Portimão (Portugal),

After the tests in August, Pirelli brings a new SCX solution to Portimão for the tenth round of the FIM Superbike World Championship

In the spectacular Portuguese circuit all the classes of the World Championship are back on the scene with all the world titles still up for grabs

After having successfully completed the tests carried out in August at Portimão, Pirelli returns to the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve to face the tenth round of the 2019 MOTUL FIM World Superbike Championship.For the occasion, the Italian tyre company will debut a new SCX solution which, compared to the SCX solutions seen in action so far, uses a reinforced structure while maintaining an extremely soft and high performing compound.

In Portimão, after the absence of the Supersport categories in Laguna Seca, all the classes are back on the stage and, with four rounds remaining , the Championships are more open than ever with all the world titles still up for grabs.

The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, commonly known as the Portimão circuit, was designed by architect Ricardo Pina and was inaugurated in 2008. It is 4592 metres long with 9 right-handers and six left-hand corners and a configuration with a maximum gradient of 57 metres, a long turn radii that goes from 23 metres to a maximum of 207 metres, and a finishing straight which has a total length of 835 metres.Despite the fact that the asphalt is outdated, this track remains one of the circuits that best brings out the capacity of the tyre to operate in extremely different conditions because of its altitude changes and demanding blind entry curves. The rear tyre has to cope with considerable temperature fluctuations and undergoes few but intense mechanical/thermal stresses, while the front tyre is always engaged in slow turns with a quick entry into tight corners which forces the rider to brake sharply, sometimes downhill.The most challenging part for the tyres is the last turn which is 350 metres long and takes 6.5 seconds to navigate, and due to the wide turning radius (about 150 metres), the bike is in constant acceleration and goes from 150 to 250 kph at a lean angle of about 50°. The result is a significant increase in the temperature on the side of the tyre affected by the lean, particularly for the rear tyre which must withstand a high temperature while remaining stabile and allowing the bike to accelerate. High running times and prolonged lean angles can therefore generate high wheelspin and significant temperature peaks. The weakening of the compound due to heat, even with a now-worn asphalt, causes significant levels of material removal from the tyre shoulder.Corners 5, 8, 11, 13, and 14 have on the contrary a very tight radius (about 30 metres), which forces the rider to brake to an extremely low speed. Halfway through the turn the bike needs the rear tyre, which is very cold, to provide strong longitudinal acceleration up to 1G at a lean angle of 50°. The tyres are particularly cold, especially coming into the left handers (numbers 5 and 13).

The solutions for the WorldSBK and WorldSSP classes:

Pirelli brings to Portimão a total of 3482 tyres necessary to cover the needs of all three classes of the Championship in the event of dry, wet and mixed weather conditions.

The WorldSBK class will continue to use only 125/70 front and 200/65 rear tyres. In total, there will be six slick solutions available to riders, two front and four rear.For the front, Pirelli offers the standard SC1 in 125/70 and soft compound and the development SC2 X1071 in medium compound.There are two rear race options, both in soft compound: the standard SC0 in 200/65 is in fact joined by the development X1351, which debuted at Jerez and uses the same compound as the standard SC0 but a new construction that guarantees an improvement performance thanks to an increased footprint area.In addition to the two racing solutions, the real novelty consists of a new SCX solution in specification Y0781 which uses a reinforced structure but with an extremely soft compound designed to be exploited during the qualifying sessions in preparation for the use of the only supersoft tyre for Superpole® in specification X0684 available to riders.In the WorldSSP class, available to the riders there are two front and two rear solutions. At the front, as already happened in the last rounds, the standard SC1 and SC2 will be present. At the rear, the standard SC0 in standard size 180/60 will once again be placed side by side with the development SC0 Y0410 in bigger 190/60 sizewhich debuted in Misano and was used also in Donington Park.

The 2018 Pirelli statistics for Portimão

• Total number of tyres brought by Pirelli: 4538 

• Number of solutions (including dry, intermediate and wet) for the WorldSBK class: 6 front and 9 rear 

• Number of tyres available for each WorldSBK rider: 42 front and 43 rear 

• Number of solutions for the WorldSSP class (including dry, intermediate and wet): 5 front and 5 rear 

• Number of tyres available for each WorldSSP rider: 26 front and 25 rear 

• WorldSBK Best Lap Awards won by: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)in 1'42.304 (Race 1, 3rd lap) and Marco Melandri (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in 1'42.385 (Race 2, 2nd lap) 

• WorldSSP Best Lap Award won by: Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP team), in 1'45.220 at the 2nd lap 

• Temperature in Race 1: air 29° C, asphalt 42° C 

• Temperature in Race 2: air 29° C, asphalt 45° C 

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 311.4 km/h, in Race 1 by Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at 17th and 18th laps 

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC tyres in WorldSSP race: 285.9 km/h, by Federico Caricasulo (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP team) at the 2nd lap.