Infront Motor Sports, promoter of the World Superbike Championship, has launched a tender process for those wanting to be the championship's official tyre supplier from 2013-2015.
The announcement indicates that Pirelli's continuation in the role is far from guaranteed. In the past, Pirelli's exclusive WSBK tyre contract has been extended without a public tender process.
Pirelli, which is also the single-tyre supplier for F1 and BSB, has been WSBK's exclusive tyre partner since the championship ended open-tyre competition for the 2004 season.
That decision was criticised at the time, but has since been widely copied as a way of controlling costs and encouraging close racing.
A statement on the official WSBK website regarding the search for a future tyre supplier read:
“Infront Motor Sports, the worldwide Promoter of the FIM Superbike World Championship, launches today (Thursday 31st March 2011) the tender procedure for the awarding of the exclusive tyre supply contract for the FIM Superbike and Supersport World Championships, the Superstock FIM Cup 1000 and the UEM Superstock 600 European Championship for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 racing seasons.
“The tender is open to qualified tyre manufacturers who can demonstrate top level international experience and know-how in the supply of racing tyres within the framework of professional motorcycling racing championships.
“The interested companies can contact Infront Motor Sports, Mr. Paolo Flammini, CEO, by sending a fax to +39 06 50966460.
“Infront Motor Sports reserves the right to evaluate the standing of the applicants before providing specific information about the tender.”
MotoGP recently extended its single-tyre agreement with Bridgestone, which now runs until the end of 2014.