Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pirelli adds to its roster

Way back in the history of this blog I wrote a post about whether I considered motorsport activity when choosing tyres for my bike or car. At the time I noted that Pirelli rarely seemed to be a tyre of choice, but that it was hard at work on securing control tyre contracts.

This somewhat follows Dunlop's lead, who supply the BTCC, DTM and V8 Supercars, whilst being available for sportscar racing and domestic superbike championships.

Last week Pirelli announced that they had come to an agreement to supply the control tyre for the British Superbike Championship. This is on top of their new deal to be the sole supplier in the World Rally Championship, as well as their existing contracts with World Superbike and World Supersport. One notable effect of this is that BSB teams will now be able to race as wildcards in WSBK, since they will all now be running the same tyre that the World series uses. This should make for an exciting few races each time WSBK goes to the UK. Last time that happened, a Brit wildcard won both races (trivia time... who did it, on what bike and with what team???)

There's no doubt that Pirelli is working harder than any other tyre manufacturer to expand their presence in top class racing. This time four years ago they were only ever seen on a few cars in sportscar racing and with a handful of bike racing teams. This has certainly changed. However, in championships with open tyre regulations, Pirelli continues to be an inferior choice, something that has not changed despite their control tyre activities.

I wonder how all this has affected their market share?

There's still Pirellis on my Subaru...


Jimmy said...

Ummm. Shakey Byrne on a Ducati. Which team? Uhhhh.... Not GSE. Can't think of the team name, but I think it was Monster Mob sponsored.

The BSB engine tuning rules are stricter than the WSBK ones for 2008. British Superbike is basically using Supersport tuning, so probably only the bigger teams will make special engines for wildcards in World Supers.

Nicebloke said...

Correct on all three counts: Shakey on a Paul Bird Motorsport Monstermob Ducati.

I didn't know that about BSB engine rules. Thanks for the info!

Jimmy said...

Ah, Paul Bird. Of course!