WSB: Pirelli withdraw Rea crash tyre for Sunday

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Pirelli have withdrawn the tyre Jonathan Rea was using in today’s opening race from rider’s selections for Sunday’s second outing after being unable to establish the cause of his crash.

Rea was thrown from his ZX-10RR at high speed after the tyre rapidly lost pressure on his way down the Craner curves section on the 21st lap of the race.

Describing the feeling as though a sniper had shot the bike from underneath him, it was visible from TV replays that a tyre issue was the reason for the crash, but with Pirelli unable to ascertain whether it was a specific issue with the soft option SC0 tyre Rea used, which was one of the Italian marque’s development tyres for this year, they have opted to withdraw it from use on safety grounds.

Tom Sykes, Alex Lowes and Marco Melandri used the same rear tyre and had no such issues during the race, as was the case for a number of other riders in both races at the previous round.

To compensate for the loss of these tyres, Pirelli will provide each rider with an additional standard SC0 compound tyre for Sunday’s second race.

A statement from Pirelli read: “Pirelli, in agreement with Dorna and MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship Race Direction, has decided to pull the rear V0602 development solution (option A) from the tyre allocation available to riders in the WorldSBK category for the Donington Park round. The decision was made following what happened in Race 1 to the rear tyre of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team) who abruptly lost pressure in the twenty-first lap, causing the rider to crash.


“Although specifying that the solution being pulled has not shown any problems up to now, being successfully used by many riders in both Race 1 and in Race 2 of the Imola round and by Tom Sykes, Alex Lowes and Marco Melandri in Race 1 at Donington Park, because at the moment it has not been possible to ascertain the causes (whether with the tyre or due to external factors) that resulted in the abrupt deflation, in the primary interest of rider safety and while awaiting further analyses on the tyre being investigated, Pirelli and Dorna have therefore agreed to pull this tyre from the allocation available to the riders. In compensation, Pirelli will provide each rider with an additional standard SC0 compound tyre (option A), thereby increasing the number of available tyres in this solution from 8 to 9 for the Donington Park round.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing