Pirelli Report - The 8 Hour Australian Endurance Championship
Pirelli Privateer teams have taken 3rd outright, 2nd in Superbikes 2nd in Supersport 3rd in Superstock 1000 and 3rd in Superstock 600 at the recent Phillip Island 8 Hour Australian Endurance Championship.
Brisbane, 9 December
The recent inaugural Phillip Island 8 Hour Australian Endurance Championship saw strong results for Pirelli riders in Superbike, SuperSport and Superstock 1000 class. An increased number of Private teams running Pirelli saw 9 of the 25 Teams entered for the 8 Hour choosing Diablo Superbike or Diablo Supercorsa tyres.
With no pre-event testing and a limited testing schedule of Friday and Saturday free practice for Cube Racing , Super Q (Qualifying) on Saturday afternoon saw the Pirelli supported Team with Bryan Staring on board use Diablo Superbike 120/70R-17 SC1 front and Diablo Superbike 200/60R-17 SC0 rear to qualify second fastest outright. This time was done on standard, off the shelf tyres available to all competitors.
WNR Racing Kawasaki, with a similar schedule, qualified 2nd in Supersport and 5th overall with a combination Diablo Supercorsa 120/70ZR-17 SC1 front and the new 200/55ZR-17 SC0 Diablo Supercorsa Rear, again available to all riders.
SW Racing provided the official Pirelli Race Service for the 8 Hour, and were kept busy for the weekend with tyre fitting, technical advice and assisting many riders to get their best results at Phillip Island on Pirelli tyres.
Race Day at Phillip Island was cool and overcast, with the threat of rain. Track temperature was around 15 Degrees and Air Temperature 13 degrees just prior to the start of the race.
Cube Racing - Suzuki GSX-R1000
Initial tyre choice for the conditions was Diablo Superbike SC2 front and SC1 rear, as the best combination for grip, durability and versatility. The team started well and was running in a comfortable second place behind the Factory Suzuki GSX-R1000. Fuel and tyre changes were done in impressive times, and the team was performing competitively in the early stages. An issue with the fuel cap opening on lap 49 saw the team's first setback and unscheduled pit stop,with a gear lever breakage causing further delay and loss of laps to the leading team. Tyre performance and durability was consistently good throughout the 8 Hours , with tyre changes on par with the Factory Teams but also influenced by fuel strategy. The team moved to SC2 rear for some of the race as conditions altered throughout the day. Despite the technical issues encountered, the teams riders (Bryan Staring, Ben Henry, Nick Waters) brought their Private Suzuki Entry home in second place in the Superbike class, and 3rd Outright on Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks.
WNR Kawasaki - ZX6R
After Friday and Saturday testing, and with limited suspension adjustability hampering setup, the team opted for a race day combination of Diablo Supercorsa 120/70ZR-17 SC2 front and Diablo Supercorsa 190/55ZR-17 SC1 rear. These are tyres readily available to all competitors from the shelves of their local Pirelli dealer, and used successfully in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australian Racing Series in 2011.i
The start of the race saw team rider Glenn Scott unfortunately stall the bike on the grid and fall behind immediately. As he tried to make up positions a low side at Lukey Heights saw the WNR Kawasaki back in the pits for an extended period of time, and back to 12th place on their return to the track. Following this setback the team was determined to work there way back up the results sheet. Following a strong stint from Jed Metcher, Alex Cudlin jumped on the bike and put his endurance riding skills and experience to best effect. With the Diablo Supercorsa SC1 rear durability coming to the fore and allowing the team to alter their strategy, Alex rode two sessions on one set of tyres, making up massive amounts of time on the competitors. This was then repeated by Glenn and Jed in the next two sessions, and repeated again a third time to allow the team to make a massive leap from 12th to 5th place outright, and 2nd overall in the Supersport class on Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa.
In the Superstock 1000 class, the Pirelli shod Mick Muldoon Motorcycle's ZX-10R finished 2nd, ahead of Roe Brothers R1 also running on Pirelli. The Dirty Bits Racing SA Motorcycles Kawasaki finished 3rd in Supersport, to make a total of six podiums for Pirelli riders across all classes. Other teams included the FNQ Lager R1 which was placed well before a technical issue ended their race, and the Smart Racing BMW S1000RR.
8 Hour Final Results - Outright
1. Team Suzuki SBK – 279 laps (Suzuki)
2. Team Suzuki SS – 274 laps (Suzuki)
3. Cube Racing SBK - 270 laps (Suzuki)
4. Endurance STK1 – 264 laps (Suzuki)
5. WNR Kawasaki SS – 262 laps (Kawasaki)
6. Team Cessnock STK1 – 260 laps (Kawasaki)
7. Wet4U Racing STK6 – 255 laps (Kawasaki)
8. California Superbike School STK6 – 254 laps (Suzuki)
9. Mick Muldoon Kawasaki STK1 – 252 laps (Kawasaki)
10. Dirty Bits Racing SS – 252 laps (Kawasaki)
11. Roe Bros and Dan Racing STK1 – 252 laps (Yamaha)
Pirelli Motorcycle Tyres are Imported and Distributed Exclusively in Australia by Link International. www.linkint.com.au