I love the smell of a new track from the freshly laid tarmac to the pristine clean garages, nothing is better than the feeling that you’re about to rain hell upon a new course. WSBK had their inaugural round at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand over the weekend and I must say the new track was bound for some insane high speeds with its copious amounts of long straights.
If you haven’t watched it by now please stop reading and go do yourself that favor!
Congrats to Jonathan Rea for doing the double at their first time out! He showed utter dominance from the word GO until the checkered flag. Everyone including Rea knew that a great start meant the ability to finish strongly, something he mastered over the two races. The battle of speeds were down to the Kawasaki of said Rea and the speed of the Aprilia of Haslam. Try and try he might Haslam couldn’t close the gap to Rea in both the race and the points chase for the title. He suffered from a bad start in race two which diminished any chances of ousting Rea for the win and again tying the championship up.
Strong showing from Michael VDM, which I think I heard the announcers calling him the baby face assassin (what?), shows a deserved rostrum finish in the top class. His teammate, Frenchman Randy de Puniet, on the other hand needs some more bit of good juju his way if he is to perform as he desires. Jordi Torres, a favorite of mine this season with his hard style from the world of GP, his proving race after the race the he shouldn’t be slept on. I want to say he will have a podium in the next couple of rounds if not least a race win before the season ends.
Another story for the weekend would have to be Troy Bayliss’s official last ride for the aruba.it Ducati team. Back for two rounds as a replacement he did very well for a man who haven’t sat ass on a WSBK machine in seven years. I never watched Bayliss race when I was younger but I did catch his documentary a few years ago and needless to say for an old tike his still has it.
For a course with so many long straights, you can thank Tilke for that, you would think it would make for impressive racing, but when only two manufacturer’s have that kind of speed close racing is something left to be desired. I will admit it was quite a yawn fest this round. It had potential but I really feel those straights, back to back to back, really killed the racing for me. His courses now seem to have that mix of long straights back to back followed by a few corners into more straights. Ah but what can you do when you are down on power.
The next round is slated for Aragon on the 12th of April so make sure to tune in then!