Race 1 of WorldSBK goes to Rea on Kawasaki at Laguna Seca; the larger 200/65 Pirelli rear tyre is the race solution
The three-time world champion and current championship leader widens the gap over his rivals, finishing ahead of Chaz Davies and Alex Lowes while the new and larger rear solution remains the most popular among the riders
At the Laguna Seca circuit in California today, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), reigning World Champion and current leader in the rider overall standings, won Race 1 of the MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship, finishing ahead of Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team).
This is the Northern Irishman's seventh win this season and strengthens his grip on his leadership in the rider championship standings with 295 points.
As for the Pirelli tyres used in the race, at the rear, the larger 200/65 development solution introduced this year by Pirelli for the first time at Phillip Island and then brought to the track again, albeit in various compounds, to all the rounds beginning from Imola, was confirmed as a highly popular tyre among the riders, even on a track like Laguna Seca, where handling plays an important role due to the turns with quick direction changes, such as the famous “Corkscrew”, for example. On the other hand, there were no surprises on the front, where the V0952 development solution was once again the most used tyre by the riders in demonstration of the great versatility of this tyre which adapts very well to various tracks.
Race 1 started at 2:00 PM local time, with Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in pole position. The Ducati riding Welshman started well, but factory Kawasaki riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) were nipping at his heels.
At the end of the second lap, on the turn just before the final straight, Lorenzo Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia) crashed, but was able to rejoin the race.
The Northern Irishman representing the manufacturer from Akashi was immediately threatening and already during the first lap, he had launched several attacks against Davies who, however, managed to maintain the advantage until the seventh lap when, precisely at the beginning of the “Corkscrew”, the Ducati rider's bike faltered and Rea overtook him on the outside.
Around mid-race, Patrick Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team) and Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) crashed out, forcing both to retire. In the meantime, Rea led the race with an advantage of eight tenths over Davies and more than six seconds over Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) who had moved into third, overtaking Tom Sykes. The latter seemed to be in difficulty and was also overtaken by Eugene Laverty, Xavi Forés and Marco Melandri, sliding back to seventh place.
In the final laps, there were a few more crashes, this time for Leon Camier, wild card Josh Herrin and Toprak Razgatlioglu, forcing all three to retire.
The race finale held no surprises with Jonathan Rea passing under the chequered flag first, almost three seconds ahead of Chaz Davies, second, and a full twelve ahead of Alex Lowes, third.
WorldSBK Race 1 Standings:
1) J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2) C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
3) A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
4) E. Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia)
5) M. Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
6) X. Forés (Barni Racing Team)
7) T. Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
8) M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
9) J. Torres (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
10) J. Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
11) Y. Hernandez (Team Pedercini Racing)
12) R. Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki)
13) K. Hanika (Guandalini Racing)
14) L. Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia)
15) L. Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team)
RT) T. Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
RT) J. Herrin (Attack 2Wheel Legal Yamaha)
RT) L. Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
RT) P. Jacobsen (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team)
RT) L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura)
The Pirelli solutions chosen by the WorldSBK riders for Race 1:
In Race 1, the riders made rather varied choices. On the front, preferences once again fell to the V0952 SC1 development solution (option C), chosen by 15 out of the 20 riders on the grid. As for the rear, most of the riders decided to rely on the W1002 SC0 development tyre (option B)which, compared to the W1050, uses the same compound, but is a larger 200/65 size, already very popular with the riders in the Donington Park and Brno rounds. The only riders using the W1050 (option A) were Chaz Davies, Leon Camier, Loris Baz, Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yonny Hernandez and Patrick Jacobsen.
Pirelli statistics for WorldSBK Race 1:
• Winner of the PIRELLI BEST LAP Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati),in 1'23.041 at the 2nd lap
• Most used front solution: devolpment SC1 V0952 (15 out of 20 riders)
• Most used rear solution: devolpment SC0 W1002 (14 out of 20 riders)
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 255.2 km/h, achieved by Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in the 2nd lap
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the WorldSBK class: 5 front and 5 rear
Number of tyres available for each WorldSBK rider: 65, including 34 front and 31 rear
• Air temperature: 28° C
• Asphalt temperature: 52° C