheridan Morais seventh, Aiden Wagner eighth, Kazuki Watanabe ninth and Robin Mulhauser tenth. Gino Rea was also disqualified after he didn’t heed a ride-through penalty for finishing the warm-up lap behind the safety car and not coming into pitlane.