Pirelli's new 17-inch Diablo tyres will be put to the test at Aragon on Monday following this weekend's eighth round of the World Superbike Championship.
A test organised by Pirelli and championship promoters Infront will take place at the Spanish venue, offering competitors the chance to sample the new rubber ahead of its introduction in 2013.
Riders will begin Monday's test programme using the current 16.5” Pirelli tyres before switching to the new 17” rubber, which will be used in the championship from next season.
Four front and rear variations of the tyre will be available to test on Monday, although the 17” tyres will consist of the same compound – SC1 – used in the 16.5” tyres to enable the riders to gain a true picture of the key differences between the tyres they are currently using and the rubber they will utilise next year.
The radical decision to switch to 17-inch tyres from 2013 was readily accepted by Infront and the FIM, with Pirelli flagging up the need to 'respond to the technical needs of users and of the new increasingly powerful bikes'.
Already, 17” tyres are being used in various national championships including the French, German, Australian and Canadian series.
A spokesperson for the Italian tyre manufacturer said: “Pirelli believes that this is the right moment to introduce it to the superbike field because the motorcycle manufacturers and the market are ready for the change, some superbikes on sale already use larger tyres and the market is ready to use high-performing 17” tyres.
“Now, to remain faithful both to the basic superbike philosophy which envisages that whatever is proposed for racing can also be sold on the market, and to its own philosophy, that is to bring sporting competitions and solutions developed in the racing field closer to the daily lives of all motorcyclists, Pirelli has decided to replace the current 16.5” tyres with the 17” tyres which have already won many national superbike championships.
“Thanks to this decision, even more than before, Pirelli will be able to make available to every motorcyclist, road products with technology and development closely derived from the most important world championship for production bikes, where Pirelli is the sole supplier.”