We told you yesterday that a meeting was to be called today (Thursday) between riders, WSB organisers and tyre giant Pirelli to review what would happen during this weekend’s races down under. The meeting has happened after concerns were raised about the longevity of tyre life at the Australian circuit following a recent bought of testing.
It’s emerged this morning that despite conversations happening about whether World Superbikes would need a mandatory pit-stop for a tyre change – as happened last year – the big bikes will not be forced to stop by a certain amount of laps for a swap of rubber. That plan is in place for the World Supersport championship though.
Here’s the official announcement from Dorna about what’s happening this weekend in relation to tyres:
Compulsory pit-stop introduced for Phillip Island race
As anticipation builds for the start of the Yamaha Finance Australian Round, it has been announced that the first race of the FIM Supersport World Championship season will take place under flag-to-flag rules, with a mandatory entry to the pits to change tyres for all bikes.
After speaking with the teams and based on the information gathered during the official two-day test here at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, FIM and Dorna WSBK Organization have decided to implement this format for Sunday’s race, adding a new challenge for the 24 riders set to line up on the grid.
Riders are free to choose when to do their pit-stop, under the condition that no tyre is used for more than 10 laps. Race distance has also been shortened to 16 laps.
This decision does not affect any of the three World Superbike races, which are scheduled to be run in regular conditions as more flexible regulations for teams ensure that proper safety conditions will be met.
Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Executive Director of Sporting & Organization, explains the decision: “Due to specific track conditions seen at Phillip Island since Monday and some concerns regarding tyre life in race conditions, we decided that the best way to fully guarantee the safety of the WorldSSP riders and avoid any problems would be to do a flag-to-flag, which is in compliance with WorldSSP rules. This is unfortunate, but we believe that it is the best course of action and will guarantee an exciting race this weekend”.