Pirelli in Qatar as Event Main Sponsor for the grand finale of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship
The Losail International Circuit in Doha will host the production derived Championship series for the seventh time (and at night for the second year in a row), the tyre company is also back on track to consolidate the solutions chosen for next season
Pirelli, for the second consecutive year, will be the Event Main Sponsor of the last round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship to be held next weekend at the Losail International Circuit in Doha, Qatar. This round is therefore called the Pirelli Qatar Round. Pirelli will for the occasion seek to consolidate the information obtained over the year relating to the new solutions developed during the season in order to evaluate which and how many of these could eventually become part of the production range. Losail VS tyres: so much grip to counter the worn asphalt and sand The Losail International Circuit, inaugurated in 2004, is located a few kilometres away from the capital of Qatar and one of its unique strengths is that it can rely on an innovative lighting system which offers the opportunity to race at night. The track is 5.380 km long with a 1.068 metres long finish straight. Six left turns and 10 right-handers make up this 12 metre wide track. The track is made up of high and medium speed corners plus a super fast main straight. Although artificial grass is placed around the circuit to limit the deposition of sand from the desert, the early sessions can see sand on the asphalt. This is due to the winds on the Qatar peninsula moving sand that is then deposited on the track, dirtying it. At the sessions on Friday the riders are usually called to clean the track doing curves with constant radii where the front tyre tends to ‘tuck’ at some point, creating wear marks. On the rear, for the same reason, you can have a kind of "leopard spots" look. Since last year the Superbike World Championship started racing on this circuit at night and at the end of the year, while until 2009 the Championship has always made stops in Qatar in the spring running in daytime. This also obviously gives a radically different temperature than when you run the event in daylight. The circuit also has never been re-asphalted so now is more worn and requires tyres, especially the front, with a good grip and able to compensate for the lost grip over the years from the asphalt. The circuit requires a good compromise between front wheel stability during challenging braking zones plus a good level of traction at the rear to properly set the trajectories out of the fast turns. So at the front you need a tyre capable of absorbing the high power accumulated during braking without suffering high ‘crushing’. At the rear instead we need to focus on a soft tyre to properly face the road surface and provide adequate traction. This choice, however, is complicated by the constant presence of sand on the circuit that reduces the grip and produces micro lateral slipping (stick and slide) which can cause tearing on the tread surface. The Pirelli solutions for the Superbike and Supersport classes: For the event that closes the 2015 season of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, Pirelli brings to Qatar a total of 2721 tyres that will be available to Superbike and Supersport riders, the only two classes that will be present. In Superbike, each rider will have an option of 65 tyres, 32 front and 33 rear slicks in different solutions plus the intermediate and wet tyres. Riders who will enter the Superpole on Saturday will also have a qualifier rear super soft tyre. There are six dry solutions in total, three front and three rear slicks. At the front there are three solutions in SC1 compound. The first is the T1616, which made its debut at Jerez and was then taken also to Magny-Cours, even if the riders were able to try it also during the tests in Portimão in June. This solution, compared to the standard SC1, should further improve the stability by limiting any phenomena of movement at high temperatures. The second SC1 available is the well known S1699 which debuted successfully at Aragón in 2014, It offers more support in the approach to bends in favour of better steering precision and was the most widely used at the front during 2015. This development solution this year was brought to all the rounds. The last option for the front is the T1467, another development solution, which made its successful debut at Assen and was also used in Imola, Donington and Portimão. In SC1 compound, in comparison to the S1699 it is more protected from wear and at the same time is more stable than a SC2. At the rear Pirelli confirms the solutions already seen in action in the last round at Magny-Cours. The standard SC0, ideal for tackling smooth asphalt and high temperatures. It offers maximum tread contact on smooth asphalt and maximum traction at high temperatures as well as higher resistance to thermal performance decay. It was brought for the first time to Thailand and was present also in Aragón, Assen, Imola, Donington, Portimão, Laguna Seca, Sepang, Jerez and Magny-Cours. As an alternative to the standard one the riders will be able to choose the T0611, a development solution in SC0 compound which debuted in Imola and has been brought also to Portimão, Misano, Laguna Seca, Sepang, Jerez and Magny-Cours. It features a very soft compound that can offer a very high level of grip when used in high temperatures. The last solution available is the T1392 SC1, which successfully debuted this year at Aragón and was then brought to Assen, Imola, Donington, Portimão, Misano and Magny-Cours. Compared to the standard SC1 it has a different construction system that guarantees a more consistent and constant behaviour for the whole duration of the race.
In Supersport, on top to the solutions for wet, the riders will have two front and two rear solutions. At the front the standard SC1, ideal for moderately abrasive circuits and the standard SC2 in the medium compound, is ideal for aggressive riders who prefer the compactness of the tread band. At the rear there are two solutions, one SC0 and one in SC1 compound. The SC0 is the U0442, which debuted at Misano and was taken to Sepang and Magny-Cours and compared to the standard solution should offer more stability, and the standard SC1 in medium compound, ideal for demanding circuits and already brought this year to Buriram, Aragón, Assen, Imola, Donington, Portimão and Misano. The 2014 Pirelli statistics for Losail: • Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 3101 • Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 6 rear • Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 33 front and 34 rear • Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 4 front and 4 rear • Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 25 front and 25 rear • Superbike Best Lap Awards won by: Loriz Baz (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'58.096 (Race 1, 2nd lap) and by Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team), 1'57.906 (Race 2, 8th lap) • Supersport Best Lap Award won by: Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta Reparto Corse), 2'01.999 (15th lap) • Temperature in Race 1: air 27° C, asphalt 30° C • Temperature in Race 2: air 25° C, asphalt 28° C • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 327.3 kms/h, in Race 2 by Marco Melandri (Aprilia Racing Team) at 4th and 7th lap • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa tyres in Supersport: 282.7 kms/h, Roberto Tamburini (San Carlo Puccetti Racing) at 3rd lap.