Ducati aces take it all on Saturday at the Pirelli Dutch Round
In Assen Bautista continues his trend of wins choosing the SCX B0800 development rear and the SC1 front; yet another victory for Bulega in WorldSSP with Svoboda the first race winner of the year in WorldSSP300
The tracks and weather conditions change, but Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) continues to set the pace of the FIM World Superbike Championship. On Saturday in Assen, despite a penalty that cost him pole position, the Spaniard was still able to take home Race 1 ahead of his closest rivals, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Yamaha). Double satisfaction in the Ducati camp thanks to the third win of the season, after his Australian brace, for Nicolò Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team). In the first WorldSSP300 race of the year, the win went to Petr Svoboda with Kawasaki, the first victory by a rider from the Czech Republic.
On the tyre front, with rather low air and asphalt temperatures, in the premier class, the SCX development tyre in B0800 compound (SCX-A) proved to offer something more compared with the standard model. In WorldSSP, all the solutions brought by Pirelli demonstrated outstanding versatility.
In these conditions, the SCX development tyre performed better than the standard model
“Compared with the first two rounds, we knew that here in Assen we would find significantly lower temperatures so we chose the tyres to bring bearing this aspect in mind. In these conditions, today in WorldSSP the SCX B0800 development tyre proved to have something more in terms of performance compared to the standard SCX. Besides being useful information, this is also a source of satisfaction for us since we have been moving forward on developing this alternative solution to the standard range for over a year. At the front, as always, choices are highly subjective and the fact that the riders on the grid split their preferences equally between the SC1 and SC2 is yet another demonstration of this. As for the test in the WorldSSP category of the front 125/70 size, it is still too early to make a statement. It will take a few rounds for the riders to get to know it well. In the 300 class, on the other hand, still keeping the low temperatures in mind, providing the riders with the SC2 rear certainly proved to be the right choice.”
- In Superpole, Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.It Racing – Ducati) took pole position with a time of 1’33.542. Behind the defending World Champion were Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) who rounded out the front row of the grid. All three riders used SCQ rear and SC1 front tyres to do their respective best times. Qualifying was held with rather low temperatures and with asphalt that was still a bit damp in some spots due to the rainfall during the night.
- Because of a three-position penalty, the pole man started Race 1 from the fourth spot on the grid, leaving the first slot to Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). Despite the initial disadvantage, Bautista still managed to take back the race lead on the ninth lap, holding onto it until the end and finishing ahead of Rea, second, and Razgatlioglu, third.
- On this first race day of the weekend, more or less all the solutions brought by Pirelli were used. In particular, at the front, rider preference was equally divided between the standard SC1 and the standard SC2, the latter chosen by those who started from the front rows, including the race winner. At the rear, the most used tyre was the SCX-A, which is the SCX B0800 development model.
- In qualifying, Nicolò Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team) took pole position with a time of 1’36.900 which also broke the track record for the WorldSSP category. This was his second consecutive pole position, whereas Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing Team) and Glenn van Straalen (EAB Racing Team) completed the front row. All these riders mounted the SCX compound at the rear, whereas at the front they had the SC1 in the 120/70 size for Bulega and Van Straalen and the 125/70 (SC1-A) for Caricasulo.
- As happened in the WorldSBK race, in WorldSSP Race 1, more or less all the solutions brought by Pirelli to Assen saw action. At the front, 19 riders used the standard SC1 with the remaining 10 opting for the SC1-A, which was the one in the size used by the WorldSBK category. At the rear, on the other hand, considering the rather low asphalt temperatures (26°C on average), most of the riders opted for the standard SC0, more protected from the cold than the SCX. Van Straalen was the only one of the three riders on the podium to use the SCX rear, finishing on the bottom step behind Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), second, and race winner, Nicolò Bulega.
More details on the tyres used in the race are available on the technical sheets attached to this release.