Pirelli Motorcycle Tire Racing NewsIn 2014, Pirelli will continue to be involved in many national and international motorcycle racing activities both on track and off-road, while remaining faithful to the strong sporting spirit that has always characterized the Italian tire brand.
The Pirelli racing season this year opened on January 4 in Anaheim, United States, with the first round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross an FIM World Championship of which, as recently announced, the Italian tire company is an official “motorcycle tire” sponsor for the period 2014-2016, as well as the official tire supplier for teams Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX and BTO Sports-KTM. In 2013 Pirelli triumphed in Supercross competition in the Australian National Championship.Pirelli also continues its commitment as sole tire supplier for all classes of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, which kicks off on February 23 in Australia. Pirelli has been present in factory derived racing right from the start of the Championship since the 1980s.This season will mark 11 consecutive years for the Milanese company as sole tire supplier to the series, a unique experience which gives the brand the record of longest running and most successful control-tire supplier in the history of motorsports at an international level.This year for the first time ever, in the premier class, which sees the presence of 8 motorcycle manufacturers already confirmed, the series will see the Superbike EVOs on the grid, while Pirelli will give its own contribution to maintain the high competitiveness of the Championship.From asphalt to off road, the commitment of Pirelli does not change: in the FIM Motocross World Championship, in which the Italian tire company can boast 60 World titles, the SCORPION™ tires will support many of the participating riders, including 6 times World Champion Tony Cairoli and the new MX2 Champion Jeffrey Herlings. Together with Pirelli, both are already winners in their respective classes in the World Championship over the past two years. This year, the FIM Motocross World Championship starts on March 1 in Qatar and includes 18 rounds.Pirelli will also take part in the FIM Endurance World Championship, which kicks off on April 26 in France at the historic circuit of Magny-Cours with the Bol d’Or. For two consecutive years Pirelli has won the “Master of Endurance”, which includes the two 24 Hours (Le Mans and Bol d’ Or). Pirelli has also achieved four consecutive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Moto and triumphed at the Bol d’Or in 2012 and 2013, thanks to the fruitful collaboration with the Kawasaki SRC team.Pirelli will also be engaged in many competitions at a local level, both as sole tire supplier and in ‘open tire’ classes. After the historic transition from 16.5-inch tires to the higher performing 17 inch tires successfully introduced for the first time in the FIM Superbike World Championship last year, Pirelli has decided to provide all the national Superbike championships in which it is the sole supplier with its new DIABLO Superbike 17-inch tires.This starts with the British Superbike Championship (including the Supersport, Superstock 600/1000, Triumph Triple Challenge and Ducati 848 Challenge), where the Italian tire company has proudly partnered with since 2008. The riders of the British Championship will take to the track for the first round at Brands Hatch on April 18.Pirelli’s commitment as a unique tire supplier is also confirmed for the Stock 600 class of the Italian Championship (CIV) as well as the Honda Cup, the Pirelli 600 category of France Superbike, Canadian Superbike and Supersport classes, and Brazil Superbike Series. Pirelli will also be providing sole supply for the Superstock 1000 Cup in South Africa and in Costa Rica, the Supersport Series in Malaysia, the BMW CUP in Spain and Germany, the Aprilia Cup in Poland, the R125 Cup in the Netherlands and the 250 Cup of Taiwan. And now for the first time, Pirelli will also be the sole supplier of the Australian Superbike Championship in 2014.Thanks to the know-how and knowledge obtained in the control tire Championships, Pirelli has always had a leading role in open tire championships and competitions as well. In 2013, for example, Pirelli won in the IDM Superbike (German National Championship) in Germany – with 11 wins out of 16 races in the Superbike class, all 16 races in the Supersport class and the Stock 1000 class.In the FSBK (French National Championship) it triumphed in the top class with 10 wins out of a total of 13 races, whereas in the Italian National Championship (CIV) it achieved success by winning 8 out of 10 races in the Superbike class and 10 out of 10 races in the Supersport class.In addition, Pirelli has won the Superbike class of the Belgian, Czech, Polish, Austrian, Cypriot and Finnish Championships, as well as in the Supersport class of Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, New Zealand, Finland, in the Alpe Adria Championship and East European Championships. All in all Pirelli won 31 titles last season in the open tire national championships in Superbike, Supersport and Superstock classes – a record that Pirelli wants to match and exceed in 2014.Giorgio Barbier (Pirelli Moto Racing Director) says: “With the recently signed agreement for the sponsorship of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, our commitment in two-wheel racing activities now covers almost all the major motorcycle competitions.“2013 has been a successful year for us, not only in the championships in which we are the sole supplier but also in the open tire ones. This shows how the control tire formula, when implemented correctly, offers benefits to the involved championships as well as to Pirelli who can develop innovative products that are not afraid of open tire competitions.“We are ready for the new challenges that await us in 2014 and we will continue to work in order to improve our products, both for the riders who use them all over the world, as well as for all motorcyclists who have confidence in us daily by fitting Pirelli tires to their motorcycles.”
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.