Pirelli will remain the official tire supplier for all classes of the Superbike World Championship through the 2018 season. Now in its 11th year, the partnership between Dorna-held SBK and the Italian manufacturer, which also outfits Formula 1, is said to be the longest running for any spec-tire supplier in the history of international motorsports. Since 2004, Pirelli has delivered nearly 3-quarters of a million tires to 24 SBK circuits, including US tracks Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Miller Motorsports Park, in 16 countries for a total of 268 races. With the current Diablo range, Pirelli has introduced 13 new products, including the latest 17-inch Superbike tires, which replaced long-used 16.5-inch rubber last season.
“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,” Pirelli’s Giorgio Barbier said. “Some feared the quality of the races, as well as that of the tires, would be affected. Pirelli has been able to show that, if well managed, the single-tire supply not only allows developments but also permits us to contribute in an important way to the show.” SBK Sporting Director Gregorio Lavilla earned 12 SBK podiums during his racing career. “The consistency in the technical support at the races and professional development away from track provide competitive racing and year-on-year improvement in lap times,” he said. According to Pirelli, the average elapsed race time has come down 0.7 seconds each year.