We head to PI to test the all-new Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa V4 tyres, both the race SC version and the production SP version. Check them out... Photography: Half Light, TBGSport, RbMotoLens

The Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa is a tyre that is by far the most celebrated and winning tyres on the planet. Dominating WorldSBK, domestic series globally, and track days all over the world, it is the tyre that many riders rely on. It just got better, with all-new V4 SC and SP… 

We had Taka Nagata, our resident tyre guru, put the new DIABLO Supercorsa SC and SP V4 tyres to the test at the Phillip Island launch...

We had Taka Nagata, our resident tyre guru, put the new DIABLO Supercorsa SC and SP V4 tyres to the test at the Phillip Island launch… Taka rode the new S 1000 RR and the Ducati Panigale V4 S. What a dream day!

Last year Pirelli announced the new V4 Supercorsas were set to land here in Australia early this year. It was big news, and I was excited to hear about it. I had just returned from Mandalika, where I tested the DRIV and DRIV Corsa tyres, which I also raced on (I usually race on Supercorsa SC1 or SC2).

As I am really very familiar with the Supercorsa family, I was extra keen to try the latest generation, particularly at the world’s best racetrack, Phillip Island… And the best part, it was WorldSBK weekend!



Just like they did at Mandalika, Pirelli APAC hosted motorcycle media from the Asia Pacific region over the WorldSBK Round weekend. This gave us an excellent opportunity to discuss the new Supercorsas with Pirelli staff, experience a behind the scenes insight into the racing development and infrastructure of Pirelli Moto’s involvement in WorldSBK and for me, a chance to catch up with race industry friends.



With the racing and the Pirelli gala dinner and technical presentation done, and I have to say it was an awesome weekend (read our full reports here), it was time to get ready for the testing on Monday. The bikes available were the new 2023 BMW S 1000 RR and the Ducati Panigale V4 S. I had not ridden either bike, so I was pretty excited about that as well as the tyres.

The Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa SC and SP V4 launch was held at Phillip Island after WorldSBK weekend.

The Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa SC and SP V4 launch was held at Phillip Island after WorldSBK weekend.

In terms of the tyres, I can hardly fault the current V3 Supercorsas and so I know that the V4 will be good. All of my Supercorsa track experience has been on the SC race tyres, so this will be my first time using the SP Supercorsas on a racetrack. There are plenty of updates for the Supercorsas for 2023.



Head of product management, Silvio Frare, gave us all the technical rundown on the SC and SP V4s. The SC still come in three compounds front and rear, SC1 – ultra soft for smooth racing surfaces, SC2 – soft for more abrasive racing surfaces and cold temperatures, and SC3 – for track days or endurance. The SP V4 tyres are duel compound both front and rear, a first for the Supercorsa (previously only the rear was dual compound).

The shoulders are SC3 compound. Both tyres share the same patented FLASH tread but the SP has a different structure to make it street legal. The SP is also engineered to perform at both street tyre pressures and hot set track tyre pressures, no easy task!



The SC tyres have new revised compounds derived from recent WorldSBK experience and are for the racer or track day rider. Changes to profile, structure and tread all result in a claimed reduction of lap times. As a race tyres, tyre warmers are a must for the SC versions, while the SP can be warmed up the old fashioned way safely…


Pirelli say that their comprehensive circuit testing resulted in data logging proving a measurable improvement in virtually all areas of tyre performance over the DIABLO Supercorsa V3. In their circuit ride comparison, against the V3, the result was .8s a lap and a 2º increase in lean angle, and a + 6% of full throttle over the lap versus V3. For the full tech rundown on the tyres, you can click here

Tyre warmers are not needed for the DIABLO Supercorsa SP, you can ride to the track, set the pressures and enjoy. Always remember to re-check the pressures once the tyres are hot after your first session though!

Tyre warmers are not needed for the DIABLO Supercorsa SP, you can ride to the track, set the pressures and enjoy. Always remember to re-check the pressures once the tyres are hot after your first session though!

THE RIDING
As I walk out into pit lane ready to test the SC1 tyres first, I am hoping to get onto one of the new BMWs. There are nine new ones staring at me, all with wings! Everyone else had the same idea, I was too slow, and I missed the boat. Lucky for me, Pirelli also have another option and I’m directed over to a stunning new Panigale V4 S. Wow. With brand new DIABLO Supercorsa SC1s on warmers, ready to go. The technician on hand sets the pressure to hot 31psi front and 26psi rear and I hop on…

The DIABLO Supercorsa SC1 tyres are magic on a bike like a Panigale V4... they compliment the top spec chassis...

