Because of tire wear issues during Race 1, at the World Superbike season-opener at Phillip Island, Sunday’s Race 2 will include a mandatory pit stop, where riders can come in and change machines.
Due to the extra-abrasive conditions found at Phillip Island this year, these race change will also affect Sunday’s World Supersport race, as well.
Similar to the tire issues we saw in the MotoGP Championship at Phillip Island, back in 2013, Sunday’s race will include a mandatory pitstop before the end of the 12th lap for WorldSBK riders (after nine laps for WorldSSP riders), which will operate under the series’ flag-to-flag rules.
This means that riders will dismount their machine, and mount a new bike, fitted with fresh Pirelli race tires, in order to avoid the tire-wear issues found during Saturday’s race.
Additionally, the race distance has been shortened for the Supersport riders, down to just 16 laps.
For the Superbike riders, they must complete their pitstop at the end of Laps 10, 11, or 12, if the race is dry. If the race is wet, then a normal wet race will occur. All of this should make for some exciting drama, for an already interesting start to the World Superbike season.
“Unfortunately we had some issues regarding the tie life,” said Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Sporting Director.
“Following a meeting with the teams to discuss the possible options, we decided the best way was to do a flag to flag, which luckily our rules comply with. We normally use it for climatic purposes, but now we are using it for other purposes, unless its rains.”