The Italian round of Superbike interrupted the long series of victories that Alvaro Bautista had been able to rack up since his début on the Panigale V4 R. It was predictable that the streak would come to an end sooner or later, the important thing now is to look ahead and focus on maintaining the top position in the world rankings. At Imola Chaz Davies took another step forward, and, after taking pole position, in Race 1 he saw his ambitions to win go up in smoke due to an electrical problem. After Race 2 had to be cancelled because of the heavy rain that fell on the Romagna circuit, the SuperPole Race showed us a Chaz who was finally at ease on his bike, giving us some hope for the rest of the season.
Now it's off to Jerez, a track that the Panigale V4 R already knows well having already gone through two winter test sessions. So, since the bike's setup has already been optimised, Bautista is racing on his home track and Davies scored a double win here in 2016, it looks like we have all the ingredients needed for a successful weekend.
The Spanish track was recently resurfaced and the new asphalt is extremely smooth. The resulting grip is certainly not optimal and results in a rather accentuated level of degradation of the tyres, and therefore their level of performance plunges rapidly during the race. The race simulation carried out during the qualification runs and, consequently, the choice of the right tyres was one of the key factors for consistent performance at Jerez.
In addition to tyre wear, the Andalusian circuit puts pressure on other aspects: from the chassis, due to the long series of hard corners, to the brakes, with two decelerations at turns 1 and 6 that engage the brake systems for more than 200 m.