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Mandatory pit-stop introduced to mitigate Phillip Island WorldSBK tyre concerns

Gold & Goose

The opening round of the 2024 WorldSBK Championship at Phillip Island will feature mandatory pit-stops in two of its three races over concerns tyres won’t last the full distance safely.

Issues arose during the official pre-season test held at the Australian venue this week due to the implementation of a new and grippy asphalt surface that is proving too abrasive for the Pirelli tyres that have been nominated for this weekend’s race.

The problems stem from WorldSBK and Pirelli shipping the tyres out to Australia in November last year in preparation for the opening round. It means the unforeseen issues with the surface has left Pirelli without sufficient time to make modifications in good time.


It means Races 1 and 2 - which will also be reduced from 22 laps to 20 laps - will require riders to make a pit-stop no later than the eleventh lap in each to change tyres.

The ruling also applies to the WorldSSP class, with riders needing to pit before the end of the tenth lap in its two races.

“The circuit has performed admirably with the new asphalt,” said WorldSBK Executive Director Gregorio Lavilla. “Whilst rubber is gradually laid down track conditions evolve, which present some challenges. 

“Since the tyres were shipped out in late November to arrive for this opening round, there wasn't enough time to develop specific tyres tailored to the current asphalt conditions. 

“We have carefully assessed the situation, considering the early track activity following the asphalt being laid out and the two days of testing that we conducted earlier this week. 

“Whilst conditions have certainly improved, they may not have improved enough, especially considering the challenging, fast-paced nature of this circuit layout. 

“In such circumstances, we, in collaboration with Race Direction, the FIM and the Phillip Island GP Circuit, must opt for the safest option, which is of paramount importance.”

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