British Superbike to stick with 16.5-inch tyres in 2013
Although the World Superbike Championship is switching to 17-inch tyres for the 2013 season – a change promoted as one that will aid in the motorsport-driven development of road-going motorcycle tyres – the British Superbike Championship will continue for one further year on Pirelli’s 16.5-inch tyre.
Upon announcing the 2014 introduction of the 17-inch size in British Superbike, Pirelli said the championship “will benefit from the intense tyre development programme being carried out in the World series, with a number of new compounds being introduced for this most prestigious of domestic championships in 2013. These solutions have been developed in the World Championship during 2012 with a focus on provision of products that are best suited to UK track conditions.”
World Superbike is moving to the new 17-inch size in 2013 after consultation between the motorcycle manufacturers, organisers and Pirelli. The long utilised 16.5-inch size will continue to be used in national competitions around the world and by track day enthusiasts. Pirelli states that its commitment to this tyre size will continue even after the transition of WSBK and BSB. Feedback from the 2013 BSB series will also be used for future 16.5-inch development.
“Next year, BSB riders will have at their disposal the latest tyres which have been developed by Pirelli during the 2012 WSBK season and we will be able to provide them with a customised range of tyres particularly suitable for the British tracks and temperatures,” commented Pirelli Moto racing director Giorgio Barbier. “The British series will switch to 17-inch the following season, meaning they will have a lot of different possibilities to buy material, like rims, from WSBK teams. Again, they will have new solutions already tested in WSBK during the 2013 season. Moreover even if the transition to 17-inch tyres is a turning point, that doesn’t mean we want to stop producing 16.5-inch tyres as we will go on supporting our customers around the world for track days but also for Endurance competitions, so for us BSB remains a very important background to develop our solutions at the highest level.”
British Superbike Series director Stuart Higgs added: “Pirelli are a major, valued partner of the British Superbike series and we work with them to ensure that our series has the right balance of competiveness and cost. With regard to the forthcoming 17-inch tyres we all agree that giving a 12 month window will allow the tyres to be fully developed in WSB whilst our teams can phase in the new wheels and tyres for testing at the end of 2013.”