With Pirelli standard DIABLO™ Superbike SC0 the Kawasaki riders paint the grey skies green at Donington Park
Using standard Pirelli tyres, available for purchase by any biker, Tom Sykes and Loris Baz bring home a one-two for the manufacturer from Akashi and give all motorcycling fans a great show
The English Donington Park circuit was the setting for a weekend that can be defined by the most exciting race of the season thus far. Tom Sykes took the top step of the podium in both races, followed across the finish in both cases by team mate Loris Baz, giving Kawasaki two splendid one-two races and contributing to increasing the advantage that the manufacturer from Akashi holds at the top of the Manufacturer standings.
In Superbike Race 1 the Kawasaki riders took a splendid one-two, giving the fans one of the most exciting duels in the history of the World Superbike Championship. A fierce Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), after starting from the seventh spot on the grid and slipping back into eleventh place at the start, made an incredible comeback, catching up and overtaking first Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki) and then, after a thrilling head to head that lasted a few laps, team mate Loris Baz.
The Frenchman, who started from the sixth spot on the grid, managed to move into the lead in the fifth lap, holding this position until the nineteenth, but he was powerless against the Englishman who disintegrated the initial gap of 3.5 seconds lap after lap. He also earned the Best Lap on the sixteenth and moving into first place after several passes, one of which was right at the limit with both tyres on the kerb.
Behind them, finishing the race in third place, was championship rookie Alex Lowes, while Italian rider Davide Giugliano (Ducati Superbike Team), who started on pole position, after a less than perfect start was able to make up ground all the way to second place, but was then forced to withdraw on the fifteenth lap due to a crash.
The race provided an exciting show, undoubtedly owing some of the merit to Pirelli tyres. Both the Kawasaki riders, like most of the Superbike riders on the grid, used standard DIABLO™ Superbike SC0 tyres on the rear in a soft compound and medium-soft development solutions on the front which allowed the riders to unleash the horsepower of their bikes onto the ground without holding back and allowing Tom Sykes to make an incredible comeback.
Race 2 was basically a replay of Race 1, at least in terms of results for the Akashi-based manufacturer. Once again Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), after an incredible comeback, took first place with a textbook overtake on Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team). At the end of the race the Frenchman from the Noale-based manufacturer had to settle for the third step of the podium, whereas his countryman astride the Kawasaki was unable to contain the hometown hero again, finishing the weekend with two excellent second places which take him to second place in the overall standings with 159 points, tied with Jonathan Rea. Tom Sykes, after losing the lead in the standings to Jonathan Rea at Imola, took it back boldly with a 26 advantage over the closest contender.
Of note, finally, the performance of the third Kawasaki Racing Team rider, David Salom, who secured tenth place in both races to be the fastest EVO rider.
The FIM World Supersport Championship race was won by Michael Vd Mark astride his Honda CBR600RR for Pata Honda World Supersport Team, who managed to relegate Frenchman Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport) and Englishman Kev Coghlan (DMC Panavto-Yamaha) to the spots behind him. With this victory Vd Mark widens the gap in the championship, taking his point advantage to xxx over the closest contender.
In the European Junior Cup, now at the fourth round of the season, sixteen year old Spaniard Javier Orellana enjoyed his first win, followed across the line by German Angelo Ricciardi and Spaniard Augusto Fernandez who holds onto the top spot in the championship standings with a six point advantage over countryman Orellana.
Comment from Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director:
“What races and what a show for all motorcycling fans! This was truly a perfect weekend from every point of view. Where Pirelli is concerned we were able to see more or less all the tyres in our range in action, both slicks and rain tyres, but the most important role was certainly played by the standard soft rear tyre which was chosen by most of the riders in Race 1 and practically all of them in Race 2. This is important confirmation for us, even more when you consider that anyone can purchase this tyre because it is available on the market and then race or go have a fun track day with the same tyre they see in action every weekend in the World Superbike Championship. The only regret is not having been able to test the new Superpole tyre because of the rain, but I’m sure we will be able to see it in action in one of the coming races. All that’s left is to compliment Kawasaki on the important result they earned thanks to the brilliant performance Tom and Loris put in today. There is still a lot of the Championship left, but strong wins like this definitely send out important signals.”
The Pirelli solutions chosen by the riders:
In the top class, after a rainy Superpole on Saturday which forced all the riders to use the DIABLO™ Rain tyres, today various solutions were used, although on the rear the soft solutions were the most popular: the standard DIABLO™ Superbike SC0 tyres were chosen by practically all the Superbike riders, whereas the majority of the EVO riders opted for the R1120 development solution dedicated specifically to them and the soft SC0 compound in Race 1, then switching the preference to the standard SC0 in Race 2.
On the front the strong popularity of the SC1 S1699 development solution continued, chosen by more than half the riders on the grid, while the rest of them used the standard SC1.
In Supersport all the riders chose the standard DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC1 for the front, while on the rear six riders opted for the standard DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC1 and the remainder went with the new SC1 S0624 development solution.
Pirelli Best Lap Award:
The Pirelli Best Lap Awards are given to the riders who put in the fastest lap in the Superbike and Supersport races. At Donington Park they were presented by Pirelli Moto Racing Director Giorgio Barbier at the Paddock Show during the press conference which follows the podium at the end of Superbike race 1 and race 2 and the Supersport race.
The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most “Pirelli Best Lap Awards” will be elected “Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year” and will be awarded during the ceremony at the end of the year. At the moment the Superbike standings have Tom Sykes, Alex Lowes, Chaz Davies, Jonathan Rea and Sylvain Guintoli tied with 2 Best Lap Awards each and in Supersport Michael Vd Mark is the leader with 2 Best Lap Award won.
These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards at Donington Park:
WSB Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1’28.779 (16th lap)
WSB Race 2 – Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki), 1’28.544(4th lap)
WSS – Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team), 1’31.483 (7th lap)
The overall standings after five rounds are as follows:
WSB: Chaz Davies (Ducati Superbike Team): 2; Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team): 2; Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike Team): 2; Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 2; Alex Lowes (Voltcom Crescent Suzuki): 2
WSS: Michael Vd Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport Team): 2; Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport): 1; Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing): 1; Kenan Sofuoglu (Mahi Racing Team India): 1
The 2014 Pirelli statistics for the Donington Park round:
• Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 3634
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 7 rear
• Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 35 front and 35 rear
• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 4 rear
• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 23 front and 24 rear
• Temperature in Race 1: air 16° C, asphalt 22° C
• Temperature in Race 2: air 18° C, asphalt 28° C
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 278.8 kms/h, in Race 1 by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) at 8th lap
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 249 kms/h, Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta RC-Yakhnich Motorsport) at 7th lap.