Pirelli & Ducati 1199 Abu Dhabi Launch

2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale

Following the introduction of the new P Zero tires at the end of January for the 2012 Formula 1 season, just a few weeks later the boys from Pirelli return to the Yas Marina circuit in the United Arab Emirates capital.

But there were no cars involved; this time Pirelli was there supporting the press launch for the new Ducati superbike, the 1199 Panigale, which will soon be available on the market with the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP (Sport Production) tires as original equipment.

The newest member of the Diablo family, introduced for the first time at EICMA 2011 in the first flagship Store Pzero Moda which opened last September in Milan, will shoe the Italian red fury 1199 in sizes of 120/70 ZR17 for the front and 200/55 ZR17 for the rear.

The tires will also be exclusively used starting this year in the SC compound (Special Compound) version by Superstock 1000 FIM Cup riders.

There were two top notch testers at 1199 Panigale press launch going on this week: three time World Superbike Champion Troy Bayliss and Ducati Vehicle Technical Director Andrea Forni, both of whom were able to test the performance of the Diablo Supercorsa tires in the race replica SP version, also adapted for daily street use, and the SC compound version which will be used this year by all the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup riders.

Together with Pirelli riders and other Ducati testers, the two Ducati gurus rode lap after lap, fully enjoying the spectacular performance of the Diablo Supercorsa shod Panigale.

First to speak was the enthusiastic Australian Bayliss, who won the World Superbike Championship riding the bikes from the Borgo Panigale based manufacturer in 2001, 2006 and 2008.

Troy Bayliss says: “Simply excellent tires. If the SP version won me over with the fluid neutrality that accompanies each manoeuvre, even the most extreme ones, the SC2 compound version brought me back to an absolute total racing feel. I know Pirelli quality well, but this time they’ve managed to astonish me. Good job, Pirelli!”

A much appreciated feature is the extraordinary capacity to attack curves in braking with extreme neutrality until reaching the apex, guaranteeing grip and an absolute level of stability in the subsequent acceleration phases.

These are characteristics which Troy Bayliss skilfully took advantage of in spectacular test runs on both the standard version of the bike shod with Diablo Supercorsa SP and on the Kit bike with the SC2 version.

And engineer Forni’s opinion confirms Bayliss’ comments: “The new Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres in this 200/55 version are without a doubt the best street legal racing tyres in the world at the moment and I must say the best that I have ever had the opportunity to test in my career.”

Pirelli decided to introduce this new tire gradually into the top racing world with only the SC2 compound version which will be used in Superstock 1000 FIM Cup starting this year and only in sizes 120/70 ZR17 for the front and 200/55 ZR17 for the rear as standard original equipment on the 1199 Panigale and already available on the market as a replacement tire.

At the beginning of 2013 Pirelli will expand the SP street range with 180/55, 190/50 and 190/55 sizes for the rear and will make the SC0 and SC1 compounds available for the SC version as well as 150/60, 160/60, 180/55, 180/60, 190/55 sizes for the rear and 110/70 for the front in order to extend use of the new tyre to national championships.

Claudio Domenicali (Ducati Motor Holding General Director) says: “The journalists who tested the bike are very satisfied with the features and performance of the 1199 Panigale. Great credit certainly also goes to the tyres that Pirelli developed in close cooperation with Ducati.

“The new Diablo Supercorsa SP demonstrated performance and extremely high and consistent riding levels even in the difficult conditions represented by a demanding track and high test temperatures like the ones at Yas Marina. These are difficult conditions that, together with the particular asphalt grade brought out the quality of the tires even more. This is even more confirmation of just how effective the cooperation between Ducati and Pirelli is in setting increasingly high levels of quality.”

And fresh proof of this excellent cooperation between the manufacturer from Borgo Panigale and the Pirelli research and development division is the fact that Pirelli received the Best Product Innovation Award on Nov. 7.

Ducati awards this honour to the most innovative supplier of the year, this year for the excellent work done in developing the Scorpion Trail tire for Ducati Multistrada and the Diablo Rosso II in the new 240/45 size for the Ducati Diavel.

