Pirelli ready to get on track at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve with four new rear solutions in soft compounds for the Superbike and Supersport classes
For the eighth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship the Italian tyre manufacturer brings development solutions which are best suited to work at high temperatures, with two devoted to the premier class and two for Supersport
The next stop of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship will take place next weekend in Portugal, at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, is the eighth round of the thirteen in the calendar. Pirelli continues its development activities to provide riders of all classes with new and better performing solutions and, at the same time, maintain its range of products for sale on the market as updated and competitive. This explains why at Portimão the Italian tyre company will provide riders with 4 new rear solutions, two in the premier class and the same quantity for Supersport. All solutions are in soft compound that would better fit to the layout of the Portuguese track which is full of ‘ups and downs’ and is pretty hard on tyres with temperatures that typically this time of year should be particularly high in the area of the Algarve. This round could be crucial for the Championships: in Superbike after two successes in Misano Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) leads the overall standings with 251 points and a lead of 39 points on the French rider Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team) and 41 on his teammate Loris Baz. In Supersport it seems to be a battle between Michael VD Mark (Pata Honda World Supersport), 135 points in the standings, and Jules Cluzel (MV Agusta racing department), 107 points. Portimão VS tyres: an hard up and down for tyres The Portuguese track was designed by architect Ricardo Pina and is 4592 metres long with a start-finish straight that is 835 metres, 9 right-handers and six left-handers curves and a long turn radii that goes from 23 metres to a maximum of 207 metres. The rider in pole position starts from the right side of the track. Since being opened in 2008, the asphalt on the Portuguese circuit has gradually lost some of its natural grip and generally the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve is one of the circuits that best bring out the capacity of the tyre to operate in extremely different conditions. The part of the track that puts the tyres to the hardest test is the last turn which is 350 metres long and takes 6.5 seconds to navigate: 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°. This causes a significant increase in temperature on the side of the tyre affected by the lean, particularly for the rear tyre which must withstand the high temperature while simultaneously ensuring strong lateral force and allowing the bike to accelerate. Therefore, with high running times and fixed lean angles (especially in the event of low grip) a high possibility of wheelspin is generated as well as significant peaks in localised temperature at 45-50°C on the tyre shoulder. The weakening of the compound due to heat, even with smoother asphalt, causes significant levels of material removal. For this reason a significant amount of tyre wear can often by noted at the end of the races. On the contrary, turns 5, 8, 11, 13 and 14 have 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). While the rear tyre must go from low to extremely high temperatures, the front one has other, just as important, tasks to complete. It must be able to come into the turns mentioned above quickly and precisely. At the end of the straight stretch over the finish line, in other words, the first turn with the 100 metre radius which allows the riders to hold speeds greater than 100 kph, the front tyre is particularly stressed because it has to travel about 80 metres at a lean angle and with the rider on the brakes. Taking the summer heat into consideration, it will be very important to balance out these aspects when selecting the rear tyre: compound grip, wear resistance, elasticity of the tyre in the heat (to prevent de-compaction effects), movement in running and loss of support. Should the softer compound have problems with wear, two SC1 solutions will be available, both developed to improve thermal resistance and heat dissipation. These latter two solutions were already used at PhillipIsland and Monza, where thermal resistance must be as high as possible. Unlike the rear, which must handle little, but intense, mechanical/thermal stress, the front is constantly used in slow turns and turns with quick entry and small curvature radii. This forces the rider to brake sharply, even going downhill. Generally wear problems are not an issue on the front tyres, so often high grip (SC1) solutions are used. However, the important aspect to consider is how the front withstands the heat (a must for good precision), particularly when coming into the first turn. The Pirelli solutions for Superbike and Supersport classes: Pirelli comes to the eighth round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship carrying a total of4362 tyres that meet the needs of all classes. Of these tyres 1855 are dedicated to Superbikeriders, 1350 for Supersport, 432 are those for the Superstock 1000, 525 for Superstock 600and 200 for the European Junior Cup. In Superbike each rider for the entire race weekend can count on a supply of 72 DIABLO™ Superbike tyres including 32 front and 40 rear. At the front three alternatives: the standard SC1 and SC2 and the development SC1 S1699, which debuted with success at Aragón, it's able to offer greater support for the approach to the curves in favor of a better steering precision and was the most used solution at Assen, Imola, Donington and Misano. Four options in total at the rear, two in common to all riders and a third one which is different for Superbike riders and for those of the EVO class. The two solutions available for all riders are thestandard SC0 solution ideal for soft and smooth asphalt as well as high temperatures and thedevelopment SC1 S1185, in medium hardness compound which has been initially available only for Superbike riders and now is also at EVO riders disposal. It debuted at Aragón, as an alternative to the standard SC1 guarantees a more uniform wear and a better performance. There are new solutions for the two classes. For the Superbike riders there will be the new development solution T0384 in soft SC0 compound which up to now has been brought only to Imola tests and which should provide excellent grip even with very high temperatures. In the EVO category the riders can once count on the new development solution T0532 which has been brought up to now only to Imola tests. If compared with the standard SC0 it should guarantee better performance with the same level of consistency. In addition, the 20 riders who will enter the Superpole on Saturday as always will have onequalifier tyre in very soft compound that allows 1-2 laps at maximum performance. In Supersport, DIABLO™ Supercorsa SC tyres in the allocation of each rider will be 54 divided in 27 front and 27 rear. Standard SC1 and SC2 will be the options for the front together with the new development solution in SC1 compound S1485 that made its successful debut at Misano and that should guarantees a greater support in the approach to the curves in favour of one with better steering precision. At the rear, in addition to the S0624 specification which is an alternative to the standard SC1 with respect to which is more robust and offer more grip – and already present at Aragón, Assen, Imola and Donington, riders can count on two new solutions soft. The T0813 that uses a profile already used in Australia this year and last year at Jerez and Istanbul and that has been designed taking into account the layout of the circuit of Portimão and the high temperatures that may be encountered in this season. Compared to the T0814, which is the last option in soft compound as well and with interior elements different than the other solutions and designed to control the operating temperature, the T0813 is distinguished by its operating temperature, which should allow the tyre to remain cooler. In addition to tyres for dry, DIABLO™ Wet intermediate tyres and DIABLO™ Rain tyres for wet are provided for all classes. The 2013 Pirelli statistics for Portimão: • Total number of tyres Pirelli brought: 4636 • Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 6 front and 7 rear • Number of solutions for the Supersport class (dry, intermediate and wet): 5 front and 5 rear • Number of tyres available for each Superbike rider: 38 front and 40 rear • Number of tyres available for each Supersport rider: 30 front and 26 rear • Superbike Best Lap Awards won by: Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team), 1'43.062 (Race 1, 3rd lap) and by Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'42.475 (Race 2, 6th lap) • Supersport Best Lap Award won by: Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India), 1’45.730 (12th lap) • Temperature in Race 1: air 18° C, asphalt 27° C • Temperature in Race 2: air 18° C, asphalt 23° C • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ Superbike tyres: 307,7 km/h, in Race 1 byChaz Davies (BMW Motorrad Goldbet SBK) at 17th lap. • Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli DIABLO™ SupercorsaSC tyres in Supersport race:276,9 km/h, Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India) at 11th lap.