Memorable début for Bulega, new records with Pirelli tyres

At his début in WorldSBK, the Ducati rider takes pole position and Race 1, also breaking all the track records; in WorldSSP the win goes to Yari Montella, also on Ducati

It was an all-Italian podium for the first race of the FIM World Superbike Championship, held today at the Australian Phillip Island circuit. 
In his WorldSBK class début, Nicolò Bulega and his Ducati took pole position, setting the new track lap record, before winning Race 1 ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Yamaha) and Andrea Iannone (Ducati).
Satisfaction for the manufacturer from Borgo Panigale in WorldSSP as well, with Yari Montella victorious and doing the fastest lap of the race.
The races were held with compulsory pit stops and extremely high paces, as the riders’ record times demonstrate. In fact, the unseasonably low temperatures allowed the Pirelli tyres to fully express all their potential.

Intense races, high paces and record laps
“The race paces were extremely high. Just imagine that, before the one Bulega did after the pit stop, Alex Lowes had set the new race lap record, breaking the one Rea had set in 2019 by more than one second. The fact that he was able to do so on the eighth lap means that the tyres were still in excellent condition. The temperatures should be very similar tomorrow, or maybe just a bit warmer, but this is an unpredictable track, so it’s hard to make predictions. The asphalt temperatures today were relatively low, never exceeding 40°C. In addition to the rubber that has accumulated on the asphalt over the past few days to favour the development of the track, this has contributed to containing thermal degradation, consequently improving tyre wear. We already had an inkling from the tests that the lower temperatures might have been able to have a positive influence on this aspect, and today we had confirmation of this. Last, but not least, my congratulations to Nicolò Bulega and Andrea Iannone for their outstanding championship début.”

·     In Superpole, the standard SC0 rear compound, which can be used in this round only for qualifying in place of the SCQ, allowed an amazing 16 riders to break the track record Tom Sykes had set in 2020, later broken by Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) in the tests Tuesday. Four riders did better than the Turk: Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), in pole position with a time of 1’27.916, Andrea Iannone (Team GoEleven) with 1’28.154, Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in 1’28.239 and Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) with a time of 1’28.403. All the riders used the SC1 at the front with the exception of Andrea Locatelli who preferred the SC2.
·     In Race 1 of WorldSBK, almost all the riders used the SC1 rear combined with the SC1 front. The only ones who opted for the SC2 front were BMW riders Toprak Razgatlioglu and Scott Redding, as well as Yamaha riders Andrea Locatelli and Philipp Oettl. Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) successfully exploited his advantage in pole position, finishing the race in first place. Behind him were two other Italians: Andrea Locatelli, on Yamaha, and Andrea Iannone, on Ducati. 
·     In WorldSSP, both in Superpole and in the race, the forced choice was the standard SC1 at the rear. At the front, Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) and Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha) were the only two riders to use the SC2 in the race. The win went to Yari Montella (Barni Spark Racing Team) who finished ahead of Stefano Manzi (Pata Yamaha Ten Kate Racing), second, and Marcel Schroetter (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), third.
More details on the tyres are available on the technical sheets attached to this release.