Pirelli intermediate tyres for Rea’s return to victory

In Most, the WorldSBK on the podium gamble on the intermediates and finish the race without any pit stops; in WorldSSP victory for Bulega with Lehmann winning the 300 class in the wet on slicks

Unstable weather and Pirelli DIABLO Wet intermediate tyres were the protagonists on the first day of the FIM World Superbike Championship, held this weekend at the Most circuit, in the Czech Republic. 

Winning WorldSBK Race 1 was six-time world champion Kawasaki rider Jonathan Rea, breaking a dry spell after 252 days absent from the top step of the podium. Rea, like the other riders on the podium, gambled on intermediate tyres for the race and was rewarded, unlike the other riders who opted instead for wet tyres.

It was a dry race for WorldSSP, with the riders using standard SC0 and SC1 tyres at the rear and front respectively, won by Nicolò Bulega on Ducati.

Another spectacular race in the 300 class, won by German rider Lennox Lehmann (Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing) who, after starting from the 22nd spot on the grid, stayed on slicks despite the heavy rainfall that began at mid-race, taking home a well-deserved victory.

Intermediate tyres the key to success in Race 1

“We watched some unusual races today, influenced by the unstable weather and where tyre strategy was fundamental. Heavy rain began to fall during the 300 race, the first of the day, forcing the riders to return to pit lane in order to change tyres. It then tapered off gradually, but at the WorldSBK Race 1 start, the track was still wet and it was still raining a bit. In this case, we can definitely say that tyre choice decided the fate of the race. Those who gambled on the intermediate tyres and on the possibility that the track would progressively dry out gained the upper hand over those who decided instead to put on rain tyres and then were forced to pit to switch out. However, it is worth mentioning that, even after the mid-race point, with the track quite dry, the intermediates continued performing extremely well, with about a two-second difference in performance compared with the slicks, which was not enough to allow the riders who had switched to slicks to make up for the time lost in the pit stop. So, the intermediates were the protagonists in WorldSBK, whereas the slicks performed respectably in Supersport, especially in the 300 race which Lehmann won in the rain, managing his slicks on the wet track in an exemplary fashion. Congratulations to Rea and all the race winners today!”

  • On Saturday in Most, Toprak Razgatlioğlu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) took his fourth pole position of the season, his career twelfth, not to mention Yamaha’s 50th in WorldSBK, locking up the first spot on the grid for Race 1 and the Superpole Race. Using the standard SC0 at the rear, the Turkish rider once again set the track lap record with a time of 1’30.801, breaking the one that Jonathan Rea had set last year, in that case using the standard SCX though. Just below him in the rankings was Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) ahead of Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati), taking the third spot on the grid. Almost all the riders qualified using the standard SC0 at the rear and the standard SC1 at the front. Asphalt temperatures were just over 30°C.
  • It was a wet track for Race 1, with heavy rainfall beginning during the 300 race and then slowly tapering off. Tyre choice was anything but easy, with some riders (including the three who finished on the podium) deciding to gamble on the intermediates, whereas others preferred using rain tyres.
  • Race 1 rewarded the riders who opted for the intermediates because the rain stopped entirely during the race and the track began to dry off - ideal conditions for these tyres. On the other hand, those who decided to go with rain tyres were forced to pit in order to switch over to slicks, losing precious seconds. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), starting from the fifth spot on the grid, managed to win his first race of the season ahead of pole man Toprak Razgatlioğlu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) and Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), finishing third after starting from the second spot on the grid.
  • It was the sixth pole position in WorldSSP for Nicolò Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team) who also set the new track record with a time of 1’34.479, breaking the one set by Lorenzo Baldassarri in 2022 by almost half a second. Behind the Ducati rider in second place was his direct title rival, Stefano Manzi (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha), with Raffaele de Rosa (Orelac Racing Verdnatura), completing the front row. Qualifiers were held with an asphalt temperature of just over 30°C and practically all the riders used the standard SC0 tyre at the rear to do their best times, with the exception of Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) who used the SC1 A1128 development solution. At the front, everyone used the standard SC1 in the 120/70 size.
  • In Race 1, almost all the riders opted for the standard SC0 for the rear and the standard SC1 in the 120/70 size for the front. Only Kawasaki riders Huertas and Mahias preferred the larger 125/70 size at the front. The race was red-flagged due to an accident. At the restart Nicolò Bulega (Aruba Racing WorldSSP Team) went on to win his ninth race of the season, finishing ahead of Stefano Manzi, second on Yamaha, and Bahattin Sofuoglu, third with MV Agusta.

More details on the tyres used in the race are available on the technical sheets attached to this release.