Excellent performance for the Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike and DIABLO™ Supercorsa range to entertain almost 84,000 spectators on the new Buriram Thai circuit

Using standard tyres available on the market Jonathan Rea on his Kawasaki took a double win in Superbike, also winning both Pirelli Best Laps, home town hero Ratthapark Wilairot on his Honda to the excitement of the crowd, winning the Supersport race

Pirelli made a successful début on the new Buriram track in Thailand, a city located about 400 kilometres north-east of the capital, Bangkok, for the second round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship season. To take on this round where almost 84,000 spectators turned out, for a completely new circuit Pirelli decided to provide its complete range of racing tyres for the Superbike and Supersport riders and this decision definitely did not disappoint expectations, providing top shelf performance. In Race 1, immediately off to a good start, was Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team). The battle behind him for second place was waged by Leon Haslam (Aprilia Racing Team – Red Devils), Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) and Alex Lowes (VOLTCOM Crescent Suzuki). The gaps between the riders up front increased quickly over the first few laps, clinching their respective positions. Leading the pack was Rea, followed by Haslam, Lowes, Sykes and Torres. In the 12th lap Lowes crashed out and lost his third place, but he managed to get back on the track and finish the race in seventh place.

SSP - Ratthapark Wilairot

From the 15th lap Torres closed the gap more and more behind Tom Sykes, but Tom managed to hang onto the position, crossing the wire in third place behind Leon Haslam and race winner Jonathan Rea. Also worth a mention was the ninth place finish by three-time World Champion Troy Bayliss (Aruba.it Racing-Ducati SBK Team). In Race 2 Jonathan Rea got away immediately with Alex Lowes and Chaz Davies on his Ducati chasing him down and Leon Haslam close behind in fourth. In the second lap Troy Bayliss overtook David Salom to move into seventh place before being overtaken himself two laps later by Michael VD Mark and finishing the race in eleventh. In the meantime Haslam overtook Chaz Davies on the third lap to move into third and the bottom step of the podium, only to overtake Alex Lowes as well six laps later. The Kawasaki standard bearer crossed the wire under the chequered flag ahead of the rest once more with Leon Haslam taking second place after an excellent performance, leaving third place to Alex Lowes. Jordi Torres, the other rider from the Noale-based manufacturer, finished the race in fourth. But it was the World Supersport Championship that was most exciting for the numerous fans and enthusiasts who turned out to see the début of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship on the Buriram circuit. In fact, it was home town hero, Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot, who crossed the wire first astride his Honda CBR600RR for the CORE'' Motorsport Thailand team after a brilliant race. The 26 year old, starting from the thirteenth spot on the grid, made an incredible comeback to move into second place behind Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse). On the 14th lap the Frenchman was forced to retire due to a technical problem, leaving the race win and the overall Championship lead to the Thai rider. Completing the podium were Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) in second place and American Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) on the bottom step. Last but not least, in the locally supported race, the Buriram United Supersport 600 where the riders race on DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC1 rear and SC2 front tyres, victory went to Japanese rider Yuki Takahashi on his Honda from team A.P Honda Racing Thailand/Moriwaki. Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director: “Considering the fact that Buriram was a new circuit for everyone, I must say that everything went quite well. Being unfamiliar with the track and basing our choices only on the little information we had, we decided to bring the tyres in our standard range for both Superbike and Supersport and I must say that this was the right choice. Even if Buriram is not a particularly demanding circuit in and of itself, there were still a few unknowns but our range of tyres performed superbly. For us this is further proof that we have been successful in developing a range of tyres, the DIABLO™ Superbike and the DIABLO™ Supercorsa, which adapt well to any track in the world, as even the riders in the Buriram United Supersport 600 were able to see, the support class that was held along with World Superbike on this circuit. I was also impressed by the warm welcome from bike fans in this country. In fact there was a big crowd here to watch this Superbike début in Thailand which goes to show how the interest in the two-wheel world, even the large engine segment, is constantly and quickly increasing all over Asia. In closing, my compliments to the winners today, Jonathan Rea who took home a brilliant double and especially Ratthapark Wilairot who held the Thai motorcycling flag high today.”

SBK - Jonathan Rea

The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders: In Superbike the rear tyre of choice was the standard SC0 which was chosen by all the riders on the grid and performed well at the début on the Thai Buriram circuit. The standard SC0 is the softest solution in the Pirelli range and it proved to be ideal for taking on the high temperatures and new asphalt on the Chang International Circuit. For the front the riders, as always, were split on their preferences between the standard SC2 and the SC1 S1699, with the latter prevailing. The S1699 is a development solution introduced by Pirelli in 2014 and popular straight away with all the riders. The DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC also performed superbly in the Supersport World Championship. For the rear most of the riders opted for the standard SC1, whereas on the front, like in Superbike, the Supersport riders were split more or less equally between the SC1 and SC2. A good thing to remember is that, unlike the rear tyre choice, the front tyre choice depends mainly on individual riding style as opposed to the asphalt temperature. Pirelli Best Lap Award: The “Pirelli Best Lap Award” is awarded by Pirelli to the rider who sets the fastest race lap. This recognition is presented by a Pirelli representative during the Paddock Show in a press conference which follows the podium at the end of the races, for a total of three awards each weekend. 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 in the usual end of year ceremony. These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards in the second round of the season: WSB Race 1 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'33.969 (2nd lap) WSB Race 2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'33.817 (2nd lap) WSS – Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), 1’37.887(12th lap)

Race action

The 2015 Pirelli statistics for the Chang International Circuit: • Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 3312 • Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 4 front and 5 rear • Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 30 front and 30 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 24 rear • Temperature in Race 1: air 33° C, asphalt 50° C • Temperature in Race 2: air 32° C, asphalt 48° C • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 307.7 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, Patrick Jacobsen (Kawasaki Intermoto Ponyexpres) at 2nd lap and Alex Baldolini (Race Department ATK25) at 3rd lap