Chang International Circuit in Thailand is the destination for CIA Landlord Insurance Honda this weekend for the second round of the 2018 World Supersport Championship and riders Niki Tuuli and Andrew Irwin are confident they can bounce back from a disappointing first round in Australia three weeks ago.
Irwin was ruled out of the season opener at Philip Island with a fracture to his hand sustained in a fall during testing at the Australian circuit so makes his World Supersport debut next weekend in Thailand. Andrew said: “I’m really looking forward to Chang, it’s a new track for me so on Friday it’ll be important to make the most of Free Practice 1 to learn the track and progress from there. I need to stay calm and enjoy it and I’m hopeful we’ll end up in the points on Sunday which will give me something to build on for the rest of the season.”
Tuuli took away some valuable Championship points from the first round at Philip Island and is confident he will come back even stronger in the heat of Buriram. Niki said: “I really can’t wait for next weekend! I wasn’t happy with how I did in Australia, I want to show what we really can do! The main thing is I have to be relaxed then everything will go well. I’m really looking forward to working with the guys again.”
CIA Landlord Insurance Honda Team Manager Simon Buckmaster said: “Everything is in good shape for Chang. Andrew is fully fit again and feels good. It was such a shame because I am sure he would have been in the points at Philip Island. He needs to be fully focussed and I am sure he will do a good job in Thailand. We have to be realistic about our aims and our aim for Andrew is to get his first points of 2018 under his belt and I’m confident he is in a good frame of mind. His crew chief Mark Kelly has been ruled out for the season following his health problems in Australia so Kevin Lopez will step in at Chang and we will all work together to get the best possible result for Andrew.”
“We will start with a clean slate with Niki at Chang. I’m sure we can improve, he’s a rider with the talent and ability to do it and we are the team with the machinery to do it so our aim is to challenge at the front and for the podium next weekend. We can’t wait to get started.”