At Imola it's a double win for Jonathan Rea and a hat trick for Kawasaki in the eni FIM World Superbike Championship. Excellent début for the new Pirelli rear solution in the top category and new lap
In front of a crowd of 65,000 fans the manufacturer from Akashi wins the two Superbike races, the Supersport and the Superstock 600 races. In Superbike the new rear development solution in soft compound allows Pirelli to break the 2013 race lap record by more than half a second The fifth round of the World Superbike Season ended today with victory in both races in the top category going to Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). The Brit is on an impressive winning streak: out of the ten races held he has won eight and placed second in the other two. The weekend was satisfying for Pirelli as well, who introduced a new soft compound solution for the rear at the Imola circuit which proved to be the race tyre, confirming the Pirelli development team's expectations. After a three round absence due to a bad crash during the opening race of the season in Australia, Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) came back keen to make up for lost time, winning the Superpole on Saturday ahead of the two Kawasaki riders, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea. There was an extremely fast pace in Race 1, thanks in part to the performance of the new DIABLO™ Superbike SC0 development tyre on the rear, the T0611 solution making its first appearance in the Championship. The new race lap record of 1'46.707 made by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) is further demonstration of this, improving the previous record (also set by Sykes in 2013) by more than half a second. Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) got off the line well ahead of Tom Sykes, temporarily overtaken by team mate Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who moved into second place only to lose it a few turns later. During the eighth lap the other Ducati rider, Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team), was forced to withdraw due to an electrical problem with his bike. Things got really exciting in the ninth lap when Tom Sykes managed to overtake Giugliano to move into the lead. During the same lap Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils) crashed out and in the tenth lap Jonathan Rea also managed to get by Davide Giugliano, chasing down team mate Tom Sykes. Just as the two Kawasakis ridden by Sykes and Rea were leading the race a bad crash, fortunately without any grave consequences, took David Salom (Team Pedercini) out of the race and forced the marshals to red flag the race and bring all the riders back into the pits. The race restarted according to the rules for 6 laps which was the 2/3 distance left in the race when the red flag came out. The restart had the riders on the grid in the order they were when the race was red flagged, so Sykes was on the pole ahead of Rea, Giugliano and Haslam. In the third lap of the restart Jonathan Rea overtook Tom Sykes to move into the lead. The two Kawasakis increased the gap ahead of Davide Giugliano (in third place) and crossed the wire first. Jonathan Rea took the top step of the podium followed by team mate Tome Sykes and Ducati rider Davide Giugliano who finished with an excellent third place. Between Superbike Race 1 and Race 2 the FIM Supersport World Championship race was held, 17 laps long with Jules Cluzel on his MV Agusta starting from pole position ahead of the two Kawasakis ridden by Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Marco Faccani (San Carlo Puccetti Racing). Cluzel and Sofuoglu got off the line fast with Faccani losing third place to American Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres). During the third lap Cluzel and Sofuoglu pulled away from the rest of the pack, putting almost a second and a half between them and their closest rivals. Toward the end of the seventh lap the Turkish rider launched an attack on the Frenchman and overtook but Cluzel wasn't about to give up and on the straight stretch just before beginning the eighth lap he took back the lead. In the meantime his team mate, Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) overtook Jacobsen to move into third place. Sofuoglu did not relent and during the ninth lap he managed to overtake Cluzel's MV Agusta to move back into the lead. Like at Assen, the finale came down to a dual between the Turkish rider and the Frenchman. Kenan Sofuoglu took home the win but Jules Cluzel, second across the wire, deservedly broke the lap record with 1’51.101 in the penultimate lap, improving the one set by Sam Lowes in 2013 by half a second. Behind them was the other MV Agusta ridden by Lorenzo Zanetti. At the moment the Turkish rider leads the overall Championship standings with 105 points, whereas Jules Cluzel lead the Pirelli Best Lap Awards standings with three fast race laps out of a total of five races held thus far. Race 2 confirmed the outcome of Race 1 with the Akashi-based manufacturer demonstrating clear superiority over the competition on the Imola track. In the third lap Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) overtook team mate Davide Giugliano, already overtaken at the start by the two Kawasakis ridden by Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who led the race. From the sixth lap the two Kawasakis, just like in Race 1, increased the race pace and pulled away from their pursuers. In the ninth lap Michael VD Mark crashed due to contact with Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) and in the following lap the Spaniard began a duel with Davide Giugliano for fourth place. During the twelfth lap Torres managed to overtake the Italian and then in the fifteenth Chaz Davies, in third place at the moment, was forced to retire once again, leaving