Tyre wear problems during the opening WorldSBK race at Phillip Island have forced organisers to mandate pitstops for the Sunday’s second encounter.
Riders in the main class will now have to change tyres before they reach 12 laps of the 22-lap race while the WorldSSP class will have to come in before they reach nine lap of 16. Failure to do so will see offending riders black flagged.
“Unfortunately we had some issues regarding the tyre life. 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,” said sporting director Greg Lavilla.
Reigning champion Jonathan Rea had clear issues as he dropped out of podium contention, repeatedly looking down at the back of his Kawasaki, while Michael van der Mark slowed dramatically at the end of race one and looked entirely dischuffed as he walked down pitlane.
Both chose different options for the race with Rea on the older SC1 while the Pata Yamaha man went for the new 200-section development tyre.