CLICK HERE for WSBK Race Results (2) from Buriram, Thailand

Tom Sykes kept his cool in the humidity of Buriram to take an exhilarating first World Superbike Championship win of the year after team-mate Jonathan Rea fluffed his chances in an unusually ragged performance by the defending champion.

Having finished runner-up to Rea in race one despite leading for much of the opening race, the second encounter appeared destined to follow a similar plot as a superb start from third saw him grab the hole-shot before proceeding to resist his close-following team-mate thereafter.

Setting a fierce pace but taking Rea with him, of the two it was the Ulsterman that appeared the more comfortable on the Kawasaki ZX-10R, Sykes' robust defending appearing fairly futile against a team-mate seemingly biding his time.

However, with Sykes seemingly distracted by Rea's overbearing presence behind him, lap times would begin to suffer as a result, allowing an inspired Chaz Davies and Michael van der Mark - who had been more than two seconds adrift at one stage - to haul themselves back into contention, though the latter pole sitter would eliminate himself from the victory battle when he ran wide at turn three and slipped back into what would become a lonely fourth.

Sensing pressure from behind, Rea used the moment to put plans into action with a firm move for the lead into turn eight on lap 14. A pass with savvy timing, it left his team-mate now having to contend with the fast approaching Ducati.

However, while a Rea 'stalk-to-pounce' method to victory has proven fruitful for the defending champion over the past twelve months, a rather ragged weekend thus far - which saw make more than one error in race one - would reoccur in race two, beginning with him running wide at the tricky turn three hairpin, allowing Sykes and also Davies through.

Unleashing Sykes back into the lead, Rea quickly gathered himself together to regain second place from Davies - now wilting somewhat after his earlier charge - and set about trying to recover the lead from his stubborn team-mate.

However, Rea would come up against some robust defending from the 2013 champion, Sykes proving solid on the brakes and fairly 'bold' with his lines to prevent Rea from getting a clean run on him.

Building to a crescendo over the final two laps, Rea struck into the fast turn four left-hander on the penultimate revolution, but Sykes would come straight back him. Rea then attempted the same at turn five but again Sykes would grab it back on the undercut.

With one lap remaining, Rea attempted the same pass, but while he made it stick initially in what appeared to be a conclusive move at the death, he would proceed to run wide at the next corner and allow Sykes back through yet again.

With limited opportunities over the remainder of the lap to make another bid, a rather aggressive sweep by Sykes on the exit of turn seven across the bow of Rea would subsequently prove unsettling enough to prevent him from attempting a pass into turn eight.

With Sykes keeping it neat around the final corners, he surged across the line for arguably one of the more satisfying wins of his career over his arch rival, victory marking his first since Jerez 2015.

With Rea clinging onto second place, a result that still sees him extend his already healthy championship lead, Davies crossed the line third, an impressive bounce back having finished 17secs down on the leaders in race one.

Having shown such impressive pace throughout the weekend, van der Mark will be frustrated to end his weekend with a fourth place finish, though Honda team-mate Nicky Hayden will take pleasure from a fine fifth place on his Thai debut.

Behind them, Sylvain Guintoli kept the points ticking over for Yamaha in a solid sixth, going some way to making up for team-mate Alex Lowes, who saw his race ended by technical issues.

Markus Reiterberger prevailed in the battle of the Althea BMWs once more after passing Jordi Torres for seventh on the final lap, while Lorenzo Savadori notched up another top ten finish on the Ioda Aprilia, ahead of a disappointing Davide Giugliano, who slipped back early on and never recovered.

Leon Camier turned in another points' finish in 11th for MV Agusta, ahead of the ever-consistent Roman Ramos, Matteo Baiocco and Alex de Angelis - who was running inside the top ten when he ran off track late on -, while Karel Abraham beat Milwaukee BMW team-mate Josh Brookes to the final point.