Pirelli has rolled out a range of larger Diablo Superbike Slick tyres for the Bennetts British Superbike (BSB) Championship. The series will run over six rounds starting at Donington Park on 7-9 August. Each round features three Superbike races. Pirelli has continuously acted as sole tyre supplier to the series since 2008. It supplies approximately 4,000 tyres to each event, as well as offering service and support. The new tyres were developed during the 2019 World Superbike Championship. They now comprise part of Pirelli’s production tyre range, available to racers of all levels.
After a dramatic final round in 2017 saw a three-way battle and Shane Byrne claim his sixth British Superbike Championship title, this season’s competition is getting under way at Donington Park over the Easter weekend. Pirelli will be there too, supplying the massive Superbike and support class field for an eleventh consecutive season.
Pirelli enters its tenth season at Donington Park supporting the MCE British Superbike Championship as both presenting sponsor and sole tyre supplier with newly developed rubber to increase the pace. Shane Byrne starts as title favourite, targeting a sixth series crown, but he will be forced to fight for every race by rivals Leon Haslam, 2015 BSB Champ Josh Brookes and ex-World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli. The 25 rider grid features 10 race-winners, and a further five podium-finishers.
Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne held his nerve at Brands Hatch to win a fifth MCE British Superbike crown. Broc Parkes set the fastest ever British Superbike lap on the Brands Hatch GP circuit in Q2 qualifying (1:24.769) on Pirelli’s Diablo Superbike Slick tyres.
Pirelli says tyre choice could be crucial as it heads to the 2016 MCE British Superbike Championship’s final meeting at Brands Hatch. With riders unanimously choosing the softer (SC0) rear Pirelli Diablo Superbike slick tyre at Brands in August, rubber selection for this weekend’s races may seem straightforward. However, Pirelli explains the track temperature, which was 40 degrees and perfect for the SC0 then, is likely to be much cooler. Leon Haslam and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne go head to head over three races at the GP circuit to decide the title.
With Shane Byrne, Leon Haslam and Jason O’Halloran already confirmed in the British Superbike Championship Showdown, this weekend’s triple header at Oulton Park will decide the final three Title Fighters as nine riders go head-to-head to secure their position. Pirelli will supply its softer rear (SC0) Pirelli Diablo Slick, expecting it to be the popular choice should conditions stay dry, on Oulton Park’s flowing, smooth asphalt. At the front, riders will have a choice of the softer SC1 tyre, or the harder SC2 favoured by the recent Cadwell Park winner Leon Haslam.
Pirelli will visit Cadwell Park and its spectacular “Mountain jump” this weekend. The challenging, undulating course, with a fast flowing first section (Coppice, Charlies, Park and Chris Curve) followed by a tight, technical section (Club Hairpin, Mountain, Hall Bends, Hairpin and Barn) means conflicting set-up requirements, while the choice of tyres is likely dependent on the weather.
Ian Hutchinson won the Supersport and Superstock categories on Metzeler’s road legal Metzeler Racetec RR tyres, developed through past road racing seasons. The tyre manufacturer’s products were fitted to the whole podium in both races, but it was Hutchinson’s imperious form that led to victories on his Team Traction Control Came BPT Yamaha YZF-R6 in Supersport and Tyco BMW S1000RR in the Superstock class.
Pirelli is looking forward to its visit to the shorter Indy configuration of the Brands Hatch circuit, as it supplies the rubber for the latest British Superbike Championship weekend. The circuit tests a rider’s prowess in qualifying, as one second can cover six rows of the grid, as Pirelli UK racing manager Jason Griffiths comments: “The Indy circuit at Brands Hatch never fails to produce close racing.”
Josh Brookes’ coronation as 2015 MCE British Superbike Champion at Brands Hatch was aided by the softer (SC0) Pirelli Diablo Superbike rear tyre at Brands Hatch. The Australian rider used the tyre to gain pole position and two race wins in different conditions, achieving fast laps beyond the mid-point in the races.
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. 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.