2012 World Superbike Analysis
Round 10 of the 2012 World Superbike Championship headed to Silverstone in the UK last weekend. And as usual in Great Britain, the weather was unpredictable, changing from complete sunshine to soaking rains.
The conditions created tough decisions for teams, such as tire choice, but helped deliver some intense action.
In race one, Kawasaki Racing Team's Loris Baz took his first win in World Superbike, the 19-year-old Frenchman becoming the second-youngest rider in World SBK history to win (preceded by Yuichi Takeda, the wild-card rider who won at Sugo in 1996 at 18-years old). Joining Baz on the Silverstone SBK podium was the BMW Motorrad Italia GoldBet duo of Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini, the later crashing across the line with Honda World Superbike's Jonathan Rea.
In a shortened, rain-plagued race two, it was yet another Frenchman taking the win, this race going to newly-signed Pata Racing Ducati's Sylvain Guintoli. Joining Guintoli on the podium was Baz and Team Effenbert Liberty Racing Ducati's Jakub Smrz.
Following are some Pirelli notes from Pirelli Moto's Racing Director, Giorgio Barbier, who offers some technical analysis of 2012 Silverstone World SBK.
Giorgio Barbier (Racing Director, Pirelli Moto) says: "We knew that the weekend on English soil might hold some surprises for us due to the particularly unpredictable weather, and that is exactly what happened. In fact, the English summer proved to be particularly treacherous for the riders who had to face extremely demanding racing conditions due to the periodic rain showers on the track.
"Despite the adverse weather we can definitely consider ourselves to be very satisfied with the solutions we brought to Silverstone. In Race 1 for the Superbike class we had further confirmation of the quality and versatility of the rear R302 solution in SC1 compound which was used by most of the riders for the first start.
"Not only that, but for the second start of Race 1 some of the riders gambled on a wet tire even if there were no optimum rain conditions to justify using it and, in spite of this, they were able to finish the race. Race 2 was naturally ridden by all the riders on wet tires which confirmed their excellent performance when used in the rain, the very purpose for which they were designed.
"There was definitely no lack of show and, once again, Superbike showed that it is a Championship where any rider has the potential to win. This weekend belonged to Loris Baz and the Kawasaki Racing Team, whom I would like to compliment, but also other outsider riders such as Michel Fabrizio and Ayrton Badovini with Team BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet. There are just four races left until the end of the Championship, but the general standings are anything but decided. Anything can still happen and it will be interesting to see who is able to prevail over the rivals."
Pirelli BEST LAP Awards:
SBK Race 1 - Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorad Italia Goldbet) 2'06.764 (Lap 6)
SBK Race 2 - Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) 2'24.324 (Lap 6)
Total BEST LAP: Checa (Althea Racing) 6, Biaggi (Aprilia Racing Team) 4, Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) 3, Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) 3, Guintoli (Team Effenbert Liberty Racing/Pata Racing) 1, Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) 1, Ayrton Badovini (BMW Motorad Italia Goldbet) 1