At Sepang Pirelli improves race lap time by more than half a second compared to last year thanks to the new soft compound rear solutions

In the tenth round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship season a win and second place each go to Jonathan Rea on Kawasaki and Chaz Davies on Ducati as well as an excellent third place for Max Biaggi in Race 1; victory for American Patrick Jacobsen in Supersport

The tenth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship season held today on the Malaysian Sepang track, not far from the capital of Kuala Lumpur, ended with a win and a second place each for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) and with victory for Patrick Jacobsen (CORE'' Motorsport Thailand) in Supersport

Group action

For tyres, this is one of the most difficult tracks on the calendar of the championship for factory derivative bikes because of the configuration with two long straight stretches just under a kilometre and the extremely high temperatures that the tarmac can reach. This year the race solution for the rear was without a doubt the new SC0 T1257 development solution which, used by almost all the riders on the grid, proved to offer good grip despite the high asphalt temperatures. The three front solutions chosen by Pirelli for this round and used by all the riders also performed well. Thanks to the new rear tyre and the excellent front tyres Pirelli improved race lap times by more than half a second compared to last year and the overall race time was almost nine seconds faster. After the morning warm-up sessions, the day began at 1:30PM local time with Superbike Race 1 where Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) won ahead of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team) and wild card Max Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) who, at 44 years of age, is back on the podium for the factory derivative category. Getting off the grid well from the pole position he secured on Saturday, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) led the race at the start. Behind him Chaz Davies moved up from sixth to second position and the other Kawasaki rider, Jonathan Rea managed to move up from seventh to third position. Behind them came Max Biaggi in fourth place, ahead of the Aprilias ridden by Jordi Torres and Leon Haslam. During the third lap the Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils standard bearers overtook Biaggi who dropped into sixth position, but just a few laps later, at the start of the ninth and the end of the starting stretch, the Roman rider attacked and overtook first Haslam and then Torres, taking back fourth position. Toward the end of the race reigning World Champion Sylvain Guintoli (PATA Honda World Superbike Team) also overtook the two Aprilia riders, moving into fifth place behind Max Biaggi. During the same lap Jonathan Rea began to pose a threat to Davies and a battle broke out with the Welshman for second place, but the turning point of the race came at the end of the twelfth lap: Chaz Davies moved into the lead, overtaking Tom Sykes who lost race pace visibly, slipping down into second position. A lap later the Kawasaki rider was also overtaken by team mate Rea, who set off to chase down the new race leader, Chaz Davies. The bottom step of the podium went to Max Biaggi in the last lap when he managed to close in on Sykes and overtake him, while in the meantime Jonathan Rea got the better of Davies who, despite an attempt to overtake on the last turn, had to settle for crossing the wire behind the Championship leader who, with this victory, now has twelve wins for the season. Behind the trio on the podium were Tom Sykes, Sylvain Guintoli, Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes.

Max Biaggi action

At 3 PM local time the Supersport race was held with American rider Patrick Jacobsen (CORE'' Motorsport Thailand) on the pole ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse). The American got off the grid well and held onto first place, followed by the Frenchman from MV Agusta who managed to overtake the Turkish Kawasaki rider for second position. Behind them were Zanetti, Smith and Rolfo bringing up sixth place. The lead positions remained the same for the entire race until the last lap when Lorenzo Zanetti (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) managed to snatch the bottom step of the podium from Sofuoglu. In Race 2 Max Biaggi got off the line well, but the Roman rider's race ended at the first turn due to contact with Guintoli which forced him to withdraw. At the end of the first lap it was Chaz Davies in the lead, followed by Jonathan Rea and Sylvain Guintoli's Honda. However, during the third lap he lost third place when he was overtaken by Jordi Torres on his Aprilia. In the sixth lap an innocuous crash by Tom Sykes ended his dreams of a comeback. The race held no further surprises but this time the Northern Irish Kawasaki rider was unable to repeat his success from Race 1 and, despite a heart-pounding final lap, he had to settle for second place behind Chaz Davies. Aprilia rider Jordi Torres completed the podium with his excellent performance.

