San Juan (Argentina),

The “cannibal” Rea wins WorldSBK Race 2 as well, victory for Cluzel in WorldSSP600; outstanding results for Pirelli in the first round in history in Argentina

The Northern Irish Kawasaki rider is now at 16 wins for the year in his attempt to beat Doug Polen's record of 17 victories in a single season while the French team NRT rider closes the gap behind championship leader Cortese. Xavi Forés wins the Independen

Jonathan Rea, already the 2018 title winner, shows no signs of tiring and is proving to be more motivated than ever to break all of the FIM World Superbike Championship records set by his distinguished predecessors over the years. In the factory derivative championship's absolute début in Argentina, on the new San Juan Villicum track, the Northern Irishman from the Akashi-based manufacturer achieved a brilliant double win, thereby bringing the number of victories this season to 16 and getting even closer to tying and possibly breaking, should he win both races in Qatar, Doug Polen's record of 17 wins in a single season. 

In the FIM Supersport 600 World Championship, the victory achieved by Jules Cluzel (NRT), who finished ahead of Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing), is the prelude to a particularly thrilling championship finale. In fact, Cortese remains in the championship lead, but he now has only a 6-point advantage over the Frenchman, so the last race in Qatar will be fundamental in deciding the world title.

Results for Pirelli were outstanding, with the manufacturer brilliantly handling the first ever FIM World Superbike Championship round on Argentinian soil, despite the fact that it held various unknowns, not the least of which was the new San Juan Villicum circuit on which no one had ever raced before, since construction on the structure was only very recently completed. In fact, not knowing the characteristics of the track, the type of asphalt and the weather conditions that may have arisen, Pirelli decided to rely on the tyres in their range, a choice that proved to be on target. In both of the WorldSBK races, the riders relied on the standard SC0 soft solution for the rear and on the various solutions made available for the front and in WorldSSP600, the soft solutions were the choice for the race both on the front and on the rear.

In Race 2, Xavi Forés, astride his privateer Barni Racing Team Ducati, started from the first spot on the grid, thanks to his fourth-place finish in Race 1. The winner of the first race, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), started instead from the ninth spot in accordance with the inverted grid rule.

The privateer Ducati riding Spaniard started well and managed to hold onto the lead with Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) close behind him. During the third lap, Laverty, who was riding in second place, was forced to retire after ending up in the gravel after a sliding crash.In the meantime, Jonathan Rea, Race 1 winner, had already moved up from ninth to third position over the course of just three laps, while Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team) managed to get past the two factory Ducati machines to move into fourth place behind the Turkish team Puccetti Kawasaki rider who had been overtaken by Rea in the meantime.

During the eighth lap, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) made his first attempt to overtake Forés, but the Spaniard managed to hold his ground. On the following lap, however, the Northern Irishman was able to get past the Ducati rider on the first turn and make it stick to move into the race lead, a position that he would maintain all the way to the chequered flag. Behind him, the privately operated Ducati ridden by Xavi Forés (Barni Racing Team) finished ahead of the factory machine ridden by Marco Melandri ( RacingDucati), followed by teammate, Chaz Davies. Thanks to this result, Xavi Forés wins the Independent Riders Championship.

WorldSBK Race 2 standings:

1) J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2) X. Forés (Barni Racing Team)
3) M. Melandri ( Racing – Ducati)
4) C. Davies ( Racing – Ducati)
5) T. Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
6) A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
7) T. Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
8) L. Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia)
9) M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
10) J. Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
11) L. Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team)
12) L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura)
13) R. Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki)
14) G. Ruiu (Team Pedercini Racing)
RT) M. Scheib (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
RT) L. Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
RT) E. Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia)
RT) J. Smrz (Guandalini Racing)
RT) F. Marino (TripleM Honda World Superbike Team)

Before WorldSBK Race 2, at 2:30 in the afternoon local time, the penultimate race of the FIM Supersport 600 World Championship season was held with reigning World Champion Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP team) in pole position ahead of the other Yamaha riders: Italian Federico Caricasulo, second, German Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing), third, and Frenchman Jules Cluzel (NRT) in fourth position. The race was scheduled for nineteen laps.

