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Tom Sykes on his Pirelli-shod Kawasaki on his way to a pair of wins at Magny-Cours Tom Sykes on his Pirelli-shod Kawasaki on his way to a pair of wins at Magny-Cours photo: Colin Fraser

Tom Sykes Sets Lap Record at Magny-Cours On His Way to Twin Superbike Wins

Written by  on Monday, 07 October 2013 16:08

Magny-Cours (France), 7 October 2013 –Over the weekend at the French track of Magny-Cours, the penultimate round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship was one to be remembered by Pirelli.  Using the standard Diablo Superbike in soft compound, Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) set a lap record and won both Superbike races and the Pirelli Best Lap Awards, putting a strong claim to the world title.

Sam Lowes and Sylvain Barrier, whose bikes were fitted with Diablo Supercorsa tires, also won a race each – the FIM Supersport World Championship (for Lowes) and the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup respectively – giving a large number of spectators many strong emotions to enjoy. 

The weekend was certainly not easy from the meteorological point of view because of the rain and low temperatures on Friday and Saturday, certainly less than ideal conditions for racing and also for the tires.

Although they could not exhaustively try the slick solutions in the days preceding Sunday's races, Superbike riders have almost unanimously opted for the soft standard tire at the rear, a solution that has been designed to be used with quite high temperatures but already this year has adapted well to rather low temperatures. Until last year the riders would have been forced to use tires in medium SC1 compound, if not in hard SC2 compound in these conditions, at the expense of grip and better performances.

However thanks to the new 17-inch Pirelli Diablo Superbike rear tires Pirelli has been able to develop for 2013, a high-performance standard tire in soft compound, this makes it versatile for riders to perform well in a wide range of temperatures, from very high to those close to 15 degrees registered today at Magny-Cours.

As a result of these tires, Tom Sykes placed first in Race 1 with a time of 1'38.345 and then in Race 2 with that of 1'37.932. He also managed to break the track lap record that belonged to Noriyuki Haga since 2009, with the time of 1'38 .619, improving it by around 0.7 seconds.

The Englishman from the Kawasaki Racing Team has certainly been satisfied over the weekend, recording also a splendid double while Aprilia Racing Team riders Sylvain Guintoli and Eugene Laverty took turns on the second and third step of the podium in Race 1 and Race 2, allowing Aprilia to remain in the lead of the Constructors Championship with a 35 point advantage over Kawasaki. 



The penultimate round of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship has been characterized throughout the weekend by quite low temperatures, with rain on Friday and Saturday. For this reason, the riders were not able to try a lot of the slick solutions available to them in the days before the races.

Despite the unknown weather and not exactly mild temperatures, on Sunday no one had any doubts and virtually all Superbike riders decided to use the standard soft rear tire, the Diablo Superbike SC0, which in theory was designed to work best when the temperatures are quite high. At Magny-Cours the brilliant performances surprised everyone, with less than 20 degrees of asphalt and Tom Sykes setting a new track best record.

Regarding the front riders' preferences, they were more or less equally divided between the standard SC1 and SC2 and the development SC1 development (S283) with approximately half of the grid opting for the latter solution.

The Diablo Supercorsa was the tire that led Sam Lowes and Sylvain Barrier to victory in their respective championships. 



The "Pirelli Best Lap Award" is awarded by Pirelli to the rider who sets the fastest race lap. A Pirelli representative presents this award during the Paddock Show in a press conference which follows the podium at the end of races 1 and 2 for the Superbike class and at the end of the Supersport race, for a total of three awards each weekend. The time set by the fastest rider is indicated and can be seen in the trophy which is in the shape of a motorcycle instrument panel this year.

At Magny-Cours the awards were presented by Pirelli Moto France representatives, the Marketing Manager Maryline Lesoeur, the Racing Manager Pascal Serra, Racing and Stefano De Luca, Sales Agents Manager. The Superbike and Supersport rider who has earned the most "Pirelli Best Lap Award" titles at the end of the season will be elected "Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year" and awarded in the usual end of year ceremony.

Tom Sykes, having already won 12 Pirelli Best Lap Awards, and Sam Lowes, with 6, are mathematically the "Best Lap Winner: fastest rider of the year" in 2013 for the Superbike and Supersport classes and will be awarded at Jerez de la Frontera in the end of year ceremony.

