Pirelli’s relationship with the World Superbike Championship started in 2004 and will carry on through 2018, as the Italian company will continue to supply tires for every class of the championship. What follows is the official Pirelli press release.
Pirelli has been confirmed as the Official Tire Supplier for all classes of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship having won the tender organized by Dorna, promoter and organizer of the World Championship, in agreement with the FIM, the International Motorcycling Federation.
The agreement confirms Pirelli in its current role of sole tire supplier for all the classes of the FIM Superbike World Championship until the end of the 2018 season.
Starting in the 2004 season, and now in its eleventh year, the technical partnership established between Pirelli, the teams and riders of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship can today boast the record of the longest running control tire supplier in the history of motorsports at international level. Established with the primary purpose to reduce the overall cost of running the championship, the single tire formula proposed by Pirelli has steadily increased quality and competitiveness, enabling all the riders, teams and motorcycle manufacturers participating to compete for success in the Championship.
This renewal confirms the leading role in motorsport played by Pirelli – which since 2010 has been the Exclusive Tire Supplier for the FIA Formula One World Championship®. This represents a strong continuity with the business strategy that has enabled the Italian tire company to establish itself as a benchmark in the Premium segment as well as in racing and supersport tire production.
Uberto Thun-Hohenstein, Senior Vice President of Pirelli’s Business Unit Moto, said: “Pirelli is proud of this confirmation as Official Tire Supplier for the top Championship for production derived motorcycles. It is a partnership that has lasted successfully for over a decade thanks to the constant commitment and well-finished service of our racing team that goes to the track every weekend to support the teams and the riders. The quality of our tires is appreciated not only by the riders but by many motorcyclists all over the world who, thanks to the participation of Pirelli in this championship, have been able to rely on everyday more high performing products. These are all key elements that have certainly influenced in a positive way the choice of Dorna to select us once more as official supplier till 2018.”
“We are glad to continue with Pirelli for the next three seasons. This renewal testifies our excellent relationship with the Italian company, a partnership for more than a decade that has always been strong with both the International Motorcycling Federation and the promoter and organizer of the series, and is clear evidence of Pirelli’s ongoing and constant ability to innovate and to offer products at the forefront of technology,” added Javier Alonso, WSBK Executive Director.
The role of Exclusive Tire Supplier of the FIA Formula One World Championship and the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, in addition to the important efforts in the Rally, Motocross and Endurance World Championships, as well as the most important two and four wheel motor competitions, demonstrates the passion and dedication that Pirelli has always placed in sporting activities, confirming an important feature of the DNA of this Italian company.
Giorgio Barbier, Racing Activities Director of Pirelli’s Business Unit Moto and Head of Superbike project for the Milanese Company since 2001, pointed out: “When we first believed in the single tire supplier solution to reduce the cost of motorcycle racing, the idea was not accepted by everyone in a positive way. They were reluctant and some feared that the quality of the races as well as that of the tires would have been affected. This has not been the case. In more than a decade Pirelli has been able to show that, if well managed, the single tire supply not only allows the tire manufacturer to make developments and make available to all motorcyclists unrivalled products, but also permits us to contribute in an important way to the show offered by the Championship.”
“After Superbike, other championships such as Rally, FIA Formula One World Championship and MotoGP have chosen this solution and other tire manufacturers that until recently were the fiercest opponents of the control tire, in the end changed idea. We are happy to have been the forerunners in this direction having understood how the competition could offer an advantage over our competitors through the transfer of technology from track to road. We will continue to strive to offer teams and riders of the Superbike World Championship, as well as all motorcyclists, tires with more performance, using the strong philosophy that has always supported us in these years: We sell what we race, we race what we sell!”
Gregorio Lavilla, WSBK Sporting Director: “The consistency in the technical support provided by the brand with the long “P” at the races with their presence in the paddock and their professional development away from track provides the competitive racing and the year on year improvement in terms of lap times that we have seen over the years. The continuation also provides both teams and riders with confidence in making further steps forward in the next three years.”
