Pirelli has been renewed as the Official Tire Supplier to the FIM Superbike World Championship after a new contract was signed between Pirelli and Infront Motor Sports.
The agreement secures Pirelli its current role in the World Championship as unique racing tire supplier for the four racing classes through the end of 2015.
Currently in its eighth year, the technical relationship began at the start of the 2004 season to increasing the competitiveness, quality and fairness amongst participating manufacturers, and as a way of reducing the overall cost of running the championship. This agreement follows on the heels of the renewed experience this year in Formula 1, where Pirelli was chosen as the Official Tire Supplier through 2013.
Pirelli continues to demonstrate with success its ability to supply high quality racing tyres matching the specific requests of the organizers, even extending this relationship with initiatives like the Pirelli Best Lap Awards to improve the overall show, the attractiveness of a live paddock, and the competitiveness amongst riders and teams whose increased choices play a significant role in tyre development.
Paolo Flammini (CEO of Infront Motor Sports) says: “We are delighted to be able to renew the contract with Pirelli until the completion of the 2015 season. Eight years of working together have provided results that go way beyond our highest expectations.
“Once again we can count on a tire supplier, whose commitment to the product, service and development is second to none. The presence of 7 manufacturers in World Superbike and full grids in all four classes requires a supplier who can guarantee total excellence from all points of view, and Pirelli have fully respected those guarantees, providing stability to the championships and contributing enormously to their success. We would like to thank them for their commitment and support and look forward once again to a long-term future together.”
“Pirelli is very happy to be chosen again as Official Tyre Supplier to World Superbike, the production-based world racing series which remains close to passionate fans. Our Diablo tyres’ performance and quality were key elements in helping Infront to again select us,” stated Uberto Thun, Business Unit Director for Pirelli Moto. “This new contract confirms our dedication to WSBK, to the sport’s competitiveness, and to a flexible but continued tyre development guaranteeing the best racing tyres are made available.”
Relevant value-adds regarding Pirelli’s role in World Superbike:
• Since Pirelli’s arrival as single tire supplier, the WSBK championship victor has been decided during the final round three times: in 2004, 2007 and 2009, and as well four times during the penultimate round. While only three manufacturers were successful in capturing the title over the 16 proceeding years as an open championship (pre-2004), in the 8 years of control tyre and amongst the 8 participating manufacturers (including Petronas), a total of 5 have captured the title in at least one season: Ducati, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha and Aprilia.
• In part due to continued improvements in tire performance, following the first season, average race time times have fallen year after year1: -0,2 secs (2005), -1,2 (2006), -0,8 (2007), -0,6 (2008), -0,7 (2009) and -0,2 (2010), resulting in an average reduction of race time of -0,4 secs per year for a total of -2.8 seconds. Superpole final qualifying times have quickened as compared previous years: 7 faster Superpoles in 2010, 8 in 2009, 8 in 2008, 8 in 2007, 9 in 2006 and 9 in 2005 (not considering new/modified circuits and wet Superpoles). Excluding any tracks modified from one year to the next, 21 track records have been registered at the 21 circuits on five continents where WSBK has raced.
• The role as tire supplier remains a significant technical effort for the Italian producer, with Pirelli having furnished a total of 212,633 racing tyres for the 2008-2010 seasons, a quantity comprised of 185 different solutions (compounds, profiles, sizes), and contributing to a total of 454 solutions during the contract period. Considering these solutions were amply used by an average of 20 riders per Superbike race, over a 100 km race distance during each of the two races per GP, Pirelli has obtained professional feedback on its Diablo Superbike slick tyres from over 775,000 competition kilometers. As well as meteorological conditions, temperature extremes remain the biggest challenge for tyre development, but Pirelli was able to develop solutions specifically for asphalt temperatures arriving to an extreme low of 6°C during Race 1 at Donington in 2011 and an extreme high of 58°C in Race 2 at Misano in 2008.
• Nearly 30 Pirelli patents have been derived from the experience SBK racing, ranging from contact patch technology (EPT), to tread designs and even compounding processes. Many of the recently introduced products such as the Diablo Rosso Corsa and the Diablo Rosso II have integrated elements of these technologies in order to offer the most advanced products to consumers for their use in everyday riding, whether on the track or the road.
The FIM Superbike World Championship and Pirelli have enjoyed sharing in the loyalty and growth of the championship’s spectators: close to 120,000 fans were present for the Brands Hatch in 2006 and Monza race in 2009, contributing to an the over 5,5 million live spectators who’ve attended at least one Superbike race over the last 8 years (2,6 million from 2008-2010). Many spectators in attendance come to witness wild cards entries from national champions in America, Australia, Canada, Italy or the UK compete in Superbike, some who became permanent riders the very next season.
Pirelli wishes to thank Infront Motor Sports for continuing this challenge and all of the many fans who continue to follow the World Championship, and looks forward to demonstrating its tyre performance wherever WSBK competes.