Uberto Thun-Hohenstein
(Senior Vice President of the Pirelli Motorcycle Business Unit) says: “The new Diablo Supercorsa SP is certainly the highest performance street legal racing tyre ever designed by Pirelli, and the signals we are receiving from Abu Dhabi confirm the excellent work that our research and development has done, successfully improving a product, the Diablo Supercorsa, that so far has won 65 victories in 18 countries in national and international open tire championships.

“We are also very proud of the solid and lasting technological and development partnership with Ducati who, after the tyres for Multistrada, Diavel and Streetfighter 848, are providing us with great satisfaction even with this new product which confirms Pirelli’s leadership in the premium segment and its constant commitment to investing in innovation.”

The new Diablo Supercorsa SC in compound and destined only for competition is the evolution of Pirelli’s most victorious supersport racing product into an even higher performance tyre designed to hold precise racing lines on straight stretches as well as bends. It provides a profile which favours handling, better wear in racetrack use, incomparable grip and unprecedented racing performance.

In the street version used by the 1199 Panigale, the Diablo Supercorsa SP is a concentration of technology which draws from Pirelli’s racing experience and heritage as sole supplier of the World Superbike Championship since 2004, based on an ideal procedure of transferring sport technology to high performance street legal products.

This street tire, designed for professional riders and for bikers who have a sport street riding style but also love the track, provides racing performance typical of track-only products, allowing the user to have one ultra high performance product that can be used on the street or the track without having to make compromises. Compared to the compound version, the Diablo Supercorsa SP offers a bi-compound rear tyre in order to better adapt to street use, as well as more regular wear which favours mileage.

Both the Diablo Supercorsa versions (SP and SC) have a new profile on the front and rear which, compared to the 190/55 version, for example, is taller with about 2 mm more cord and about 4 mm more central diameter for greater support during braking and to make riding more intuitive and holding the line more precise.

In particular, the new 200/55 size is the widest ever mounted on a street legal Ducati Superbike and the rear tyre has been completely redesigned and developed to increase the contact area and have more grip while leaning. The harmony of the front and rear profiles therefore ensures greater handling and agility.

The rear 200/55 size of the Diablo Supercorsa SP implements a bi-compound solution in order to permit both increased mileage and more grip while leaning. EPT (Enhanced Patch Technology) has also made it possible to use 23% more soft compound in the shoulder area (compared to the previous Diablo Supercorsa SP version) which now accounts for the 33% of the pattern extension on each side, guaranteeing better grip in mid to full lean. Finally, new polymers used for the SP compound helps achieving an earlier warp-up and improved grip in all conditions.

The performance of the compounds is further enhanced by the new and aggressive single element tread pattern, which revolves six times on the tyre surface. The result is that the “naked” area of the slick shoulders is 24% wider compared to the previous Diablo Supercorsa, increasing contact area and grip. The long longitudinal grooves, expanding from the central area to the shoulder, improve wear regularity especially under severe usage and helps draining the water lying on the ground.

The solutions adopted for the compound (soft compound area 23% larger) and the tread (greater extension of the slick area on the shoulders) guarantee a significant increase in grip and traction, allowing the motorcycle to maintain a higher speed during leans. However, this made it necessary to use a new structure, derived directly from the ones used in competition and able to provide greater resistance to deformation.

This is why the Diablo Supercorsa SP rear tyre now has a carcass made from an innovative high module fibre, patented by Pirelli and developed in WSBK, with a considerably lower deformation ratio than the fibre normally used in street tires.

The result is a new carcass which is more rigid, both at the centre and in the shoulder area. This provides greater resistance to the stress created by aggressive cornering or when accelerating early out of turns with the bike still in a leaning position. The new carcass helps the bike achieve better performance each time the weight shifts from the front to the rear and vice versa, a characteristic which is even more evident as the lean angle increases.

And last, but not least, Diablo Supercorsa SP lets you personalise your tire with special rubber labels that can be applied to dedicated spaces on the front and rear sidewalls. Each rider can create a completely customized label for these spots on the Pirelli web site and have them delivered directly to their door (service available in Europe and Australia).