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WSBK introduces CPS due to PI tyre wear

Daniel Herrero

Sunday 25th February, 2018 - 8:28am

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Today’s second WorldSBK race will be run as a flag to flag due to high tyre wear

Today’s second Superbike World Championship race will be run with a flag to flag procedure due to concerns over tyre life at Phillip Island.

Riders will have to pit at the end of Laps 10 to 12 to change rear tyres after Saturday’s opening race saw several competitors struggle with the wear of their Pirelli tyres.

There has been no announcement of a change to the scheduled race distance of 22 laps.

“Unfortunately we had some issues regarding the tyre life,” admitted WorldSBK Sporting Director Gregorio Lavilla.

“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.”

Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea appeared to be particularly affected by tyre wear, several times looked down at his rear tyre during the latter stages of Race 1.

He later revealed it had been blistering and was being nursed to the finish.

The defending world champion slumped from third and a margin of five seconds to the next bike with seven laps remaining, to trail the fourth-placed Xavi Fores by four seconds at the finish.

The Supersport World Championship has been shortened from 18 to 16 laps and will also run as a flag to flag encounter.

MotoGP experienced similar problems in 2013, resulting in a mandatory pit stop around halfway.

Supercars experienced a remarkable spate of tyre failures during last year’s event at the high-speed, high-load Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Fores starts this afternoon’s Race 2 in first position under WorldSBK’s reverse grid format.

Race 1 winner Marco Melandri will be ninth on the grid when the lights go out at 1500 local time/AEDT.

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