New Pirelli SC1 BSB rear tyre ‘especially important’ for Snetterton
Pirelli has identified last month’s successful introduction of its new Diablo Superbike SC1 rear tyre at Knockhill as an important factor for the MCE British Superbike Championship’s return to Snetterton. The high speed circuit, combined with the possibility of high track temperatures will make the softer compound tyre a popular choice, according to the series tyre supplier. A test held at the circuit last week provided Pirelli with good feedback as most teams sampled race simulations for tyre wear.
Last year’s event was held in soaring temperatures with the majority of riders opting for the softer Pirelli Diablo Superbike SC1 rear. Only Alex Lowes, James Westmoreland and Jenny Tinmouth selected the harder SC2 compound.
The weekend will be supported by the Triumph Triple Challenge and Ducati TriOptions 848 Challenge alongside the British Supersport Championship, Pirelli National Superstock 1000 and 600 classes. All classes will be using the control Diablo Supercorsa SC V2 tyres.
Championship leader Shane Byrne will seek to build on his impressive double victory at Knockhill, though with the surprising fastest performance of Jakub Smrz, followed by contender Alex Lowes, Pirelli predicts a competitive weekend. Josh Brookes will be keen to build on his two second-place finishes and likes the high speed nature of the Snetterton track. With the Manx TT behind him and a trip back to Australia, he is concentrating on logging that first win of the 2013 season. Pirelli spredicts that with “both last year’s winners absent from this year’s championship, the top step of the podium will fiercely contested but Byrne will be tough to stop”.
In the Supersport category Ben Wilson will be looking to challenge both Alastair Seeley and Stuart Easton after scoring his first double since 2011, whilst Australians Billy McConnell and Glen Richards are looking to close the points gap.
Pirelli racing manager Jason Griffiths commented: “The majority of the teams participated in the official test at Snetterton last week which was held in good conditions, allowing them valuable time to fine tune their settings for the track. The performance of this year’s SC1 rear solution has been excellent in the first four rounds. Snetterton may yet provide us with the highest track temperatures of the year so far and therefore a new challenge for this SC1. The Diablo Supercorsa SC0 rear solution came into play during both Supersport races at Knockhill as tyre strategy played an important role. Track conditions permitting the SC0 could also play a part this weekend.”
Padgetts Honda rider Jakub Smrz summed up his surprising performance at the BSB tests: “This was a great test for us. Honestly, Snetterton is quite similar to what I’m used to, it’s more like a European track, long fast corners and not so much stop and go. I knew we were going well and was really happy and a little surprised to take the fastest time at the finish!
“I had a good feeling and we used a new tyre at the end which gave me really good grip. But just as importantly we worked on used tyres that had done more than 10 laps for most of the test. It was important to get good data as this was my first ‘fast’ laps here, the official test at the beginning of the year was very cold– we even had snow. I really like the quick changes of direction and enjoyed the fast first corner a lot.
“Knockhill was not easy for us, I prefer more fast, smooth circuits definitely. But overall I’m really enjoying BSB and the Padgetts team are great to work with. I’ve had six years with a twin cylinder bike so it’s been a big change but I think we are getting stronger and stronger. All my favourite circuits are coming up now including Snetterton, Brands, Donington and Assen- so I’m really positive.”