Pirelli supports British Superbike teams’ Spanish pre-season testing

Newcomer Luke Mossey leans into testing at Cartagena, where he set some particularly impressive times

Pirelli has supported a large number of the British Superbike Championship’s teams as they carried out winter testing in Spain. The tyre supplier to the series helped the 2015 roster complete the Official BSB Test in Almeria, the Pro Test at Cartagena, Guadix and Monteblanco, as teams tested new bikes, set-ups and devising tyre strategies. The Pirelli logistics team and UK Pirelli racing manager Jason Griffiths supported the multitude of tests completed ahead of the Donington Park opener on 4-6 April. Teams already have a full year of tyre data, since the 2015 Pirelli Diablo Superbikes used in the competition remain the same as in 2014, on which the Oulton Park record was broken. Pirelli predicts that the experience gained by the teams in 2014 may well result in the softer SC0 solution playing a more significant role this season.

Pirelli reports that the Milwaukee Yamaha squad took part in the pan-European Yamaha Race Training at Alcarras for the new YZF-R1 (joined by the Pirelli supported YART World Endurance team, among others), while Tyco TAS BMW gained extra knowledge of their new machinery at the BMW Training Camp at Almeria. New teams at the tests included the Be Wiser squad managed by 2011 BSB Champion Tommy Hill, with the experienced Chris Walker teammate to confident young racer Danny Buchan, who dominated the 2014 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 class. Reigning BSB Champion Shane Byrne suffered a broken hand at the first test and title challenger Ryuichi Kiyonari missed foreign testing due to visa issues, others riders may well have closed the gap through their own testing efforts.

2015 MCE British Superbike Championship

4/5/6 April: Donington Park GP (Leicestershire)

17/18/19 April: Brands Hatch Indy (Kent)

2/3/4 May: OultonPark International (Cheshire)

19/20/21 June: Snetterton 300 (Norfolk)

3/4/5 July: Knockhill (Fife)

17/18/19 July: Brands Hatch GP (Kent)

31 July – 1/2 August: Thruxton (Hampshire)

21/22/23 August: CadwellPark (Lincolnshire)

4/5/6 September: OultonPark International (Cheshire)

18/19/20 September: TT Circuit Assen (The Netherlands)

2/3/4 October: Silverstone GP (Northamptonshire)

16/17/18 October: Brands Hatch GP (Kent)

A good spread of teams and riders gave an interesting insight into how the new BSB season may look. Some new names figured at the top of the unofficial timing charts; class rookie Luke Mossey was particularly impressive, as were other new riders Danny Buchan and Christian Iddon.

At Cartagena both Mossey and Buchan set their quickest outright times on the softer SC0 rear tyre whilst most riders ran ‘race simulations’ on both compounds. Cartagena is a circuit where significant gains are made in braking zones whilst bikes are carrying lean angle. These young riders were prepared to exploit the grip level of their SC1 front tyres and it will be interesting to see how this translates across the varied BSB circuits.

A final shakedown test at Donington Park will see many teams and riders fine tune their settings for the MCE British Superbike Championship curtain raiser.

Pirelli UK racing manager Jason Griffiths commented: “We enter the season with a full Superbike grid that has real strength in depth. The commitment from the teams was demonstrated by the intensive testing schedule they’ve undertaken in Spain and Pirelli are pleased to provide service support at these events. The circuits and conditions experienced in Spain do differ to what faces the riders and teams on their return to the UK but it is exciting to see the potential shown by riders such as Mossey, Buchan and Iddon. The forthcoming Donington Park test will certainly attract huge interest from race fans and should provide a useful indicator of the ‘in form’ riders.”

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