Sun, fun… and rain. Find out the most relevant moments of an unpredictable Pirelli Italian Round at Autodromo di Imola
The unique layout of Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola set the stage for another unpredictable and action-packed WorldSBK round in Italy. Home round for the Ducati riders and all the Ducati fans, Round 5 of the championship promised to be another thrilling WorldSBK event. With Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) heading into unknown territories for the first time this year, and Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) returning to Imola after having taken the double here last year, will the reigning World Champion be able to capitalize on the Spaniard first real insecurities this season?
Jonathan Rea put an end to Bautista’s domination
After having seen Bautista taking the victory in every single race till Imola, there was an expectation of seeing him triumphant also at the Italian race track. But for the Spaniard, the Pirelli Italian Round represented his first real challenge in his 2019 campaign. Bautista had never been racing before at Imola, and despite having put in a few laps at the Italian track a week before the WorldSBK round, still, he needed more time to understand how to get the most of his V4 R there. On the other hand, for Jonathan Rea Imola have no secrets, and he was able to prove it to the Spaniard, as he went on to win both Race 1 and the Tissot Superpole Race putting an end to Bautista’s domination. The reigning World Champion is back, and he has not given it yet! Will Rea be able to change the course of events and reopen the battle for the 2019 World Championship title?
Toprak surprises in Race 1
Following a fantastic debut season in WorldSBK that saw him taking already two podium finishes, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) headed into 2019 with a mission: climbing on the rostrum more than 2018 and maybe get his first success in the top class. But, as the season started, there were only a few times when the Turkish rider was able to prove his improvement this year. Toprak had always been struggling to find the perfect setup for his ZX-10RR, but at the Italian race venue something changed, and as his feelings with the bike improved through the weekend, nothing could stop Toprak from fighting for a good result in Race 1. The Turkish sensation qualified just 11th in the Tissot Superpole, but after a strong start in the race, it didn’t take long for him to catch the front group and start a fierce battle for third with Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark. Absolutely unstoppable, Razgatlioglu made a perfect move on the Dutchman and secured his first podium finish of the season!
Davies experiences misfortune in Race 1
After returning on the rostrum for the first time in 2019 at the Acerbis Spanish Round, Chaz Davies continued to struggle with his Ducati at the Motul Dutch Round. But as the Pirelli Italian Round was next on the menu, lots of expectations built on, as in the past, the British rider had always been able to get creditable success at the historic race track, which also represent the home round for the Bologna based manufacturer. With the statistics proving that Imola was a good place to suit the rough character of the Ducati machines, it didn’t take long for Davies to prove it on the tarmac. Second fastest at the end of Friday free practices, the British rider took the pole position on Saturday setting a new lap record. The ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati rider looked set to shine bright in front of all the Ducati enthusiasts in Italy, but this time it was misfortune to pop in and stop the great moment for Davies. After an incredible start that kept him on the lead, Davies drop down in second position behind Jonathan Rea but as he was trying to regain the first spot again, a technical problem forced him to go wide and then renter the pit after just one lap!
Krummencher vs Caricasulo – the teammate battle is on!
Another chapter of the teammate battle between the BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP riders Randy Krummenacher and Federico Caricasulo was written at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. Supported respectively by their families in Italy, the Swiss rider and the Italian put on another sensational show for the victory. After a good start, it was Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA) to take the lead of the race, ahead of the two Yamaha riders, but when there were still ten laps remaining, the Frenchman experienced a moment and both Krummenacher and Caricasulo took advantage of it, taking respectively the first and second positions. Once again, the battle was taken to the wire. Caricasulo passed Krummenacher when there were 5 laps to go, but the championship leader didn’t give up till the very end. When it seemed that everything was done, Caricasulo’s faced a technical problem and the Italian left the door open to Krummenacher that went on to take his fourth win of the season ahead of his teammate, who finished just behind him in second position.
Sunday downpour stops games
Scorching temperatures and sun were the main headlines for the opening day and Saturday at Autodromo di Imola, but as Sunday approached weather deteriorated. A light downpour damped the track for the Tissot Superpole Race, but just as the main race was about to begin a storm hit the track sending back riders, who were already lined up on the grid, back into their garages. An interminable delay began as teams and riders waited to see if the intensity of the rain was meant to decrease, but as minutes passed by the situation didn’t improve. After a sighting lap with the Safety Car it became clear that the conditions were not ideal for racing and the difficult decision was taken to cancel Race 2 and the WorldSSP300 race.
Enjoy all the actions and best moments of the Pirelli Italian Round and find out what happened next with the WorldSBK VideoPass.