Jonathan Rea wins the WorldSBK début race in Argentina and Kawasaki celebrates the fourth consecutive Manufacturers Title
Second place for Melandri and third for Turkish rider Razgatlioglu; outstanding performance by the standard solutions brought by Pirelli to handle this brand new track
Four-time World Champion and current reigning champion Jonathan Rea won the first Superbike race in history held in Argentina on the brand new San Juan Villicum Circuit located at the foot of the Andes on the Chilean border.
The Northern Irish Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK rider finished ahead of Ducati rider Marco Melandri and Toprak Razgatlioglu, representing privateer team Kawasaki Puccetti Racing.
With this win, Jonathan Rea, thanks in part to the contribution of the other Kawasaki riders, Tom Sykes and Toprak Razgatlioglu, allowed the manufacturer from Akashi to win its fourth consecutive Manufacturer Title.
For this round, Pirelli provided the riders with its entire range of compounds, from the softest to the hardest, both for the front and the rear, in order to be able to tackle an entirely new circuit full of unknowns in the best possible way.
In fact, from Friday, the track's asphalt proved to be very dirty and had various debris on it. In some spots it even had to be resurfaced during the night between Friday and Saturday and some spots of the track were ruined during the day on Friday. Despite the less-than-optimum conditions and the highly variable temperatures, the solutions brought by Pirelli performed extremely well. In particular, in Race 1, all the riders chose the SC0 solution for the rear (standard soft), whereas more or less all of the solutions available to the riders were used for the front.
In Race 1, Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) was unable to exploit the pole position he had earned and already on the first lap he was overtaken by reigning World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), who had started from the second spot on the grid.
During the fifth lap, hometown hero Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) was forced to abandon the race due to a crash, whereas on the seventh lap it was Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) crashing out.
In the meantime, Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) overtook Tom Sykes to move into third place behind Melandri. Rea led the race with an advantage of more than two seconds over Melandri and four ahead of Laverty.
Another rider's race ended early on the thirteenth lap. This time it was Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), also due to a crash. In the meantime, it was a battle between Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Laverty for third, with the Turkish Kawasaki rider winning out in the end.
In the final laps, Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) was also forced to retire and a few drops of rain began to fall on sectors 3 and 4.
The leading positions remained unchanged and Jonathan Rea took his fifteenth win of the season, finishing ahead of Marco Melandri and, the first of the privateer riders, Toprak Razgatlioglu.
WorldSBK Race 1 standings:
1) J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2) M. Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
3) T. Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
4) X. Forés (Barni Racing Team)
5) E. Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia)
6) T. Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
7) A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
8) M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
9) L. Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team)
10) L. Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
11) F. Marino (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team)
12) R. Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki)
13) M. Scheib (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
14) G. Ruiu (Team Pedercini Racing)
RT) L. Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia)
RT) C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
RT) J. Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
RT) L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura)
RT) J. Smrz (Guandalini Racing)
The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders for WorldSBK Race 1:
In Race 1 on the rear, all the riders opted for the standard SC0 solution (option A). Choices for the front tyre were more varied, although most of the riders on the first three rows used mainly hard solutions like the standard SC2 (option C) or the standard SC3 (option D). The most used solution by far, however, was the V0952 SC1 development tyre (option B).
The rear tyre choice was dictated by the fact that the new asphalt provides poor chemical grip, partly because of the rather high temperatures. For the front, on the other hand, the riders relied on solutions that they know very well.
Pirelli statistics for WorldSBK Race 1:
• Winner of the PIRELLI BEST LAP AWARD: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK),in 1'39.175 at the 11th lap
• Most used front solution: devolpment SC1 V0952 (7 out of 19 riders)
• Most used rear solution: standard SC0 (19 out of 19 riders)
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 304.2 km/h, achieved by Xavi Forés (Barni Racing Team) in the 9th lap
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 6 front and 6 rear
Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 80, including 43 front and 37 rear
• Air temperature: 21° C
• Asphalt temperature: 38° C