Pirelli closes ENI FIM World Superbike Championship in Qatar
Qatar’s Losail International circuit hosted the last round of the eni FIM World Superbike Championship season, with Aprilia riders triumphing in both races, World champion Jonathan Rea, of Kawasaki Racing Team, capped his overall victory with a Pirelli Best Lap award in the first of two races in Qatar, and helped his team to complete its Manufacturer Championship winning season in style. In Supersport, Kyle Smith claimed victory on his Honda, but Kawasaki claimed the overall Manufacturer title too. Pirelli said its tyres performed well, despite the difficult conditions caused by sand on the track.
Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto racing director, commented: “With this round Pirelli concludes its twelfth season as the World Superbike Championship Official Sole Supplier, but our sights are already set on next year. In 2015 we saw the clear superiority of the Kawasaki and its riders, not only in Superbike but also in Supersport. The races [in Qatar] finished with a bang and with the right amount of combativeness which has always been a particular characteristic of the World Championship for factory derivative bikes, perhaps a less competitive season than in previous years, but which provided plenty of excitement for motorcycle racing fans all the way down to the last turn. On our part we must renew our compliments to all of the champions in the individual categories and to Kawasaki as the motorcycle manufacturer that demonstrated the best consistency in terms of performance this year.”
The 2015 season has been eventful for Pirelli. The Italian brand launched its Pirelli SBK Track Days initiative, providing track days for all bikers who are fans of our brand the Monday following the Superbike weekend at most of the circuits on the calendar. “I am pleased to announce that this will be repeated again next year on even more tracks so that we can continue to give our fans a chance to experience the excitement of the World Superbike Championship from an even closer perspective,” Barbier added.
In terms of tyre development, Barbieri confirmed “all the standard solutions seen in action this year will be confirmed for 2016 as well since they demonstrated excellent performance. I will mention, however, that the range will be expanded with the addition, both on the front and on the rear, of endurance derived SC3 compound solutions which therefore have greater resistance to wear. These solutions could prove to be useful on particularly abrasive circuits which lead to quicker tyre wear.”
Pirelli Best Lap Awards
The Pirelli Best Lap Award has been awarded by Pirelli every race to the rider who sets the fastest race lap, with a total of three awards handed out each weekend. The Superbike and Supersport rider earning the most Pirelli Best Lap Award titles at the end of the season was also elected Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year. Jonathan Rea, having won 11 Awards, and Jules Cluzel with 3 were named 2015’s fastest riders in the Superbike and Supersport classes respectively.