Pirelli in the WSBK and two wheels competitions:
In over a decade of participation as Official Tire Supplier, the eni FIM Superbike World Championship has enabled Pirelli to develop products which are highly appreciated by the riders and motorcyclists from all over the world. Establishing Pirelli as the undisputed market leaders.
Since 2004 up to now, the Italian tire company has brought on Superbike racetracks a total of 715,213 racing tires, developing 661 solutions during the contract period.
In 11 years, Pirelli has raced in 24 circuits (Aragòn, Assen, Brands Hatch, Brno, Donington Park, EuroSpeedway Lausitz, Imola, Istanbul Intercity Park, Laguna Seca, Losail, Jerez de la Frontera, Kyalami, Magny-Cours, Misano Adriatico, Monza, Mosca, Nürburgring, Oschersleben, Phillip Island, Portimão, Salt Lake City, Sepang, Silverstone, Valencia, Vallelunga) from 16 Countries for a total of 268 races.
The development work carried out by Pirelli together with the production derived Championship riders has no equal: in fact, the range of Pirelli racing tires have travelled a total of more than 1 million kilometers in races with often extreme temperatures (from 6 to 60 Celsius degrees).
Since the beginning of the collaboration between Pirelli and the FIM Superbike World Championship, the final standings of the championship was decided five times in the last round (in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2013) and five times in the penultimate (in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011). Showing how since the entrance of the Italian company in the production derived series, the show and also the competitiveness has grown.
In the Open Championship (pre-2004) only three manufacturers were able to earn the title in more than 16 years, during the Pirelli control-tire years 6 of 10 motorcycle manufacturers won at least one title: Ducati, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, Aprilia and Kawasaki.
The intensive development implemented by Pirelli has allowed a steady improvement, year after year, with the performances offered by the tires resulting in an average reduction of race time of 0.7 seconds per year.
Many patents and innovations present in the tires used daily by motorcyclists from all over the world are derived from the experience of Pirelli in the FIM Superbike World Championship. The Pirelli DIABLO range in a decade has launched 13 successful products: DIABLO Superbike (2005), DIABLO Rain (2005), DIABLO Wet (2005), DIABLO Strada (2005), DIABLO Corsa III (2006), DIABLO Supercorsa SC (2007), DIABLO Supercorsa SP (2008), DIABLO ROSSO (2008), Diablo Superbike PRO (2009), DIABLO ROSSO Corsa (2010), DIABLO ROSSO II (2011), DIABLO Supercorsa SC V2 (2012) and DIABLO Supercorsa SP V2 (2012). Products that have always laid down the guidelines in their respective segments, winning the comparative tests of the most prestigious magazines in the world and establishing themselves as market benchmarks.
Just to stay true to the philosophy that has always characterized the commitment and strategy of Pirelli in the FIM Superbike World Championship, that is the use not of prototype tires but standard ones which are sold on the market, in 2013 Pirelli, the first in history, abandoned 16.5 inches DIABLO Superbike tires for the new 17-inch size, a size most commonly used by motorcyclists.
Thanks to the know-how and experience achieved in the top production derived Championship, Pirelli was able to become the control tire formula in many national championships, including the British Superbike Championship, the Superstock 600 class of the Italian Championship (CIV) and the Honda Cup, the Pirelli 600 class in the France Superbike, the Superbike Series Brasil, the Stock 1000 Cup of South Africa and Costa Rica, the Supersport Series in Malaysia in addition to the BMW CUP in Germany and Spain, the Aprilia Cup in Poland, the R125 Cup in Holland and the 250 Taiwanese Cup. From 2014 Pirelli is also the sole supplier of the Australian Superbike Championship.
The strong commitment placed in the control tire championships however, has not deprived Pirelli of carving out a leading role also in open tire championships and competitions. Among these, just to name a few, the CIV (Italian Championship), the Superbike IDM (German National Championship) and the FSBK (French National Championship), in addition to the Belgian, Czech, Polish, Austrian, Cypriot, Finnish, Dutch, Spanish, Bulgarian, Romanian, Serbian, New Zealander championships, as well as in the Alpe Adria Championship and East European Championship.