Chaz Davies in action

Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director: “This was a demanding weekend for us, but satisfying in terms of the performance demonstrated by our tyres on this circuit because we had some clear signs of improvement compared to last year. Sepang is not a simple track, both because of the layout with two long straight stretches and, above all, because of the high temperatures that the tarmac usually reaches, which is obviously detrimental to grip. In these cases the experience of the rider is fundamental and performance and consistency during the race are also important for conserving the tyres. From this point of view Max Biaggi did very well and he took advantage of his decades of experience, also armed with an attitude and work method that has been consolidated over the years. In a very selective race in terms of individual performance and tyre management, Biaggi made the difference and so I would be remiss if I did not pay him my most sincere compliments. It would have been nice to see him battle in Race 2 as well, but I think he can be well satisfied with the skills he demonstrated. Unfortunately other riders were not able to approach Race 1 the right way, starting off strong straight away and wearing down their tyres quickly. Tom Sykes took the race fast lap in the second lap with a full tank at 2’03.6, a time which was just four tenths of a second lower than the one that earned him the Superpole win on Saturday with a qualifier tyre and obviously an empty tank, whereas Jordi Torres, after a disappointing Race 1, learned from the experience and, looking after his tyres better in Race 2, rode to an excellent third place finish. In the end we had three different motorcycle brands on the podium, a Race 1 time which was more than eight seconds lower than 2014 and an improvement of half a second per lap compared to last year, all very positive numbers for us to demonstrate the excellent quality, not only of the new soft compound rear tyre, but also our front tyre range. Congratulations to all the protagonists of the weekend, Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies, Jordi Torres and of course, Biaggi. Now we are looking forward to the Pirelli SBK Track Day scheduled for tomorrow on the Sepang circuit for all Superbike enthusiasts and fans of our brand.” The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders: In Superbike the rear race solution of choice was the new T1257, a very soft tyre used by almost all the riders on the grid in both Race 1 and Race 2 because of its ability to provide excellent performance and good grip in high temperature conditions. For the front, on the other hand, all three solutions performed well, but the most popular were the standard SC2 and the development SC1 S1699 solution. In Supersport the solutions most of the riders preferred were the SC1 S1485 development solution on the front and the SC0 U442 development solution on the rear.

Gruppo in azione

Pirelli Best Lap Award: The Pirelli Best Lap Awards are given to the riders who put in the fastest lap in the Superbike and Supersport races. They were presented at the Paddock Show during the press conference which follows the podium at the end of Superbike race 1 and race 2 and the Supersport race. The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Awards” will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and will be awarded during the ceremony at the end of the year. Jonathan Rea is leading the Superbike standings with 8 Best Laps won, Jules Cluzel the Supersport with 5 Best Laps. These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards at Sepang: WSB Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 2'03.654 (2nd lap) WSB Race 2 – Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team), 2'04.707 (3rd lap) WSS – Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), 2'09.338 (5th lap) The overall standings after ten rounds are as follows: WSB: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team): 8; Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team): 5; Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 5; Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils): 1; Davide Giugliano (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati SBK Team): 1 WSS: Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse): 5; Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Team): 3; Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto PonyExpres): 1 The 2015 Pirelli statistics for the Sepang round: • Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 2925 • Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 6 rear • Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 35 front and 33 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: 23 front and 22 rear • Temperature in Race 1: air 31° C, asphalt 43° C • Temperature in Race 2: air 31° C, asphalt 39° C • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 310.3 kms/h, in Race 2 by Jordi Torres (Aprilia Racing Team - Red Devils) at 2nd lap. • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 267.3 kms/h, by Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) at 2nd lap and by Fabio Menghi (VFT Racing) at 5th lap.