Bautista, new records and Pirelli SC0 on Donington WorldSBK Saturday
Pole goes to Rea (Kawasaki) but the wins go to the Ducati riders both in WorldSBK and in WorldSSP (Bulega); the soft standard SC0 rear is protagonist on the new asphalt
The standard SC0 compound soft rear was the key tyre on the first day of racing for the FIM World Superbike Championship at Donington Park, in England, both in the WorldSBK and the WorldSSP categories.
The day began with new track records set in WorldSBK Superpole by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) with the extra soft SCQ rear, and by Nicolò Bulega (Ducati) in WorldSSP with the super soft SCX. But the star of the race in both categories was the SC0 rear, chosen by practically all the riders, considering the rather low temperatures and the slightly abrasive new asphalt.
It was the Ducati riders who celebrated at the end of this first day: the fifteenth win of the season for Álvaro Bautista, whereas Nicolò Bulega took home his seventh win of the year.
New records and outstanding performance for the standard SC0
“As often happens in Donington, the weather and the temperatures highly influenced the choice of which rear compound to use. In addition, this year there is also new asphalt which, on one hand provides more grip and is more even than the past, but on the other, is more abrasive. In the free practice sessions yesterday, the riders were unable to test much due to the rain and, given the rather low temperatures, they used almost exclusively the SC0, so they weren’t able to assess the performance and wear of the soft SCX compound solutions. So, opting for the SC0 for the races today, both in Superbike and in Supersport, was the wisest choice but certainly not a fallback solution, considering the pace and consistent performance demonstrated in the race, with a lap-time improvement of almost 8 tenths compared with Race 1 of last year. After all, we knew that the SC0 would be a valid solution on this track since we had already seen it in action with the BSB riders in May. The SCQ contributed to Rea’s lap record, but partial credit undoubtedly goes to the new asphalt as well. We’ll see how the temperatures are tomorrow and if anyone opts for the SCQ in the Superpole Race and for the SCX in Race 2, despite not having the chance to do any long runs on them over the past couple days.”
- First pole position of the year for Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) with the new track lap record, earned with a time of 1’26.041 using, as all the riders did, the extra soft SCQ rear tyre. Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) fell victim to a crash, but was still able to finish second, whereas Danilo Petrucci, rounded out the front row with his Barni Spark Racing Team Ducati. Qualifiers were held in rather cool conditions with asphalt temperatures of 19°C.
- In Race 1, taking into consideration the asphalt temperatures and the rather abrasive new surface, almost all the riders chose the standard SC0 for the rear and the standard SC1 for the front. The only rider to have used a different rear tyre was Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing MOVISIO) who, starting from last place, opted for the SCX development tyre in B0800 specification.
- At the race start, Rea defended his first place well, but even before the mid-race point, he was forced to yield the position, first to Bautista and then the Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK), both with a decidedly faster race pace than all the other riders. In the second half of the race, the positions stabilised and Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) finished first with a gap of 3.5 seconds ahead of Razgatlioglu, second, e and more than 6 ahead of Rea.
- It was the fifth pole position of the season for Nicolò Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team) who, with a time of 1’29.323, broke the historic WorldSSP record set by Kenan Sofuoglu in 2015. Completing the front row were Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) and the Ducati rider’s direct title rival, Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha). The session was held with asphalt temperatures of 19°C, so all the riders used the standard SCX at the rear. At the front, on the other hand, the most used option was the standard SC1 in the standard 120/70 size.
- In WorldSSP Race 1, since temperatures were still rather low, almost all the riders confirmed their choice of the standard SC0 at the rear, with the exception of Nicholas Spinelli (Yamaha), Rhys Irwin (Suzuki) and Tom Edwards (Yamaha) who mounted the SCX. At the front, only two riders opted for the SC1 tyre in the larger 125/70 size: Adrián Huertas (Kawasaki) and Bahattin Sofuoğlu (MV Agusta). All the others used the standard SC1 in the standard 120/70 size. For the record, Nicolò Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team) took the win, finishing ahead of Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) and the other Ducati rider, Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team).
More details on the tyres used in the race are available on the technical sheets attached to this release.