Ducati approves all-new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP for Panigale V4
The third generation Diablo Supercorsa SP is coming, and the new Pirelli race replica tyre has already been approved as original equipment on the latest from Ducati. The new Panigale V4 is the very first motorcycle to come factory-fitted with the tyre, and will receive the Diablo Supercorsa SP in size — 120/70 ZR17 on the front and 200/60 ZR17 on the rear.
The Diablo Supercorsa SP possesses a tread design, profile and structure nearly identical to those of Pirelli racing tyres used in competitions whose regulations require the use of grooved tyres rather than slicks. Development of the SP drew upon Pirelli’s experience as sole tyre supplier for all FIM World Superbike Championship classes, and in particular from the Diablo Supercorsa SC. The SC, which is available in different compounds, is used by the production-derived Supersport and Superstock classes and in all national championships in which Pirelli participates as sole supplier or in open competition with other tyre manufacturers.
The rear 200/60 ZR17 tyre is a new size in Pirelli’s on-road portfolio, however the dimension is already widely used on slick tyres in the FIM World Superbike Championship. Pirelli comments that the size “offers a true and proper generational leap in the field of race replica tyres.” Compared to the previous-generation 200/55 ZR17 rear tyre, the new profile is 9 mm wider and its overall diameter is 16 mm greater. Much of this larger diameter is used in the tread area. With the change to size 200/60 ZR17, the tyre achieves a new degree of grip at maximum lean angle and, since it maintains the same radius at the centre of the profile, it does so without forfeiting the manageability typical of the 200/55.
Pirelli says the front tyre profile has been “perfectly balanced to work in unison with the rear tyre” and is now 2 mm wider than that of the previous 120/70 ZR17. It has a slightly higher maximum cord than the prior-generation tyre; the aim of this change was to optimise it for all handling-related features, such as feedback, firmness and ability for riders to predict the limit of grip. The claimed advantages obtained from the new front tyre are the same as those achieved on the rear, but with the added benefit that, thanks to its wider area of contact, less stress is applied on the compound. In addition, with the new sidewall profile, management of the strain on the tyre structure is improved, imparting greater flexibility in acceleration when coming out of a bend and enhancing traction. As a result, the general feeling of safety and the degree of feedback the rider receives from the front tyre also increases.
The casing for the Diablo Supercorsa SP has been derived directly from the Diablo Superbike slick tyre. The rear tyre has a pure radial casing, the front is also radial but with casing ply angle optimised for road use. Pirelli says the aim of this was to improve stability at high speeds and on long straight stretches such as on highways.
Different compounds are used in the front and rear tyres. The front tyre is a mono-compound, a solution that allows rapid warm-up and a steadfast grip in any situation. The thicknesses of the compound on the tread band has been optimised in every area, from the centre to the shoulders, using a new Pirelli process that “optimises the amount of material to be applied with utmost precision.”
The rear tyre is a bi-compound and, for the first time ever in a tyre approved for road use, Pirelli has chosen to use a racing blend developed in the FIM World Superbike Championship. This is the shoulder compound, which is the same as that used on the Diablo Superbike SC2 slick tyre. Pirelli promises that this very soft, high hysteresis compound offers “the grip typical of competition-grade products while guaranteeing the robustness and versatility needed on the road.” Warm-up times are quicker and grip reportedly improved under all conditions. The centre area compound is 100 per cent carbon black and focuses on grip and good mileage, particularly on the road.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Diablo Supercorsa SP has an optimised eight-step tread pattern that repeats eight times over the entire tyre surface. The land/sea ratio is now four per cent for both the front and rear tyres. This is the minimum threshold imposed by the International Motorcycling Federation for sports activities, and the ratio Pirelli has adopted and approved for use on racing road tyres.
Drawing upon its years of experience at international and national Superstock and Supersport class competitions, Pirelli has further optimised the tread pattern by building on its own angular ‘flash’ geometry, the typical shape of Pirelli’s supersport products. The bridges between the longitudinal grooves have new angles, designed to ensure better response to lateral forces. New angles, together with the narrower grooves, improve stability and ensure more uniform wear, particularly in intense use.
Summing up the new range, Pirelli states that it considers the new Diablo Supercorsa SP to be a product that makes versatility and adaptability its strengths. “In particular, it does not require a sophisticated set-up of the bike and it easily adapt itself to the different configurations and temperature conditions that can be found on different tracks,” shares the tyre maker.
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP is primarily designed for the owners of large engine supersport and naked models who seek a tyre that can provide maximum performance on the road and, at the same time, offers racetrack performance second only to that offered by blend racing tyres. “For this reason, Diablo Supercorsa SP is the ideal tyre for all those who not only requiring peak sports performance on the road but who also love a spin on the track and who want to ride their bikes directly to the circuit without loading them onto a trolley and without having to change the tyres or arrange for special set up once they reach their destination,” comments Pirelli.
Aftermarket customers will be able to purchase the Pirelli Supercorsa SP in the two Panigale V4-approved sizes from January 2018. The range will be completed in autumn 2018.