Pirelli debuts in Turkey for the eleventh round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship with development solutions in soft and medium compounds
For the debut of the production based championship in the land of Atatürk, the Italian tyre company provides Superbike and Supersport riders with tyres
designed to deal with the aggressive asphalt of the Intercity Istanbul Park
The eni FIM Superbike World Championship enters the final part of the season with four rounds still to go for the Superbike and three for the Supersport before the assignment of 2013 world titles. The location for the eleventh round of the season is the Intercity Istanbul Park circuit. This is the first ever visit to the circuit, and will feature the Superbike and Supersport classes only.
For Pirelli, this track is not completely unheard-of, the engineers of the brand with the long “P” have already been there in 2011 with the Formula 1® paddock. It will however be the first visit for the brand new 17-inch Diablo Superbike tyre as well as the Diablo Supercorsa SC tyres. These tyres will face a track known to be highly aggressive on the tyres without the possibility of carrying out the tests in the days before the round.
Precisely for this reason, and thanks also to the information acquired from Formula 1® and MotoGP™ races which have taken place on this track in the past, Pirelli has specifically designed two development solutions, one in an SC0 compound and the other in SC1, to allow riders to run without a performance sacrifice. They have been made by Pirelli engineers in an attempt to improve the thermal and mechanical properties and the grip of the standard SC0 and SC1 tyres. Following the same philosophy, a solution in soft compound has also been developed for Supersport class on the basis of feedback received after the Imola tests. The goal, in both classes, is to provide the riders with solutions for circuits featuring aggressive asphalt and usually characterized by relatively high temperatures, tyres that if deemed valid might be essential for other rounds on the calendar, firstly the Australian one.
The Intercity Istanbul Park circuit is located in south-eastern suburbs of the Turkish metropolis, on the Asian side and not far from the Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. It was designed by the famous track architect Hermann Tilke in a hilly area of the city so that the track offers many ups and downs and a varied route.
The track has seen his baptism on August 21, 2005 with the Turkish Formula 1® Grand Prix, then in October of the same year also hosted the first competition on two wheels with the MotoGP™ Grand Prix won by the current BMW Motorrad GoldBet BMW SBK rider, Marco Melandri.
Intercity Istanbul Park from a tyre point of view:
The Intercity Istanbul Park is a 5,338 metre track with a minimum width of 14 metres and a maximum of 21.5. It has a total of 14 curves, 6 right-handers and 8 left, and the track runs counter-clockwise with the pole position on the left. The length of the finish line straight is 655.5 metres, with the longest straight measuring 720 meters, the maximum corners radius is 15 metres and a maximum slope of 8.1%.
The Turkish track is a combination of pronounced gradients, technical curves and fast straights. Although its layout proves to be very smooth and perfectly suited to motorcycle races, its technical characteristics require a delicate compromise in the set-up of the bike, which should be nimble in the slow sections and stable in the fast ones. At the same time, the choice of tyres plays an important role.
The most technical and more complicated to manage is definitely Turn 8, nicknamed “Diabolic” it is in some ways similar to the Parabolic Curve of Monza, because of the speed achieved close to the entrance imposes on the tyres lateral force and a vertical load well above the average. Its distinctive feature is a circle made up of 3 corners, similar to the multi-apex sections of the old Nürburgring. In this curve, especially with the high temperatures expected for the period, there could be several problems of spinning, it will therefore be necessary to use a rear able to minimize the grip loss.
Another interesting point is the contrast between the very fast Turn 1 and the violent braking before the downhill chicane, part dubbed by some “the Turkish Corkscrew” in reference to the famous Corkscrew at Laguna Seca. It will be necessary to stabilize as much as possible, the limber to avoid pumping effects on the front, which could considerably compromise the precision in the flip-flop and in holding the trajectory. Also the traction of the rear tyre plays a key role to ensure good steering precision.
Notwithstanding what foregoing said, the use of a soft solution as SC0 is not free from risks. It must be considered that both the layout of the track and the composition of the asphalt, which has a high content of gravel material, could generate mechanical wear on the tyres. The use of mechanically protected solutions may be necessary, if the occurrence of uneven wear compromise the performance of the tyre.
