With Pirelli solutions in larger sizes Rea wins WorldSBK Race 1 in Qatar on Kawasaki
With this victory the Northern Irish rider, who finished ahead of teammate Sykes and Yamaha rider Lowes, ties the record set by Doug Polen of 17 wins in a single season and tomorrow he has the chance to break it
In the last round of the MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship season that was held at the Losail International Circuit of Doha in Qatar, the Kawasaki rider, Jonathan Rea, already crowned FIM Superbike World Champion for the fourth year in a row, won Race 1 ahead of teammate Tom Sykes and Yamaha rider Alex Lowes.
With this victory, the Kawasaki rider has also tied the record set by Doug Polen of 17 wins in a single seasonand tomorrow he will be able to try to set the new record if he is able to win Race 2 as well.
Jonathan Rea succeeded in the undertaking using the new Pirelli larger size development tyres in the race. In particular, on the rear all the riders used the 200/65 development solution in the W1002 soft version, already used at Imola, Donington and Laguna Seca. On the front, 70% opted instead for the 125/70 tyre in the X0417 soft compound. After various races where they have been successfully used, the larger size tyres have therefore confirmed their status as the tyre of choice for the vast majority of the riders on the tracks where they have been brought.
In Race 1, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK), after taking pole position with a time of 1’56.124, lined up on the first spot on the grid. Behind him were his teammate Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team).
At the start, Sykes got off the line well, but Rea did better, overtaking him to move into the race lead. Alex Lowes managed to hang onto third place ahead of Laverty and Forés. Melandri had a good start from the ninth spot, moving up into sixth place. During the second lap, Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) succeeded in overtaking Lowes to move in behind the Kawasaki riders.
Starting from the seventh lap, it was a battle between Chaz Davies and Michael Van Der Mark for seventh, with the Ducati rider managing to gain the upper hand in the end, staying close to the factory Ducati of teammate Marco Melandri, sixth, and the private team Barni Racing Ducati ridden by Spaniard Xavi Forés, fifth.
In the meantime, Alex Lowes managed to take back third by overtaking Eugene Laverty who, however, managed to take the position back on the ninth lap, overtaking the Yamaha rider.
During the final laps of the race it was a battle for third between Lowes and Laverty and a battle for fifth between Forés and Melandri. During the final lap, Alex Lowes made a breathtaking pass to get by the Aprilia and take back third. Jonathan Rea therefore finished first and Tom Sykes gave Kawasaki the one-two with Alex Lowes rounding out the podium on his Yamaha.
WorldSBK Race 1 standings:
1) J. Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
2) T. Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
3) A. Lowes (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
4) E. Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia)
5) M. Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
6) L. Baz (GULF ALTHEA BMW Racing Team)
7) M. Van Der Mark (Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team)
8) C. Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
9) J. Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
10) T. Razgatlioglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing)
11) L. Savadori (Milwaukee Aprilia)
12) L. Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura)
13) X. Forés (Barni Racing Team)
14) R. Ramos (Team GoEleven Kawasaki)
15) G. Ruiu (Team Pedercini Racing)
RT) M. Scheib (MV Agusta Reparto Corse)
RT) L. Camier (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team)
The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders for WorldSBK Race 1:
In Race 1, the choice for the rear was unanimous for all the riders, with all putting on the larger 200/65 tyre in the W1002 soft development solution (option B).As for the front, most of the riders decided to match the larger rear tyre with the 125/70 size front in the X0417 SC1 development version (option B). Alex Lowes, Loris Baz, Michael Van Der Mark, Leon Camier, Jake Gagne and Roman Ramos were the only riders who chose the V0952 SC1 development solution in the standard size (option A).
Pirelli statistics for WorldSBK Race 1:
• Winner of the PIRELLI BEST LAP AWARD: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK),in 1'57.284 at the 2nd lap
• Most used front solution: devolpment SC1 X0417 (11 out of 17 riders)
• Most used rear solution: development SC0 W1002 (17 out of 17 riders)
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 317.6 km/h, achieved by Eugene Laverty (Milwaukee Aprilia) in the 2nd lap and by Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in the 12th and 13th lap
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 7 rear
Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 65, including 32 front and 33 rear
• Air temperature: 30° C
• Asphalt temperature: 32° C