third place to Torres. The race ended once again with victory for Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki and his team mate crossing the wire behind him again with the bottom step going to Jordi Torres on his Aprilia. The third race of the season in the Superstock 1000 category was won by Lorenzo Savadori (Nuova M2 Racing) ahead of Roberto Tamburini (Team MotoxRacing) and Ondrej Jezek (Triple-M by Barni). The Superstock 600 FIM European Championship race, held on Saturday afternoon, had Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Federico Caricasulo (Pata Honda Junior Team) as undisputed protagonists, engaging in an exciting duel, overtaking one another time and again down to the final lap. During the last lap and just a few turns from the chequered flag the Turkish rider made a move on the Italian who took a slide at the same time, going off track and definitively handing over the win to the Kawasaki standard bearer who finished ahead of Roberto Mercandelli (Roberto Mercandelli Team) on his Yamaha and Andrea Tucci on the San Carlo Team Italia Kawasaki.With this win the Turkish rider, making his début in the European 600 championship, puts together an exceptional double brace, winning the first 4 races on the calendar and confirming that he is definitely the man to beat in the current season. Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director: “Our primary goal during the Imola round was to verify the quality of the new rear soft compound standard SC0 development solution and from this point of view we are absolutely satisfied since this new tyre was already the most used in both Superbike races at its début. For us this is obviously just first confirmation which is certainly not enough to judge the actual performance of the new tyre that will need to be tested on other circuits and in different asphalt conditions, track layouts and climates as well, so this is why we will also be bringing it to the upcoming rounds. Despite the fact that it was already chosen by 3/4 of the riders on the grid at its début is definitely a good sign. As for the rest, the races we saw today simply confirmed the current Championship standings. Jonathan Rea (congratulations to him, as well as to all the winners this weekend) showed, as if he needed to, that he is aiming for the championship title more than ever and, at least until now, he has not left a lot of room to move about for his adversaries since out of ten races held he has won eight. Overall today was certainly a good day for Kawasaki with wins in three different categories. I would also like to compliment Davide Giugliano who, after 3 months of down time won pole position straight away on Saturday and battled in the races today, even though he isn't in tip top shape, demonstrating a lot of grit and tenacity.” The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders: At Imola, as already mentioned, Pirelli introduced a new rear soft compound solution in Superbike, the T0611 SC0 development solution, which was decidedly the race solution of choice and which allowed the riders to achieve excellent results thanks to the uniform and consistent performance it was able to guarantee. On the front, on the other hand, the riders were divided equally between the two SC1 development solutions, the S1699 which was the most used solution in 2014, and the new T1467. In Supersport on the front the two SC1 solutions available were used, the standard one and the S1485, with the latter being the most popular. On the rear the race tyre of choice was the SC0 development solution, the T0957, which was introduced this year at Aragòn. Pirelli Best Lap Award: The Pirelli Best Lap Awards, the prizes that are assigned to the riders with the fast laps in the Superbike and Supersport races, were presented in the Paddock Show during the press conference that follows the podiums at the end of the race day. The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Award” titles at the end of the season will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and awarded during the end of year ceremony. Jonathan Rea is leading the Superbike standings with 4 Best Laps won, Jules Cluzel the Supersport with 3 Best Laps. These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards at Imola: WSB Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'46.707 (5th lap) WSB Race 2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'47.198 (12th lap) WSS – Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), 1’51.101 (16 th lap) The overall standings after the first five rounds are as follows: WSB: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team): 4; Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team): 3; Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 2; Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils): 1 WSS: Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse): 3; Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Team): 1; Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres): 1 The 2015 Pirelli statistics for the Imola round: • Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4552 • Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 6 rear • Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 34 front and 34 rear • Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet):: 4 front and 4 rear • Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 22 front and 21 rear • Temperature in Race 1: air 24° C, asphalt 38° C • Temperature in Race 2: air 26° C, asphalt 46° C • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 285.3 kms/h, in Race 1 by Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) at 4th lap • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 253.1 kms/h, Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) at 10th lap and Kyle Smith (PATA Honda World Supersport Team) at 3rd lap.