In order to ensure a good level of performance, but also a high level of mechanical strength, the two rear prototypes S1190 and S1258 have been developed, the first particularly suitable for high temperatures, the second for medium temperatures .
Intercity Istanbul Park from a technical point of view:
“We know that Istanbul is a tough track for tyres, which is why we decided to develop ad-hoc solutions to meet the needs of grip and durability that a circuit like the Turkish one requires,” said Pirelli Moto Racing Director Giorgio Barbier “From the information we have it seems that the asphalt surface is particularly smooth and this could cause problems for the tyres grip and, consequently, of abnormal wear due to the constant pursuit of grip from the tyres. The layout of the track is by no means trivial, very fast curves such as turn 8 and 11 alternate slower and technical corners that require a good level of grip in particular on the tyre shoulder. The same Turn 8 is known to be a curve very technical and fast with three corners and a high speed of entrance. Add to this that in mid-September we will almost certainly find quite high track temperatures, that’s is why the sum of all these unknowns makes the Turkish circuit without doubt one of the most difficult to deal with from the tyre point of view. With the solutions we have developed both in the Superbike and Supersport we went in the direction of an improvement of the standard SC0 and SC1 as regards the thermal-mechanical properties but also the grip, moreover the solution S1259 of Supersport class sees the new profile experienced by riders during Imola tests and appreciated equally by Sam Lowes and Kenan Sofuoglu. If our efforts were to be effective then I do not exclude that these solutions can also be used on other circuits, similar in terms of effort required to tyres to the Turkish track, such as Phillip Island.”
Pirelli solutions for the Superbike and Supersport classes:
The Intercity Istanbul Park circuit will exclusively feature races from the Superbike and Supersport classes. For the eleventh round of the season Pirelli will bring a total of 3346 tyres to meet the needs of the riders.
Each Superbike rider will have, for the whole race weekend from Friday to Sunday, 35 front tyres and 40 rear; for the Supersport this quantity is 25 for the front and 29 for the rear.
There are three slick solutions available for the Superbike class riders at the front: in addition to the standard SC1 (R426) soft compound which has already featured in all rounds of 2013 and which maximizes the footprint and the “presence” of the front the standard SC2 (R982) of medium hardness, which has also been take to all rounds this year, is ideal for high ambient temperatures because it provides a solid tread strip. There will be the development SC2 R753 used at Phillip Island, Monza, Portimão, Imola and Moscow and is even more robust than the R982 and therefore more resistant to the aggressiveness of the asphalt.
At the rear, in addition to the 2 qualifier tyres per rider in supersoft compound, there will be four development slick solutions, two of which have never been used before. The softer one will be the SC0 S1190, that speaking about compound hardness is positioned in the area of SC0 and offers a superior grip than the SC1 but also higher mechanical-thermal resistance than that of the standard SC0. Two solutions instead in SC1 compounds, both of development: the S1258 that as a compound similar to the standard SC1 with the purpose of improving the thermal-mechanical properties and the grip, and the S514, which made its debut in Monza and has also been taken to Portimão, it uses the same compound of standard SC1 and the central section of the tyre reinforced. It has been developed with different structure and materials in order to keep operating temperatures particularly low.
The last solution available to the riders is the R1301, a development SC2 in hard compound already brought to Phillip Island and Silverstone, more robust and protected in case of low temperatures.
In addition to slick tyres, if necessary, the riders will be able to rely on intermediate tyres, 4 for the front and the same amount for the rear, and rain, in the amount of 8 for both the front and rear.
For the Supersport, there will be two slick solutions for the front and three for the rear, in addition to intermediate and rain tyres. At the front there are the two standard solutions already present in every round of 2013: SC1 in soft compound (P1177) is ideal for moderately severe circuits, and SC2 in medium compound (R1031), ideal for the more aggressive riders who prefer a compact tread band. At the rear instead the riders can choose between the new development solution S1259 with a compound that in terms of hardness is positioned in the area of SC0 and that comes from the Imola test using the new profile highly appreciated by riders during July tests. There will then be the standard SC1 R303, in medium compound and ideal for moderately severe circuits, which has already been taken to all rounds in 2013 and, as third and last option, the R1288, a development solution which was taken to Phillip Island only and is ideal for particularly aggressive asphalts.