This past weekend during the second round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship, three riders were showing the ultimate grip of the spec-Pirelli tires in the series – Althea Ducati’s Carlos Checa, Kawasaki Racing’s Tom Sykes and Aprilia Racing’s Max Biaggi.
All three were awarded with Pirelli Best Lap Awards, with Sykes’ lap during the second race becoming the new Imola circuit record. During that blistering lap seven, Sykes posted a 1:47.552.
During the World Superbike races, the top three-finishes were exactly the same – Checa taking the win, followed by Sykes and BMW Motorrad’s Leon Haslam.
With three separate superbikes running consistent pace for two, 21-lap races, it shows the optimal design of the new Pirelli SC1 compound on the rear tire, which allowed for “slightly cooler temperatures.”
Following is some commentary from Giorgio Barbier, Racing Director Pirelli Moto, as he sums sums up the second round of the 2012 WSB Championship held at Imola‘s Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari circuit in Italy from the point of view of the championship’s official one-make tyre supplier:
Giorgio Barbier (Racing Director, Pirelli Moto) says: “In this first European race here at the Imola track we introduced the new Diablo Supercorsa SC tire for the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup which will be used this year only by the STK1000 riders. Then, starting from next year, it will also be used by the 600 class and by Supersport, as well as in the various national and open tire championships in which Pirelli participates.
“For the Superbike class we brought a new SC1 compound for the rear, developed specifically for medium-low temperatures, which was quite popular with the riders in both race 1 and race 2 as opposed to the standard SC1 tire. This leads us to believe that we have done a good job developing this tire. The other riders, also in light of the slightly cooler temperatures compared to the last few days, opted for the SC2 solution which is particularly suited for these situations where the asphalt temperature shifted from 11° in race 1 to 18° in race 2.
“Carlos Checa once again showed that he is very strong on his Ducati and that he is definitely a contender for the title again this year, but Tom Sykes on his Kawasaki and Leon Haslam on his BMW have also grown a lot and will certainly be chasing the defending World Champion.
“And we can’t forget Max Biaggi, who will be giving it his all right down to the end together with these three riders during the season. Having three different motorcycle manufacturers on the podium in both races and even five different manufacturers in the first five places for race 2 is very important for us because it means that we are working in the right direction to level the playing field for all the riders and manufacturers so that they can all aim for the title, making this a very heated Championship.
“Last, but not least, I would say that the crowds and the media here at Imola demonstrate how the Superbike Championship has grown significantly and we are certainly pleased by this as the sole supplier for the Championship through 2015.”
Pirelli Best Lap Awards:
- SBK Race 1 – Carlos Checa (Althea Racing), 1’47.877 (Lap 13)
- SBK Race 2 – Tom Sykes ( Kawasaki Racing Team), 1′ 47.552 (Lap 7)
- Total BEST LAP (SBK): Checa C. (Althea Racing): 2, Biaggi M. (Aprilia Racing Team): 1, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1
WSS Best Lap Awards:
- Parkes B. (Ten Kate Racing Products), 1’51.952 (Lap 9)
- Total BEST LAP (WSS): Foret F. (Kawasaki Intermoto Step): 1, Parkes B. (Ten Kate Racing Products), 1
Stk1000 Best Lap Award:
- Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad Italia Goldbet ), 1’51.551 (Lap 2)
Stk600 Best Lap Award:
- Nacho Calero Perez (Team Trasimeno), 1′ 54.481 (Lap 7)