After the unlucky event in Russia, Pirelli and the World Championship return to the English soil, which hosted a round in May at Donington Park, with the overall ranking hard fought in all classes
Pirelli, with its trucks loaded with tyres has gone through the English Channel for the second time this year and is now ready to get on track at Silverstone with the riders of all the classes which are part of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship.
After the fatal last round, which took place just a few kilometers from the Russian capital, saw only one Superbike race due to bad weather and to the terrible accident that occurred to Andrea Antonelli in the Supersport race, the Championship continues its path, entering the second half of the season with an overall ranking anything but closed in all classes.
In Superbike, thanks to the first place obtained in Race 1 in Moscow, Marco Melandri brings his BMW S1000 RR of the BMW Motorrad Superbike GoldBet team to just 32 points behind the leader, Aprilia Racing Team’s, Sylvain Guintoli. He leads the standings with 239 points closely followed by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) just 4 points behind.. With 7 rounds and 14 races remaining, the teammate of the leader, Eugene Laverty, with a 190 points and the other BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK rider, Chaz Davies, with 174 can both fight until the end. A greater gap for the other riders therefore seems they have less chances of winning the World title.
Even the constructors’ Championship is still open, with Aprilia leading with 300 points followed by Kawasaki at 267 and BMW with 262 points, further behind are Honda, Suzuki and Ducati. Meanwhile, the new 17-inch Diablo Superbike tyres continue to give satisfaction to teams and riders, whether they are in SC0 compound, the more powerful because it is able to offer more grip, or in SC1, which was used by all riders lined up on the grid in Moscow before the stop to mount the wet tyres.
In Supersport, 6 races to go and running with DOT treaded Diablo Supercorsa tyres, Sam Lowes on the Yamaha YZF R6 of the Yakhnich Motorsport team leads the standings with 140 points, followed by the MAHI Racing Team India riders on Kawasaki ZX-6R, the Turkish Kenan Sofuoglu on 106 points and Frenchman Fabien Foret on 85 points. Kawasaki leads the constructors’ championship with 155 points closely followed by Yamaha 7 points behind and Honda at 51, these are followed by MV Agusta, Suzuki and Triumph.
Only 5 races still to play for the riders of the Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600, in addition to Silverstone, where there will be two races, there will be one race held at Nürburgring, Magny Cours and Jerez. In the 1000 class, the Frenchman Sylvain Barrier (BMW Motorrad GoldBet STK) is leading with 95 points but the Italian Niccolò Canepa (Barni Racing Team) at 83, Frenchman Jeremy Guarnoni (MRS Kawasaki) at 70 and Eddi La Marra (Barni Racing Team) with 69 points can still claim the title and fight until the end. In 600 Duwelz Gauthier (MTM Racing MVR-Team) dominates the standings with 84 points followed by Franco Morbidelli (Team San Carlo Italian) at 74, Tony Coveña (Nito Racing) at 65 and Bastien Chesaux (EAB Ten Kate Junior Team) at 64.
The results achieved by the riders of the Superstock classes, considering the lap times compared to the Superbike riders, are even more relevant if you consider that in the 1000 class, riders run throughout the year with Diablo Supercorsa tyres in SC2 compound on the front and the rear, while in the 600 they run with SC1 on the front and SC2 on the rear.
The Silverstone circuit, the next destination of the Championship, is in England, in the county of Northamptonshire, about 120 kilometers north-west of London, and was built on a plateau often characterized by wind as well as particularly variable weather conditions. In reality what is now one of the most famous tracks in the world and home to internationally renowned motorcycle and car competitions initially was not born with this purpose. Silverstone was created during World War II in 1943 as a military airport with three runways arranged to form a triangle. In 1948, at the end of the war, the Royal Automobile Club understood that the area could be adapted to create a circuit and so on October 2 1948 the first event was held, the RAC Grand Prix. At the beginning, the track used its three runways connecting them together with turns, then the perimeter roads started to be used forming a circuit whose configuration would remain almost that for nearly four decades.
Over the years, the circuit undergoes some changes but it’s in the early 90s that major changes are made to limit the traveling speed. Meanwhile, the track is resurfaced in 1997 and in 1998 the kerbs of the track, which are now white and red, are colored for the first time. In the 2011 season is finally built a new and larger paddock.
Silverstone from a tyre point of view:
The Silverstone track is 5902 meters long and has 11 turns to the right and 7 on the left, the start is on the left side for the rider in pole position.
Silverstone is a long and quite complicated track for the riders, it offers a combination of high-speed straights, with high localized pressures in the center of the front tyre (in particular at the Stowe), interspersed with very technical and fast turns, which generate intense loads on the side (like at the Beckett) and high levels of spinning. These features, combined with the presence of multiple dips on the asphalt and to medium-low mechanical grip of the English asphalt and to the abrasive asphalt of the circuit, play a key role in the choice of tyres.
The correct rear solution should then be able to balance abrasion resistance, the grip of the compound, belt compactness when traveling and acceleration boost. As per last year when two SC1 tyres have been used to complete the race without problems, this year the central product among the available solutions will be the SC1 in his new 17-inch dress. There will also be the new version more compact and faster in response to acceleration, already seen in Moscow, and a solution similar to the SC2 of range, with high mechanical strength, in order to exclude any problem related to abrasion and wear.
