Everyone who understands motorcycles and their market even a little bit knows for sure, the incredible importance of Thailand for 2 wheeler industry the world over. Not just as a market for selling, but Thailand also has very good economic ties with the entire South East Asian countries making it an apt manufacturing location for big manufacturers who want to sell their products at sensible prices in the region.
Thus, there is no doubt that the racing events like the World Superbikes and Moto GP are also, looking towards South East Asia to sustain their growth and come out of their strong dependence on European racing arena. World Superbike, took a upper hand from Moto GP and set foot on the Thai soil for Thailand's first ever World Superbike Race at the brand new Chang International Circuit.
A new track in a new country is always a thing to look up to as all the teams are on same level and brings many challenges to the teams and the riders alike, as they try to beat each other to be the fastest when the race day arrives. A all new track also brings challenges in terms of what tires to choose and grip levels, luckily, the Chang International Circuit at Thailand has seen some races from where the teams could understand the track better. The Asian Road Racing Championship held a round at the track in November 2014, which included two races from the Supersport 600 class. The circuit has several longish straights, with a couple of tight corners connecting them, but the second half of the track is more flowing, with several faster corners. There are a number of spots around the track that look good for overtaking, including Turn 1, the hairpin at Turn 3, and the final corner, Turn 12.
If you were watching the race on TV (as we were) you would have heard the number of times the commentators talked about the incredible ambience and hospitality the people of Thailand had shown towards the World Superbike contingent. Also, if you were watching the race, then you would have watched the outstanding World Supersports race where, the first ever World Supersport race in Thailand was won by a home rider, Ratthapark Wilairot of CORE Motorsport Thailand who came home ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and PJ Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpre) who were second and 3rd in a photo finish at the end of a thrilling 17 lap race that saw spectators on their feet, jumping in joy as the local rider took the first ever win for a Thai Rider in the World Supersport category, icing on the cake being, it came on the first ever WSBK race at Thailand.
In other two races held for the Superbike class, Jonathan Rea on this Superbike Series spec Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R dominated the 20 lap encounter at the all new Chang International circuit in Buriram, he was followed by Leon Haslam of Aprilia Racing Team and Tom Sykes of Kawasaki Racing Team on the podium.
With the World Superbike Race successfully organized and the jam packed stands showing the love of the people of Thailand for the sport and motorcycle in general, might just pave way for Moto GP to arrive at Thailand as soon as in 2016. The loss of India in organising either the World Superbikes and the Moto GP has been a fruitful event for the other South Asian Countries with Indonesia also running high on WSBK and Moto GP owner Dorna's radar, the age of Motorcycle racing in this region is just starting.