Imola (Italy),

On the occasion of the Pirelli Italian Round, the tyre brand synonymous with this nation, continues the development of larger options and recalls the first WorldSBK Championship won with Fred Merkel a

At Imola there will be a new SCX and a new rear solution in a soft compound for the premier class while in the Pirelli hospitality area the Honda RC30 of the Rumi team with which the American rider raced will be on show

From Friday 10th to Sunday 12th May, the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari of Imola will host the fifth round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship of which Pirelli will be Event Main Sponsor.

On the occasion of the Pirelli Italian Round, as the Imola event has been officially renamed, the Italian tyre company remembers the thirtieth anniversary of the first victory achieved in this production based series, thanks to the historical feat of Fred Merkel. Riding the Honda RC30 of the Italian Rumi team equipped with Pirelli slick tyres, on April 30th far back in 1989, he managed to win both races Superbike round of the Hungaroring. This brought Pirelli to the top of the podium for the first time in the series, and Merkel went onto conquer the first World Championship.

Giorgio Barbier, Pirelli Moto Racing Director, remembers Merkel's feat as follows:"Until 2003 the Superbike Championship took place in an open competition between tyre manufacturers. In the 1989 season, the second running of the Championship, Fred appeared on the grid as reigning World Champion and, above all, making Pirelli’s debut in the World Championship. The first race at Donington did not go as hoped and in the next round, the one held at the Hungaroring, Fred therefore had a strong desire for redemption. It was a perfect weekend in which he obtained Superpole and victory of both races with his Honda giving Pirelli the first race win and then their first World Championship title at the end of the year. Just to remember this important anniversary, we decided to exhibit the Honda RC 30 next to our hospitality truck so that all the fans can admire it and remember the feat of this extraordinary American rider and the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer, which this year decided to invest important resources to return as a protagonist of this beautiful Championship! "

For the Imola event, Pirelli has decided to continue to focus on larger solutions and has developed a new SCX and a new rear solution in a soft compound for the premier class.
In the layout for motorcycle races, the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari of Imola is a 4936-metre long track with 13 left-hand corners and 9 right-hand turns and a counter-clockwise travel direction. The circuit, built on the banks of the Santerno is a fairly technical circuit that has complex bends which foresees a high race pace, and requires excellent riding skills. The circuit was resurfaced the last time in August 2011 for about 70% of its length.

The solutions for the WorldSBK and WorldSSP classes:

Pirelli has brought 3676 tyres to Imola for the fifth round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship. This amount includes dry (slick or treaded), intermediate and wet tyres for all the three Championship classes.

In the WorldSBK the riders will only have available tyres in larger sizes 125/70 front and 200/65 rear, among these two new rear solutions never used before.
The front options already used at Aragón and Assen are confirmed: the standard SC1 in 125/70 size and soft compound, and the development SC2 X1071 and X1118 in medium compound.
As for the rear options, in addition to the standard SC0 200/65 and the development SC1 Y0187, both already brought to Aragón and Assen, Pirelli introduces a new soft development solution, the Y0446 specification, which uses the same structure as the standard SC0 but a compound more oriented to good performance under particularly high asphalt temperatures. Another novelty is that represented by the new SCX, now in the Y0447 specification, which compared to the SCX solutions used in the previous rounds should guarantee a decidedly greater grip than the SC0, while maintaining good mileage.

There will be five dry solutions available to WorldSSP riders, two front and three rear. For the front there will be, as already in Aragón and Assen, the standard SC1 and the development SC2 X0582 which compared to the standard SC2 offers a greater grip and a more contained wear. At the rear there are two solutions in soft compound and one in medium compound. The soft compound solutions are represented by the standard SC0 of 2018 and by the new SC0 of the 2019 range. These are flanked by the standard SC1which could be useful in case of dirty asphalt in the first sessions or in case of particularly low temperatures.

More details on the race solutions for WorldSBK and WorldSSP600 classes are available in the technical sheets attached to this press release.

The 2018 Pirelli statistics for Imola

• Total number of tyres brought by Pirelli: 4612

 • Number of solutions (including dry, intermediate and wet) for the WorldSBK class: 6 front and 7 rear

 • Number of tyres available for each WorldSBK rider: 41 front and 39 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: 25 front and 26 rear

 • WorldSBK Best Lap Awards both won by: Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK),in 1'46.850 (Race 1, 2nd lap) and in 1'46.898 (Race 2, 15th lap)

 • WorldSSP Best Lap Award won by: Lucas Mahias (GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP team), in 1'51.529 at the 4th lap 

• Temperature in Race 1: air 27° C, asphalt 44° C

 • Temperature in Race 2: air 25° C, asphalt 46° C 

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 280.7 km/h, in Race 1 by Chaz Davies ( Racing – Ducati) at the 17th lap 

• Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC tyres in WorldSSP race: 255.5 km/h, by Loris Cresson (Kallio Racing) at the 7th lap.