Caricasulo and Cluzel started well when the lights went out, but a few turns later, Caricasulo ended up in the gravel due to contact with Frenchman Corentin Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha) and was forced to retire.

Jules Cluzel moved into the race lead with Lucas Mahias and Perolari hot on his pipes, while Cortese moved up into fourth position. The leading quartet was a tight group of riders within nine tenths of one another and it was a heated battle for first place. During the seventh lap, championship leader, Sandro Cortese, managed to overtake Perolari for third position behind Mahias. In the meantime, Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team), another contender for the world title, moved into sixth place.

During the fifteenth lap, Sandro Cortese succeeded in overtaking Lucas Mahias, thereby moving into second place behind Cluzel. In the finale, it was a battle for first between Cluzel and Cortese, with the German doing one fast lap after another, coming to within three tenths of Cluzel. In the end, Jules Cluzel (NRT)managed to finish first ahead of Sandro Cortese and Lucas Mahias when the chequered flag came out.

WorldSSP standings:

1) J. Cluzel (NRT)
2) S. Cortese (Kallio Racing)
3) L. Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP team)
4) T. Gradinger (NRT)
5) C. Perolari (GMT94 Yamaha)
6) R. Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team)
7) K. Smith (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda)
8) H. Okubo (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
9) H. Barbera (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
10) L. Cresson (Kallio Racing)
11) A. Badovini (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag)
12) L. Stapleford (Profile Racing)
13) H. Soomer (Racedays)
14) C. Stange (Team GoEleven Kawasaki)
15) P. Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda)
16) J. Iturrioz (Team GoEleven Kawasaki)
17) S. Hornsey (Profile Racing)
18) J. Van Sikkelerus (GEMAR Team Lorini)
19) A. Murley (GEMAR Team Lorini)
20) N. Calero (Orelac Racing VerdNatura)
RT) R. De Rosa (MV Agusta Reparto Corse by Vamag)
RT) G. Van Straalen (EAB antwest Racing)
RT) F. Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP team)

The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders for WorldSBK Race 2 and WorldSSP:

In Race 2, the riders substantially confirmed the solutions they had used in Race 1. At the rear, the standard SC0 (option A) remained the race solution for all the riders, whereas for the front, the most used solution was the V0952 SC1 development tyre (option B), although on the front two rows, most of the riders opted for hard solutions like the SC2 (option C) and the SC3 (option D).

In the WorldSSP race, almost all the riders opted for the same solution both on the front and on the rear. On the front, the X0012 SC1 development tyre (option A) was used by all the riders except for Thomas Gradinger, Kyle Smith, Péter Sebestyén and Hikari Okubo, who preferred the X0582 SC2 development tyre (option B). For the rear, the riders unanimously chose to use the X0633 SC0 development solution (option A), in other words, the softest of those available to them.

Pirelli statistics for WorldSBK Race 2:

• Winner of the PIRELLI BEST LAP AWARD: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK),in 1'39.807 at the 14th lap 
• Most used front solution: development SC1 V0952 (8 out of 19 riders) 
• Most used rear solution: standard SC0 (19 out of 19 riders) 
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 308.6 km/h, achieved by Marco Melandri ( Racing – Ducati) in the 16th lap 
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the WorldSBK class: 6 front and 6 rear 
Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 80, including 43 front and 37 rear 
• Air temperature: 24° C 
• Asphalt temperature: 52° C

Pirelli statistics for WorldSSP race:

• Winner of the PIRELLI BEST LAP AWARD: Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing), in 1'43.818 in the 17th lap 
• Most used front solution: development SC1 X0012 (19 out of 23 riders) 
• Most used rear solution: development SC0 X0633 (23 out of 23 riders) 
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres: 273.4 km/h, achieved by Sandro Cortese (Kallio Racing) in the 7th lap 
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the WorldSSP class: 5 front and 5 rear 
Number of tyres available for each WorldSSP rider: 58, including 30 front and 28 rear 
• Air temperature: 23° C 
• Asphalt temperature: 52° C