From Pirelli rain tyres to slicks for Jonathan Rea’s win in Race 1
The start on a wet but drying track resulted in an unusual race with pit stop to change tyres won by the Northern Irish rider, success for Montella in WorldSSP after an entertaining duel with Caricasulo
FOCUS ON SUPERPOLE
WorldSBK (asphalt: 21° C / air: 19° C)
In FP3, the rain began to fall on the Phillip Island circuit but by the start of the Superpole session, the track had dried out considerably, allowing the riders to go out on slicks. The fastest rider was newly crowned 2022 World Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who, two minutes from the end of the session, managed to take pole position with a time of 1’29.815, his second pole of the season. Completing the front row were the Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK riders, Jonathan Rea second and Alex Lowes third. Second row and fourth place went to Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK). In Superpole, all the riders used standard SC0 tyres at the rear, whereas at the front, they opted for the A0674 and A0843 development solutions.
WorldSSP (asphalt: 20° C / air: 19° C)
Taking pole position for the two World Supersport races was Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing) on Ducati. The Italian used rain tyres to do his best time of 1’37.161, the same time which was also done later by another Ducati and another Italian, Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team) who, however, unlike Caricasulo, used slicks on both the front and the rear. With two identical times, it was the second fastest lap done by each of the two riders that decided the starting grid order. This gave Caricasulo the top spot and Bulega the second. Third place, achieved with rain tyres, went to Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) who completed the all-Italian front row. Newly crowned World Champion Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) only managed fourth.
TYRES IN ACTION IN RACE 1
WorldSBK (asphalt: 22° C / air: 18° C)
Just ahead of the Race 1 start, the rain stopped and the sun appeared bashfully over the Australian track, making tyre choice dubious. Nevertheless, considering the fact that the surface was still completely wet, all the riders opted for Pirelli DIABLO Rain tyres for both the front and the rear. The only rider to go against the trend was Philipp Öettl (Team Goeleven) who preferred mounting an intermediate tyre at the rear. A few laps into the race, the lines began to dry out quickly, aided by the sun and rather strong wind. From the ninth lap, most of the riders began to return to pit lane to change tyres. Most of them put slicks on but there were still a few who chose intermediate tyres. The winning choice turned out to be slicks and Jonathan Rea, with the A1126 SC1 development tyre at the rear and the A0624 SC1 at the front, took the win ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and teammate Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK). After the pit stop, all the riders put on slicks, A1126 SC1 development at the rear and A0674 SC1 at the front, with the exception of Kyle Smith with rain tyres, Lucas Mahias with SC1 at the front and Xavi Forés on intermediate tyres.
WorldSSP (asphalt: 25° C / air: 18° C)
Just before the start of the first race of the weekend, the rain came back into play, completely dousing the track. All the riders decided unanimously to mount Pirelli DIABLO Rain tyres for both the front and the rear. The undisputed protagonists of the race were pole man Federico Caricasulo and Yari Montella. The two engaged in a highly entertaining duel in the wet down to the final lap. Caricasulo managed snatch the lead from Montella but a few turns from the finish, he crashed on turn 4, leaving the door open for Yari Montella who rode his team Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Kawasaki ZX-6R to the top step of the WorldSSP for the first time. Finishing second was Nicolò Bulega on Ducati ahead of Can Öncü, also on Kawasaki, in third place. Fifth place went to reigning World Champion Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha).
For more details on the tyres used in the race by the individual riders in the WorldSBK and WorldSSP classes, please see the sheets attached to this press release.
GIORGIO BARBIER, MOTORCYCLE RACING DIRECTOR
“We should hope for rain more often if the result is having spectacular and entertaining races like the ones today! It was undoubtedly an unusual, with unpredictable weather that played a key role in how the races went, especially the Superbike race. Our DIABLO Rain tyres performed respectably on the wet asphalt, as is also demonstrated by the duel down to the final lap between the Supersport riders. In the premier class, they also did their job well. Obviously, with a track that was drying out so quickly, it was unthinkable that they might have been competitive over full race time as compared with slicks, so the riders rightly boxed to put on dry tyres. In some cases, riders opted for the intermediate tyre, but the trajectories on the track were already too dry at that point with the slicks making a significant difference. I’d like to point out that the wear, both on the rain tyres and the slicks, was rather low and that in the second part of the race on slicks, performance was extremely consistent, as demonstrated by the race fast lap which Lowes did on the 20th lap. Outstanding results for us on a difficult track like this one.”