WSBK: Riders speak ahead of first ever WorldSBK event in Thailand at Chang circuit
Thurs 19th March 2015 – The first ever WorldSBK event in Thailand began this afternoon with the official Press Conference involving Superbike riders Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Sylvain Guintoli (Pata Honda World Superbike Team), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Superbike Team) and World Supersport contender Ratthapark Wilairot (CORE Motorsport Thailand).
The five riders were asked a series of questions ahead of the on-track action tomorrow and below are some of their answers.
Leon Haslam: “In Australia it was nice to get back to winning ways and was almost a perfect weekend in Australia. Looking ahead to the races here in Thailand I think that we can expect more riders to join the fight. The circuit looks very good and I can’t wait to get started.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “Australia was tough, I wasn’t fully fit but it could have been worse. My physical condition is much better here in Thailand and I hope to be able to run at the front.”
Tom Sykes: “I left Australia with more points than I have on many occasions so we are still in the fight. I don’t think that the weather will be a factor here, we are all strong and in Sepang last year it wasn’t an issue. I think that we can be closer to front guys here.”
Troy Bayliss: “I didn’t expect to ride again but I wasn’t fully happy with my results and with Davide still injured I am happy to have had a few more weeks to prepare more. I’m not sure what we can achieve but my target is to fight. Whether I will continue after the races on Sunday we will have to wait and see, at the moment nothing is decided and I am only focusing on this weekend.”
Ratthapark Wilairot: “For many years it has been only a dream but finally I get to race in front of my home fans. Phillip Island was a strong start for me and the team considering we have only just started to work together and the result was ok. Here in Thailand of course I will do my best to fight for the podium.”
Earlier this morning, a selection of WorldSBK riders that included the Thai WSS full-timer Ratthapark Wilairot and the local wildcards Thitipong Warokorn (A.P. Honda Racing Thailand) and Decha Kraisart (Yamaha Thailand Racing Team), were given a tour of the impressive Buriram United FC football stadium and its facilities, during the pre-event of this second round of the season.
An official jersey of the football club was presented to each rider by Mr Chaichonok Chidchib, a representative of Buriram United FC before an official ‘football team’ style photo was taken on the pitch. In between the TV interviews and photo opportunities, the riders challenged each other to a ‘kick about’ that finished with a penalty shoot-out.
Tomorrow sees the opening session on track with Free Practice 1 for both World Superbike and World Supersport classes extended to provide additional time for the riders to get up to speed.