Kyle Smith took fifth place on his Honda CBR600RR at a hot and sultry Sepang circuit in Malaysia in this afternoon’s ninth round of the World Supersport championship. The race was won by fellow Honda rider PJ Jacobsen in his maiden World Supersport victory.
Smith had never ridden the 5.543km Sepang circuit before Friday’s free practice sessions and made a good start despite a wet FP2. Tyre grip woes in yesterday’s qualifying, however, restricted the 23-year-old to a third row start for today’s 14-lap race.
The British Pata Honda rider got a superb start and was running in third place in the early stages before dropping back to seventh. Smith found his rhythm to climb back into fifth place but, by then the leading group had opened a gap he was unable to bridge.
Smith will now head back to Europe to meet for the first time his new daughter, Julia, who was born last weekend while he was racing for Honda in the 8 Hours race at Suzuka in Japan. He will return to World Supersport action on his Honda CBR600RR at Jerez in Spain on 18-20 September.
Kyle Smith – P5
It was a very lonely race but I am happy with the result. It was a new track for me, we had one session which was wet and we’ve struggled a little for pace all weekend. We also had some problems with tyres in qualifying which didn’t help us find the pace, but at least the grip and tyre wear were consistent today, so that was positive. To finish fifth in the race was a solid result that was needed by me and the whole team after a couple of DNFs so I’m happy to go into a summer break with that.
Pieter Breddels – technical co-ordinator
It was a fairly good day and Kyle got a really good start to the race today. Unfortunately he couldn’t maintain that pace and dropped back to seventh at one point. When he got back to fifth he was able to run away from the group behind but couldn’t close the gap to the front. We’re pretty happy with the result and we’re already looking forward to the races after the summer break to try and get back to the podium again.