Bautista hits 17 in Imola with standard Pirelli tyres
The Ducati rider ties the record of wins in one season held by Polen and Rea; Manzi back to his winning ways in WorldSSP
Yet another win for Ducati and Álvaro Bautista in the first race of the FIM World Superbike Championship held today at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. This gives the team Aruba.It Racing – Ducati rider 17 wins in a single season, tying the record held by Doug Polen from 1991 and Rea in 2018 and 2019, with the advantage of still having plenty of races before the end of the season to break it. The Spaniard won Race 1 relying exclusively on standard Pirelli tyres in SC1 compound at the front and SCX at the rear.
His direct championship rival, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), took a brilliant pole position but was forced to yield the lead to the Ducati rider in the race. He was second across the line for his 100th WorldSBK podium.
Stefano Manzi (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) and Yamaha were back to their winning ways in WorldSSP, interrupting Ducati and Nicolò Bulega’s domination. Victory for Yamaha in WorldSSP300 as well with Matteo Vannucci after a head-to-head battle that came down to the final lap with Dirk Geiger (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing).
In the Pirelli camp, satisfaction with how the standard tyres worked, demonstrating extremely solid performance despite asphalt temperatures approaching 60°C.
All the tyres did well on scorching asphalt with poor grip
“We can consider ourselves satisfied with the way the tyres performed on this first day of races. The extremely high asphalt temperatures approaching 60°C undoubtedly did not help with the grip and that also explains the higher lap times as compared with 2019 – the last year we raced here, when the asphalt temperatures were significantly lower at around 28°C. In fact, with the heat, the asphalt loses much of its natural grip, so it is important to compensate for this shortcoming with soft solutions able to better ‘penetrate’ the surface. In this sense, both the standard SCX tyre and the B0800 development solution performed respectably at the rear without substantial differences between the two. As for the front, both those who chose the SC1 and those who went with the SC0 achieved extremely similar performance, as is also demonstrated by the fact that the first four riders to finish all made different choices. In Supersport as well, given the high temperatures, the selection of compounds was rather simple and the SCX was the undisputed protagonist. The temperatures tomorrow will be in line with today’s if not even higher, so I don’t expect any substantial changes. I think that the new extra soft SCQ may play a predominant role in the Superpole Race.”
- Third pole position of the year for Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) after the ones earned in the two season openers in Australia and Indonesia. The Yamaha rider took the top spot on the grid with a time of 1’45.959. Second place went to his teammate, Andrea Locatelli, with reigning World Champion Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) rounding out the front row. All the riders used the new extra soft SCQ rear (C0004 specs) to qualify, with asphalt temperatures close to 50°C.
- In Race 1, most of the riders chose to start with the standard solutions: SC1 front and SCX rear. Six riders out of a total of 25 decided to go with the SCX B0800 development tyre at the rear, whereas seven opted for the SC0 at the front.
- Andrea Locatelli got off the line with the best start from his second-place spot on the grid, managing to overtake his teammate. Behind him was Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing). During the fifth lap, Razgatlioglu moved back into the race lead, but on the twelfth lap he was forced to yield the position to Álvaro Bautista who once again made a show of force, going on to win the race with a gap of over 3.5 seconds ahead of Razgatlioglu and 4 over Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), third on the podium.
- Superpole was held with temperatures already rather high at 30°C air and 45°C asphalt, and it was also influenced by a red flag late in the session. So, Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) took his twelfth pole position with a time of 1'50.779 and ten minutes left in the session. Current championship leader, Nicolò Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team) finished just over a tenth behind and the other title contender, Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), completed the front row in third place. All of them used the standard SCX at the rear, whereas the most popular option for the front was the standard SC1 in the standard 120/70 size.
- In WorldSSP Race 1, asphalt temperatures reached 59°C. Rider selection was unanimous for the rear tyre: standard SCX. At the front, almost everyone opted for the standard SC1, with three riders (Huertas, Mahias and Norrodin) preferring the one in the larger size 125/70 used by the Superbike riders.
- Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), after starting from the third spot on the grid, won the race ahead of Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and championship leader Nicolò Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team). This gives Manzi his second win of the season and decreases the gap behind Bulega in the overall standings.
More details on the tyres used in the race are available in the technical sheets attached to this release.