Álvaro Bautista on Ducati wins Race 1 of WorldSBK at Jerez; the new Pirelli rear tyre allows race lap time to be improved by more than 1 second compared to 2017
The Spaniard takes the first race in front of his home fans while Jonathan Rea sets the new track record in Superpole®, in the first WorldSSP300 race the win goes to Marc Garcia on Kawasaki
After filing away the Imola round without a win, Álvaro Bautista, the Spanish Ducati rider and current leader in the championship standings is back on the top step of the podium, taking Race 1 of the MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship being held this weekend in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.Astride the new Ducati Panigale V4R, Bautista moved into the lead on the first lap, maintaining the position until the race finish, crossing the line ahead of Michael Van der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1), second, and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR), third.
The new soft compound rear tyre Pirelli brought to make its début this round performed brilliantly. The new solution with X1351 specifications was used in Race 1 by no less than fifteen riders and from the first practice sessions on Friday, it gained popularity with many of the riders. Then, in Race 1, thanks in part to the performance of the new solution, the average lap time improved by more than 1 second compared to Race 1 in 2017.Then, during Superpole®, thanks to the new qualifying tyre developed by Pirelli this year, no less than eight out of the nineteen riders (Jonathan Rea, Álvaro Bautista, Marco Melandri, Alex Lowes, Leon Haslam, Tom Sykes, Michael van der Mark and Jordi Torres) broke the track record set by Marco Melandri in 2017 con with a time of 1’38.960. In particular, four-time World Champion Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki ZX-10RR managed to improve on the Italian rider’s record by a full seven seconds, stopping the clock at an extraordinary 1’38.247 which guaranteed the leading spot on the grid for him, whereas Álvaro Bautista did a time just a few thousandths slower. At the start of Race 1, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) got off the clutch well, but Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R), starting from the second spot on the grid, appeared to be very fast straight away, managing to overtake the reigning World Champion for the race lead. In the meantime, Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1) dropped back from third to fifth, bested by the Yamahas ridden by Alex Lowes and Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1).A few laps later, Lowes and Van der Mark went back and forth in third position with the English rider finally forced to yield to the Dutchman.During the ninth lap, Michael Van Der Mark also managed to get past Jonathan Rea, moving into second with a gap of almost five seconds behind Bautista who, in the meantime, increased the gap ahead of the trio. On the following lap, Alex Lowes executed a move on Rea, moving into third place behind his teammate.On the fourteenth lap, Rea successfully took back third with a nice move on the outside of Alex Lowes. However, the rider from the Iwata-based manufacturer was able to stay with the bike from Akashi until, three laps from the end, he managed to take back the lost position.There were sparks on the final lap when Jonathan Rea, trying to take back third, made contact with Alex Lowes who got the worst of it, ending up in the gravel. Race direction decided to investigate the incident, but in the end, the defending World Champion’s third place was confirmed.Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) therefore took the win with a seven-second advantage over Michael Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1) and fifteen seconds ahead of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR). Worth a mention is the performance by Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1), fourth over the line and the first of the private teams.
WorldSBK Race 1 Standings: 1) Á. Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R)2) M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1)3) J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)4) M. Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1)5) T. Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)6) T. Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR)7) C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R)8) S. Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK / Yamaha YZF R1)9) L. Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)10) M. Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team / Ducati Panigale V4 R)11) M. Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team / BMW S1000 RR)12) L. Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha / Yamaha YZF R1)13) L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)14) T. Bridewell (Team Goeleven / Ducati Panigale V4 R) – sostituto di Eugene Laverty15) A. Delbianco (Althea Mie Racing Team / Honda CBR1000RR)16) A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team / Yamaha YZF R1)17) R. Kiyonari (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team / Honda CBR1000RR)RT) J. Torres (Team Pedercini Racing / Kawasaki ZX-10RR)RT) Y. Takahashi (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team / Honda CBR1000RR) WorldSSP300 Race In the first of the two FIM Supersport 300 World Championship races scheduled for the weekend in order to make up for the race that was cancelled in Imola due to inclement weather, the win went to Marc Garcia on Kawasaki (DS Junior Team)who finished ahead of Scott Deroue (Kawasaki Motoport) and defending World Champion Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300).
The Pirelli solutions chosen by the WorldSBK riders for Race 1: In Race 1, for the front tyre, preferences fell primarily to the standard SC1 in the 125/70 size (option A), chosen by 11 out of the 19 riders on the grid, although some, including Jonathan Rea and Álvaro Bautista, preferred the X1071 SC2 development solution, also in the larger 125/70 size (option B). The only rider making a different choice was Markus Reiterberger, who decided to put on the X1118 SC2 development solution (option C).Choices for the rear tyre were almost unanimous: no less than 15 out of the 19 riders used the new X1351 SC0 development tyre, also in the 200/65 size (option A), whereas the standard SC0 in the 200/65 size (option B) was chosen by the factory Yamaha riders, Michael Van Der Mark and Alex Lowes, as well as by Michael Ruben Rinaldi on Ducati and Alessandro Delbianco on Honda.
Pirelli statistics for WorldSBK Race 1:
• Winner of the PIRELLI BEST LAP AWARD: Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) in 1'39.305 at the 2nd lap
• Most used front solution: standard SC1 125/70 (11 out of 19 riders)
• Most used rear solution: new development SC0 200/65 X1351 (15 out of 19 riders)
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 280.7 km/h, achieved by Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Barni Racing Team / Ducati Panigale V4 R), Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK / Kawasaki ZX-10RR) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) in the 1st lap and by Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati / Ducati Panigale V4 R) in the 19th lap
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 8 rear Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 74, including 35 front and 39 rear
• Air temperature: 29° C • Asphalt temperature: 54° C
- Tyres selected on the starting grid of WorldSBK Race 1
- Marc Garcia, Ana Carrasco and Scott Deroue
- Alvaro Bautista in action
- WorldSSP300 podium
- WorldSBK Race 1 podium