After starting from the front row of the grid, Pata Honda rider Kyle Smith crashed out of today’s second-round World Supersport championship race at the Chang International Circuit at Buriram in Thailand.
To the delight of a large partisan crowd, the 17-lap race was won by local Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot on another Honda CBR600RR, appropriately marking Honda’s 100th World Supersport victory since 1997.
After debuting fourth in the season opener at Phillip Island in Australia, World Supersport rookie Smith, 23, had shown good race pace throughout the weekend and was battling in the leading group before crashing out at the fast left-hand turn 10 at the 4.554km Buriram circuit.
Smith will have a chance to fight again in round three of the series, which takes place in his adopted Spain at the Motorland Aragon circuit on 10-12 April
Kyle: I felt really strong in the first part of the race. I knew there were a lot of laps and even though I’d been passed by a couple of riders, I knew my race pace over the weekend had been better than theirs so I wasn’t worried. I thought that as long as I stayed inside the leading group I would be fine. I felt like the front had been pushing a little all weekend and I had been making up for that with a slightly slower corner entry and then a faster exit. But as the pace in the race was a little higher, I was having to enter the corner faster and that ended up pushing the front more. I could still ride and felt stronger than the others and, as I pushed to close the gap and make an attack, I lost the front and crashed. There’s not much to say about that apart from to say it was rider error and to apologise t o the team.