These are the riders who won the Pirelli Best Lap Awards in the penultimate round of the season:

WSB Race 1 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'38.345 (4th lap)

WSB Race 2 – Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team), 1'37.932 (4th lap)

WSS – Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport), 1'41.690 (6th lap) 


The overall standings after thirteen rounds are as follows:

WSB: Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team): 12; Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team): 4; Chaz Davies (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 3; Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia Racing Team): 2 ; Michel Fabrizio (Red Devils Roma): 1; Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad GoldBet SBK): 1; Jonathan Rea (Pata Honda World Superbike) : 1; Davide Giugliano (Althea Racing): 1 WSS: Sam Lowes (Yakhnich Motorsport): 6; Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India): 3; Fabien Foret (MAHI Racing Team India): 1; Lorenzo Zanetti (Pata Honda World Supersport): 1 



"First of all I want to congratulate the two new World Champions, Sam Lowes and Sylvain Barrier, and their respective teams. Sam this year has proven to be really a very strong rider having shown consistent performances, especially if you consider the fact that he did not have an easy rival, Kenan Sofuoglu. Until the end of the race he challenged Sam, so congratulations also to him. As for the Superstock 1000 FIM Cup, Sylvain Barrier who has won five of the nine races this year, also undoubtedly fully deserved the title for the second consecutive year and the BMW has proven to be probably the best stock motorcycle of the moment having won – in the last four years – three titles. Regarding tires used this weekend, the Diablo Superbike, in standard SC0 compound, never ceases to amaze and give us great satisfaction. For this weekend the unknowns about temperature were strong and in the days before racing the weather was always bad. It rained often so both the riders and us arrived to Sunday without ever seeing in action the solution used in the races, except in the warm-up this morning. We knew that this solution could work well with not particularly high temperatures, which are the ones that most suit it, but we did not think it could behave so well even with less than 20 degrees. For us this was a pleasant surprise, so we're really happy with the level in terms of performances and versatility that we have achieved with this tire. The track record set by Haga in 2009 got lowered by almost a second by Tom Sykes. That was the cherry on top and confirmation of what I have just said. This year Kawasaki and Tom Sykes showed that they could do great things and with this round they have effectively mortgaged the title, but obviously it's better to wait until the final round because the WSBK Championship is no stranger to last-minute surprises. Well done also to Sylvain and Eugene who really had a good battle in Race 2." 



Total number of tires Pirelli brought: 4352

Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Superbike class: 5 front and 6 rear

Number of tires available for each Superbike rider: 32 front and 34 rear

Number of solutions (dry, intermediate and wet) for the Supersport class: 4 front and 5 rear

Number of tires available for each Supersport rider: 23 front and 26 rear

Temperature in Race 1: air 16° C, asphalt 17° C

Temperature in Race 2: air 17° C, asphalt 21° C

Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Superbike tires: 295.9 km/h, in Race 1 by Eugene Laverty (Aprilia Racing Team) at 11th lap

Maximum race speed reached by Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires in Supersport: 268.7 km/h, Kenan Sofuoglu (MAHI Racing Team India), 11th lap.



Founded in 1872, Pirelli is the fifth largest tire manufacturer in the world in terms of sales.  Present in over 160 countries, Pirelli has 22 manufacturing sites and employs approximately 36,000 people around the world. Pirelli is a leading producer of premium tires due to its commitment to R&D.  Successfully competing in motorsport since 1907, Pirelli is the exclusive supplier of the Superbike world championship, many single marquee championships around the world, and above all it is the sole supplier for the Formula 1 championship for the 3-year period 2011-13.

Pirelli Tire North America (PTNA) services NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) member countries through its Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) facility and research and development center at its Rome, Georgia headquarters, its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico and its New York City, Montreal and Mexico City sales and marketing offices.  The company manufactures, distributes and markets original equipment and replacement tires for export and domestic car/motorcycle applications (US, CA, MX) and Agro/Heavy Truck platforms (MX). 


For further information please contact:

Pirelli Communications and Media Relations – NAFTA Region

212. 497. 8820          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Chris Wall – Moto Director of Marketing

706. 766. 4335            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Published in Industry News

Wally Nesbitt

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