The presence of bumps and violent brakings are instead key aspects for the front. The softness of the belt will really help to better copy road irregularities and to hold a more precise trajectory, however a more robust and solid tyre must be used if any excessive crushing and movements in the tread will arise. The front range of SC1 and SC2 will be able to fully satisfy both the needs described.
Silverstone from a technical point of view:
“This is the tenth year that the World Superbike circus returns to Silverstone, in fact we have raced on this track from 2002 to 2007 and then, after a two years break, all the years from 2010 to date, also we race with the riders of the British Superbike Championship of which we are unique supplier as for the Superbike World Championship, so it is definitely a circuit we know well” said Racing Director of Pirelli Moto Giorgio Barbier “the biggest question mark will be certainly made up by the weather that, as usual in England, is highly variable and may hide some surprises during summer. By the way we are quite confident because with the solutions brought we are able to deal with the asphalt of the English circuit in both dry and wet conditions without any particular difficulty. Both the Superbike and Supersport have for the rear an SC1 solution alternative to that of the range, both designed with the aim to better resist the tearing and therefore have less wear even if used with rather low temperatures in which the standard SC1 could be more exposed to the cold tearing. Our goal from now on is to test whether these two SC1 development solutions, respectively R1431 for Superbike and R1591 for Supersport, are providing the same performance compared to standard SC1s while simultaneously broadening the spectrum of use, if so then they could become the new SC1 of 2014 range.”
Pirelli solutions for the Superbike and Supersport classes:
4609 the tyres brought by Pireli across the Channel for the second round on English soil, enough to cover the needs of teams and riders of all classes also in case of rain. Specifically, 1212 is the amount of tyres destined for Superbike riders, 1715 of those are assigned to the Supersport, 704 of those for the riders of the Superstock 1000 and 756 for Superstock 600, on top of these there are other 222 for the young talents of the European Junior Cup.
Each Superbike rider will have for the entire race weekend 29 front tyres and 35 rear, whereas for the Supersport the amount is 25 front and 24 rear.
The riders in the Superbike class will have 2 slick solutions for the front and 3 for the rear, joined as always by 2 rear qualifiers per rider and the intermediate solutions, 4 for the front and as many for the rear, as well as 8 wet tyres for the front and 8 for the rear.
On the front, Pirelli brings the standard SC1 solution (R426) in a soft compound – ideal for low external temperatures and/or medium harsh tracks, as well as the standard SC2 (R982), excellent for high external temperatures because it guarantees a solid tread strip. Both solutions have been already brought to all rounds raced this year.
The solutions for the rear include the new development solution R1431 in SC1 compound which was brought for the first time to Imola and which have been used by all the riders lined up on the grid in Russia. It’s a tyre designed with the goal of providing higher tear resistance but equal grip compared to the standard SC1. To better evaluate the performance of this new solution at Silverstone there will be also the SC1 of range (R828) already present in the first three rounds and at Imola and which have been used by all riders at Motorland Aragón. Last slick option for the rear is the R1301, an SC2 development tyre brought this year only to Australia but never used, should be ideal when temperatures are expected to be particularly low because it’s more protected from the cold tearing.
For Supersport riders will have 2 solutions for the front and the same for the rear, also in this case joined by intermediate and full rain tyres. On the front once again riders will be able to choose between the two solutions of range which have been already brought to every round this year: the SC1 in soft compound (P1177) ideal for medium harsh tracks and the SC2 in medium compound (R1031), ideal for aggressive riders who prefer a compact tread strip.
For the rear, there will be the standard SC1 R303 in medium compound and ideal for medium harsh tracks, which have been already brought in the first eight rounds of 2013, and as a second option the R1591, a new solution in SC1 compound which should provide the same performance of the standard SC1 range together with a greater resistance to tearing.
Last but not least, the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup and the Superstock 600 UEM European Championship this year use the same tyres which have been used last year by the Supersport class, the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC.
Unlike the Supersport class where they are used in sizes 120/70-17 front and 180/60-17 rear, with different solutions compounds to which development solutions can be added during the year, in the Superstock 1000 the new Diablo Supercorsa SC are used exclusively in SC2 compound both at 120/70-17 front and at 200/55-17 rear while for the Superstock 600 are only available in SC1 for 120/70-17 front and SC2 for 180/60-17 rear.
The European Junior Cup Honda CBR500Rs will be shod with Diablo Supercorsa SC1 on the front and SC2 for the rear.
The 2012 Pirelli statistics for Silverstone:
• Total number of Pirelli tyres brought: 4651
• Number of solutions (dry, intermediate, wet and qualifier only for rear) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 6 rear
• Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 5 rear
• Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 34 front and 35 rear
• Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 24 front and 28 rear
• Superbike Best Lap Awards won by Ayrton Badovini (BMW Mottorad Italia Goldbet), in 2’06.764 (Race 1, 6th lap) and Loris Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team) in 2’24.324 (Race 2, 6th lap)
• Supersport Best Lap Awards won by: Jules Cluzel (PTR Honda) in 2’09.313 (6th lap)
• Temperature in Race 1: air 17° C, asphalt 27° C
• Temperature in Race 2: air 19° C, asphalt 34° C
• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli tyres: 301,1 km/h, Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Motorsport) in Race 1 on the 4th and 6th lap and Michel Fabrizio (BMW Mottorad Italia Goldbet) in Race 1 on the 12th lap