The DIABLO range of compound tyres for track use

Home Road Cars Tyres The DIABLO range of compound tyres for track use

In just a few years, motorbikes have reached very high technical levels in terms of mechanics and applied electronics. A comparable development in tyres followed suit. Today, Pirelli offers the opportunity to purchase competition compound tyres for track use resulting from the experience in world-class motorsports gathered over the years to professional and semi-professional riders, and track-day enthusiasts alike.

The DIABLO range of compound tyres for track use 01
The DIABLO range of compound tyres for track use 01

The Pirelli DIABLO™ compound tyre range consists of three types:

- DIABLO™ Superbike slicks
- DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC grooved
- DIABLO™ Rain specific for wet conditions.

All versions are all available in several versions, designed to best suit the various types of tarmac and the weather conditions that can be encountered on circuits worldwide, from hot to cold and rain. Each racing tyre family – Superbike, Supercorsa and Rain – has specific characteristics and comes in a variety of compounds. Let's have a closer look at their features and how to choose them.

The DIABLO range of compound tyres for track use 02
The DIABLO range of compound tyres for track use 02


The DIABLO™ Superbike tyres are at the top of the DIABLO™ range. They are the ultimate expression of Pirelli technology, the result of development closely linked to the experience gathered in the FIM Superbike World Championship where they have been used in the WorldSBK class since 2005. They are NHS slicks (the abbreviation stands for “Not for Highway Service”), i.e. intended exclusively for track use. Let's look at the characteristics of the front slick compounds. In this case, the choice depends on the rider's preferences and driving style, in other words, whether grip or stability is favoured. However, the tarmac temperature and the duration of the race are elements that cannot be overlooked.

SC1 (SOFT) compound - Front

It is the softest compound available for the front wheel and has been the benchmark option in recent years in the Superbike World Championship (plus several top national championships). It was developed to offer the best performance and driving precision, as well as the versatility of use.

SC2 (MEDIUM) compound - Front

It is an intermediate compound for greater support in the most demanding conditions. It is more responsive and offers quicker changes of direction. It has a greater grip at a maximum lean angle and absorbs the track bumps better.

SC3 (HARD) compound - Front

Offering more support than the SC2, it is more precise for quicker changes of direction. It provides the same grip as the SC2, if not more, and is more wear-resistant.

The compounds for the rear wheel

The rear wheel choice may be more “technical”, so to speak. Driving style, i.e. the rider's preference, still matters but is less critical. If a rear wheel is soft and wiggles a little, the feeling is not as decisive as for the front wheel. However, the temperature and aggressiveness of the tarmac and the duration of the race still count.

SCX (EXTRASOFT) compound - Rear, size 200/65

It is the softest in the range and is available for FIM Superbike World Championship riders. It is halfway between a qualifying compound and a soft race compound and is suitable for preparing (both the rider and the bike) for the qualifying tyre to be used in timed sessions.

SC0 (SOFT) compound - Rear

This soft compound transfers more thrust when opening the throttle out of corners. Newly formulated, it is more consistent over distance and is suitable for working in a wider temperature range than its predecessor, including critical (namely, cold) conditions.

SC1 (MEDIUM) compound - Rear

This is an intermediate compound that guarantees consistency of performance, especially in terms of grip.

SC2 (HARD) compound - Rear

It is an even harder compound than the previous one. It offers a better cornering grip, especially in maximum leaning conditions and allows strong acceleration. It provides more consistency over distance and is a very versatile solution from the point of view of operating temperatures.

DIABLO™ RAIN - in case of rain

They are specialised tyres for wet tracks and are available in two compound versions chosen according to temperature and type of tarmac.

SCR1 compound

It is used in low temperatures, when the tarmac temperature is below 15° C or in the case of particularly smooth surfaces. It offers a better grip than the SCR2 but at the expense of durability.

SCR2 compound

It is the compound of choice for warmer temperatures with the tarmac temperature exceeding 15° C, or in the case of particularly aggressive surfaces. That is why it is best when it has stopped raining and the track is drying out.

DIABLO™ SUPERCORSA SC - Grooved for track use

Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC grooved tyres were created for track use and designed with the experience gained in WorldSSP600 and WorldSSP300 competitions since 2007. They are dedicated to professional riders and enthusiasts seeking top performance on the circuit. These are also available in different compounds, which are chosen according to the weather conditions and the type of asphalt.

How to choose the compound

A SUPERCORSA SC tyre compound must be chosen by evaluating three equally important parameters:
- the aggressiveness of the tarmac
- the temperature of the tarmac
- the requested service time.

For rear tyre compounds, it is important to take into account that hot tarmac loses some of its natural mechanical grip because it becomes smoother and more slippery. In these conditions, a soft compound (such as SC0) can penetrate the track surface more and is necessary.

Cold tarmac, on the other hand, tends to be rougher, offering greater mechanical grip. This is indeed an advantage, but being more aggressive it can cause tearing of the tyre. Therefore, a compound with greater mechanical resistance (such as SC2 or SC3) should be chosen.

The criterion is not the same for front compounds because, in addition to the temperature and the roughness of the tarmac, other factors must be taken into account, such as the track configuration and, above all, the driver's driving style, specifically whether a softer tyre or a harder one that offers more support in the most critical braking sections is preferred.

In general, as the tarmac temperature increases, the compound tends to lose its compactness and rigidity sometimes causing problems with movement when leaning. In that case, it is better to use a stiffer compound such as the SC2.

Conversely, when the track is cold, the compound tends to stiffen up and this limits grip, with the possibility of understeer and stability problems when braking. In these conditions, using a soft compound, such as the SC1, is preferable.

The SC3 compound is the most versatile because it provides good performance and high mileage in all tarmac and track conditions. On the other hand, the best performance is achieved with softer compounds.