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Pirelli prefers WSBK to MotoGP

23 January 2013

Whilst acknowledging the prestige value of MotoGP, Pirelli feels that the World Superbike Championship offers the best way of improving its road tyres.

This year marks Pirelli's tenth season as the exclusive WSBK supplier, a role it has fulfilled since the series made the ground-breaking - and controversial - switch to a single brand in 2004.

Pirelli then took over the F1 tyre contract, following Bridgestone's withdraw, at the end of 2010. But Bridgestone continues to be MotoGP's official supplier, a position it has held since tyre competition was outlawed at the end of 2008.

The current Bridgestone contract runs until the end of 2014. Should it wish to renew, the Japanese company appears unlikely to face stiff Pirelli opposition.

"We always saw F1 and MotoGP as the top of motorsport," said Pirelli's motorcycle racing director Giorgio Barbier, speaking exclusively to Crash.net during the company's 2013 motorsport presentation in Milan.

"Pirelli is now in Formula One, which is the top of the top. Does our brand need to be in MotoGP as well? I don't know...

"For the moment we are in World Superbike, because we thought that Superbike is the best way to make our road products better. Would we like to go into MotoGP just to have the image? Pirelli already has a motorcycle image and we are already a leader in motorcycle tyres, so why?

"We would like to keep our 'model' for motorcycle control tyres. That means, we need to work on a project with a very close specification between road and racing and this is not the case now in MotoGP. But if MotoGP were to accept this, why not?"

Pirelli's present World Superbike contract lasts until the end of 2015.


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