GRT Yamaha’s Federico Caricasulo was a man under fire after a he wiped out CIA Landlords Insurance Honda’s Jules Cluzel on the final lap of the Australian race.
The Italian, who switched from the Bardhal Evans Honda team to Yamaha for this season, was staring down a podium finish at Phillip Island when he tucked the front and slammed into Cluzel, leading to the Frenchman’s team boss branding him as ‘dangerous’.
Caricasulo’s Thailand weekend got off to a difficult start, as the Yamaha rider was forced to go through the first part of Superpole. He managed to get into SP2, but proceeded to qualify a lowly ninth whilst team-mate Lucas Mahias took to the front row.
For Sunday’s race, the team found something with the bike’s set-up and this allowed Caricasulo to rocket through the pack and fight for the victory.
“I am so happy because today I made a very good race from the first to the last lap,” he said. “On the final lap I made a little gap from my competitiors.”
The GRT rider moved into the lead when, ironically, Cluzel dropped out with an engine issue. However, Caricasulo still had to fend off Thai wildcard Decha Kraisart, who pushed him hard for almost the rest of the race.
When Lorini Honda’s Kyle Smith started battling Kraisart for second on the final lap, Caricasulo got his head down and darted away to secure his and the new YZF-R6’s maiden win in the Supersport World Championship.
The Italian is now third in the standings on 25 points, five away from leader Roberto Rolfo and the same gap ahead of team-mate Mahias, who was unfortunately forced to park up early with a technical issue.
“The conditions were very hard, so I am happy to win here,” he added. “It is very important now to continue all the races like this, fighting for wins, if I want to take a good place in the championship.
“All weekend, after the experience of not finishing in Australia, I worked to make sure I would be able to make good lap times all race long, and in all conditions. I did it like this and we won.
“I want to thank Yamaha and all in my GRT team who worked well on the weekend to find a good set-up for my bike after a difficult start.”
Sunday’s race turned out to be a banner day for Yamaha, as Kraisart and Kallio Racing’s Niki Tuuli took the previous generation R6 to the podium as well.