Tyre strategy the keystone in Bautista’s double win
With the brave and unconventional choice of using slicks in the Superpole Race, the Spanish Ducati rider wins the race and then doubles down in Race 2; Aegerter finishes the season on a high note with victory in WorldSSP Race 2
FOCUS ON THE SUPERPOLE RACE
(asphalt: 26° C / air: 15° C)
Tyre choice for the Superpole Race was anything but a given and it played a determining role in the way the race went. In particular, the strategy employed by Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) who, along with Hafizh Syahrin (MIE Racing Honda Team), was the only rider to gamble on slicks, mounting the A1126 SC1 development rear tyre (option A) and the standard SC1 front solution (option A), paid off for the World Champion over the 10-lap race distance. In fact, in the opening laps when the track was still rather wet, the Spanish Ducati rider struggled more than his rivals who had rain tyres, dropping back to sixteenth place, but when the lines dried out quickly, the choice of mounting slicks paid off for Bautista who managed to claw his way back to the front in just a few laps to take the race lead on the penultimate lap, finishing first. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), starting from the second spot on the grid, finished on the bottom step of the podium behind Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK), second across the finish line from the fourth spot on the grid. Both the Kawasaki and the Yamaha riders used Rain tyres at the front and intermediate at the rear. This was also the most popular combination with the rest of the riders, although some opted for rain or intermediate on both axles.
TYRES IN ACTION IN RACE 2
WorldSBK (asphalt: 27° C / air: 16° C)
In Race 2, the weather was fairer but still kept everyone on the edge of their seats right up to the start. In fact, about a half hour before the start, light rainfall dampened the track. However, tyre choice in this case was simpler than for the Superpole Race because the track was already almost entirely dry at the start. Therefore, everyone used slicks; specifically, practically all the riders used the A1126 SC1 development solution (option A) at the rear, whereas at the front, the A0674 SC1 tyre (option B) garnered the highest favour. With his win in the Superpole Race, Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) earned pole position for Race 2 and he did not squander the opportunity. After a race start dominated by Jonathan Rea, the Spaniard took the lead back and held onto it until the 17th lap when the race was red-flagged due to an accident involving Eugene Laverty (Bonovo Action BMW). At that moment, Jonathan Rea was second and his teammate, Alex Lowes, was third, so the Kawasaki riders completed the podium. Fourth place went to Toprak Razgatlioglu on Yamaha.
WorldSSP (asphalt: 32° C / air: 16° C)
With the track dry, all the riders obviously mounted DIABLO Superbike slicks with almost unanimous choices: standard SC1 front (option A) and A1128 SC1 development tyre (option A) at the rear. Newly crowned 2022 World Champion Dominique Aegerter (Ten Kate Racing Yamaha) took the win in the final FIM Supersport World Championship race of the year. The Swiss rider took the lead shortly after the mid-race point and held onto it all the way to the chequered flag. Completing the podium were Italians Federico Caricasulo (Althea Racing), second, and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha Team), third. Fifth place, on the other hand, went to Race 1 winner, Yari Montella (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), behind Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WorldSSP Team), fourth.
For more details on the tyres used in the race by the individual riders in the WorldSBK and WorldSSP classes, please see the sheets attached to this press release.
GIORGIO BARBIER, MOTORCYCLE RACING DIRECTOR
“Today, like yesterday, the day was influenced by the uncertain weather and the sporadic rainfall on the track at Phillip Island. However, unlike the races held on Saturday with the track completely wet, today the conditions were much less uniform. The track got wet several times and then dried out slowly but it stayed a bit damp. Before the Superpole Race there was some rather heavy rainfall, so the track was quite wet, but almost no one had predicted that it would dry out so quickly. By mounting slicks, Bautista and Ducati made an unconventional choice which, however, paid off, once again demonstrating that sometimes you have to take risks to achieve results. The Race 2 win simply confirmed how well deserved this world title is for Bautista and the Ducati team. For us at Pirelli, on the other hand, it was extremely satisfying to see how all of our tyres, from rain to slicks, contributed to creating spectacular races but the slick and intermediate tyres are certainly worth a mention which, even in conditions more suited to rain tyres, demonstrated outstanding performance. With this, we close out the season with a highly positive result and we are ready to return to the track right here in Australia for the first round of the 2023 World Championship season.”