At 15:35 on Sunday afternoon the job was done and emotion spilled over as Ratthapong Wilairot completed his first ever ARRC double win to claim the 2018 Supersport 600 title. The achievement, coming on the eighth anniversary of the passing of his father, Christmas Wilairot, held profound significance for Ratthapong, who was joined by his brother and mother, who held a photo of the late Thai racing legend.
Tension was palpable at Chang International Circuit on day two of the Asia Road Racing Championship’s sixth and final round. Nowhere was there more anticipation than in the premier Supersport 600 class, where championship leader, Anthony West, sidelined by a provisional doping ban, began the day with a 34 point advantage over 2017 champion, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman. That meant that the Malaysian needed two second places to overhaul the champion.
The Kingdom of Thailand put itself in a sporting spotlight over the weekend, drawing more than 220,000 paying spectators and close to 800m TV viewers worldwide to a hitherto little-known rural town, 400km from Bangkok. It was a huge success that can be put down to inspired management of successful circuit, government and corporate partnerships and a policy of local community inclusion that is characteristic of the growing economic and social success of Buriram in recent years.
Another nerve-jangling showdown between Andrea Dovisioso and Marc Marquez was clinched at Chang International’s notorious last corner on the last lap. The deciding move is one that will have everyone who has ever turned a wheel with intent at the Buriram circuit playing and replaying to figure out how the 25-year-old two-wheeled wizard actually pulled it off to take his seventh win of the season.
AP Honda Racing’s Somkiat Chantra stepped up to a mighty challenge in the PTT Thailand Grand Prix and showed his class in an epic Moto3 battle today, coming through from a lowly position on the starting grid to finish ninth and in touch with the group battling for the podium. Although crowd numbers and other metrics from this weekend have yet to be released, this has undoubtedly been the biggest ever sporting event held in Thailand, which is something to be kept in mind when assessing the achievements of the four home competitors.
The big news at the start of Saturday was that Jorge Lorenzo withdrew from Round 15, following the vicious beating dished out by his malfunctioning Ducati in Free Practice on Friday. As the show went on, world championship leader, Marc Marquez gave himself extra work after a crash at Chang International’s fast Turn 4 in FP3 put him into Qualifying 1.
Singapore based sports media giant, ONE Championship, yesterday announced that Thailand’s WBC Super Flyweight World Champion, Suriyan ‘Srisaket’ Sor Rungvisai will face Mexican title challenger, Iran ‘MagnifiKO’ Diaz on 6th October at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.
The showdown will top the bill at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES, which will have a star-studded supporting cast including former Muay Thai icons, Sagetdao Petpayathai and Petchamorrakot Wor. Sangprapai and female Atomweight sensation, Rika Ishige, all of whom joined the open workout at NKL Promotions Gym.