Jonathan Rea has maintained his perfect start to the 2017 World Superbike championship with a third win from three in the Thailand opener as he stretched clear of Chaz Davies to extended his championship lead by another five points.
The factory Kawasaki rider enjoyed a perfect start to the second round of the season having topped every free practice session before claiming Superpole over team-mate Tom Sykes. With momentum and pace to push Rea got away early and gradually built his advantage each lap to eventually win by over six seconds.
Nearest challenger Davies, who had to settle for two runner-up spots in Australia, lost time battling through the pack having started from fifth place but once up to second held off a charging Tom Sykes to take another second place finish.
With Sykes unable to match his Kawasaki team-mate's superior pace he became involved in a last lap battle for the final podium spot against Aruba.it Racing Ducati's Marco Melandri, with the Italian missing out on the rostrum but takes small comfort from being on pole position for race two with the revised grid order rules for 2017.
Despite being off the pace of the factory Kawasaki and Ducati teams it was a solid showing by Pata Yamaha with Michael van der Mark fifth and Alex Lowes sixth in a relatively lonely race as Althea BMW's Jordi Torres was over 10 seconds further back in seventh.
Leon Camier battled through some early issues with MV Agusta to claim eighth place ahead of the two Red Bull Honda riders of Nicky Hayden and Stefan Bradl who scythed through the back of the pack to complete the top ten finishers.
Full race results (1) from the second round of the 2017 World Superbike Championship at the Chang International Circuit, Thailand.
1. Jonathan Rea GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 20 laps
2. Chaz Davies GBR Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R +6.279s
3. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R +8.165s
4. Marco Melandri ITA Aruba.it Racing Ducati 1199R +8.239s
5. Michael van der Mark NED PATA Yamaha YZF-R1 +11.384s
6. Alex Lowes GBR PATA Crescent Yamaha R1 +14.862s
7. Jordi Torres ESP Althea BMW S1000RR +26.035s
8. Leon Camier GBR MV Agusta RC F4 RR +31.755s
9. Nicky Hayden USA Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 +33.305s
10. Stefan Bradl GER Red Bull Honda CBR1000RR SP2 +35.208s
11. Xavi Fores ESP Barni Ducati 1199R +35.428s
12. Randy Krummenacher SWI Puccetti Kawasaki ZX-10R +38.865s
13. Lorenzo Savadori ITA Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4 +39.869s
14. Markus Reiterberger GER Althea BMW S1000RR +40.140s
15. Roman Ramos ESP Team Go Eleven Kawasaki ZX-10R +47.407s
16. Alex de Angelis SMR Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +57.203s
17. Riccardo Russo ITA Guandalini Yamaha YZF-R1 +1 laps
18. Ondrej Jezek CZE Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1 laps
Did not finish
19. Eugene Laverty IRE Milwaukee Aprilia RSV4
20. Ayrton Badovini ITA Grillini Kawasaki ZX-10R
Ruled out by injury
Leandro Mercado ITA IodaRacing Aprilia RSV4