WSBK: Pirelli tyre supply extended for 3 years
The long-standing agreement between Dorna WorldSBK Organization and Pirelli has will continue for at least an additional three years. The tyre maker has been confirmed as official tyre supplier to all classes of the Motul FIM Superbike World Championship up to and including the 2023 season.
The current agreement, which continues a sole tyre supply arrangement that commenced in 2004, was scheduled to expire in 2020. The newly-announced extension to this arrangement will see all race classes (including the new Yamaha R3 bLU cRU European Cup) riding on Diablo Superbike slick tyres from 2020, replacing the Diablo Supercorsa SC treaded tyres used in the WorldSSP and WorldSSP300 classes during the season that concluded last weekend.
Rear tyres in the WorldSBK class will all be in the 200/65, and front tyres 125/70. As per the rules, riders will be able to use a maximum of 11 front and 13 rear tyres during the entire race weekend.
In the WorldSSP category, in addition to transitioning from treaded to slicks, riders will compete on a new 190/60 rear size. Riders will be able to use a maximum of eight front and nine rear tyres during the weekend. Two alternatives for the front will be available in all races, the standard SC1 and the SC2, and two will be available for the rear, the standard SC0 and the SC1. Pirelli reserves the right to replace a standard solution with a development solution during the season.
The transition to slicks in WorldSSP300 will not affect the quantities available to the riders. Three front and three rear tyres will be offered, and the sizes remain unchanged: 110/70 in SC1 compound at the front and 140/70 in SC1 or SC2 (based on the circuit) compound at the rear.
“I have been following this championship for Pirelli since the beginning of our adventure as a single tyre supplier for all classes,” said Giorgio Barbier, director of Sport Activities within Pirelli’s Motorcycle business unit. “And I am naturally satisfied with this renewal because it will allow us to continue working to offer riders, as well as all motorcyclists in the world, the best performance that can be found in motorcycle racing tyres.
“Starting next year, with the switch to slick tyres for all classes, we will see further significant performance improvements,” Barbier continued. “In particular the WorldSSP class will certainly benefit from changes in front profile, compounds and structure, while the new 190/60 rear size will bring the class to the performance of the superbikes of a few years ago. As for the WorldSSP300, the use of slick tyres will help not to trigger ‘tearing’ in historically colder morning sessions thanks also to the development of a dedicated SC2 rear compound that will be alternated with the SC1.”
Part of Pirelli’s DNA
“Motorsport is historically an important part of our company’s DNA and that between Pirelli and the FIM Superbike World Championship represents without no doubt one of the collaborations of greater longevity and success in the history of motorsport,” commented Roberto Righi, Pirelli’s executive vice president Commercial Replacement, Moto & Velo, for the EMEA region. “This renewal offers continuity to our corporate strategy, which in recent years has allowed Pirelli to establish itself as an absolute reference in the segment of racing for supersport tyres and beyond.
“With this agreement, Pirelli also secures its confidence and trust of Dorna, organiser and promoter of the championship, being sure that together we will be able to continue to offer and grow a world-class series that will meet the favours of riders, teams and of course motorcycle manufacturers which, like Pirelli, will continue to recognise in the championship an excellent platform to develop and promote their products.”
Marc Saurina, executive director of Dorna WSBK Organization’s Commercial, Marketing and Media departments, added: “Having Pirelli on board until 2023 is brilliant news for the championship, and to reach the milestone of the longest running sole tyre supplier really shows this strong and solid relationship we have, and 2023 will see the 20th season of this successful partnership. Providing the entirety of the WorldSBK paddock with Pirelli tyres, and continuing to see the development at the forefront of tyre technology, is really something I and we all welcome, I look forward to our future together.”