The DIABLO Supercorsa SC1 tyres are magic on a bike like a Panigale V4… they compliment the top spec chassis…

I only raced here three weeks ago, so I am feeling confident in my riding, but a little nervous as I generally would not be on a superbike. My street bike is an MT-10 and my racebike a CBR600. Most of my racing career has been on smaller capacity machinery. So, I can’t wait to lay some fat black lines!

The new V4 SC1 gave Taka supreme confidence on the Ducati, particularly on turn-in and at full lean.

The new V4 SC1 gave Taka supreme confidence on the Ducati, particularly on turn-in and at full lean angle.

I head off slowly to get familiar with the bike first. My initial impression is that the Ducati power delivery feels like a two-stroke! It is so high-revving and aggressive. Wow. Secondly, turn-in and leaning happens really quickly and the bike feeling is very light. Lighter than my supersport racebike. I can’t say this is a pure benefit of the tyres, but they are contributing to this performance greatly.



Despite the fact that I am on a very expensive, very powerful premium sportsbike, I feel totally confident to push hard at the ultra-fast Phillip Island. I am happy to throw the bike at full lean into the corners, aggressively, without fear.


“Despite the fact that I am on a very expensive, very powerful premium sportsbike, I feel totally confident to push hard at the ultra-fast Phillip Island”…


The Supercorsa SC1 V4s are making it easy for me and are very forgiving, with great feel and grip. Even when I venture offline due to overspeed, the tyres have the performance to fix that and allow me to make corrections. Rear grip on the power is outstanding.

"I can feel the grip of the tyres at both ends, through my contact points on the bike – the handlebars, the footpegs, the seat..."

“I can feel the grip of the tyres at both ends, through my contact points on the bike – the handlebars, the footpegs, the seat…”

The feeling that the SC gives back to me is intimate. I can feel the grip of the tyres at both ends, through my contact points on the bike – the handlebars, the footpegs, the seat… I can feel the grip through the ‘bar pressure when braking deep into corners and the suspension compressing mid-corner. They are a pure race tyre, but I recommend any track day rider should experience them.



On the new S 1000 RR, a completely different character of bike being an inline four, compared to the Ducati V4, I am enjoying the same level of confidence and same lap time despite the different power delivery. The BMW is really smooth, and this further enhances the DIABLO performance.



The tyre contact patch gives super confidence to me on the BMW, I just feel like I can go faster, deeper, brake later all the time, and just remain glued to the Phillip Island surface. I push more, and simply continue to arrive accurately at the apex of the corners. Amazing.


“Overall, I am confident to say there is improvement in the SC tyres compared to the previous generation”…


I would like to push a little more to find the absolute performance limit, but I will save that until I am on my own motorcycle! Overall, I am confident to say there is improvement in the SC tyres compared to the previous generations. I am looking forward to more riding on them, and some races, to really see how they are.

"I just feel like I can go faster, deeper, brake later all the time, and just remain glued to the Phillip Island surface"...

“I just feel like I can go faster, deeper, brake later all the time, and just remain glued to the Phillip Island surface”…

Next was time to test the SP version (Sport Production) tyres aimed at the track day enthusiast and fast sports road rider. I test these on the BMW S 1000 RR again, a machine I am enjoying a lot. The beauty of the SP is that you can ride to a track day, do your sessions, then ride home all with no drama or need for tyre warmers. Of course, if you have a trailer or van and you have warmers, I say why not use them, but you don’t need to. In this case, I tested the tyres starting from cold in pit lane.



Heading out I take it easy for a lap to get some heat into the tyres. There are no surprises or slides and after a lap I feel confident to push that little bit more. Another lap in and I can feel the SP are up to temperature enough to have some fun.

They communicate well through the feel they put out – sure, they do not have the soft contact patch feel of the SC1 or 2, but with the SC3 side compound they have plenty of feel, even with a stiffer construction for road use.

The DIABLO Supercorsa SP have SC3 compound side tread with a harder centre for road durability.

The DIABLO Supercorsa SP have SC3 compound side tread with a harder centre for road durability.

At really high speed, stability is good, and braking from 285km/h on the straight, I can not feel much difference in braking stability between the SC and the SP. The SP are really impressive here. Carrying corner speed on the SP is no problem, they steer very nicely and offer predictability from upright to full lean angle. Into some of the corners, I do not have the same level of confidence to brake deep as I did on the SC, but that is a matter of a race tyre versus a production sport tyre. The SP still amazes me!

Overall the SP is a great compromise. I just push 10 per cent less, enjoy the ride and feel like I am in a good safety window. They are very consistent lap after lap, with no surprises even with temperature changes between sessions, as the SP have a broad operating range in terms of temperature. In the light rain they were also great, I could still ride fast, as you can see in the video at the end of the article.


“In the light rain they were also great, I could still ride fast, as you can see in the video at the end of the article”…


The big difference I see is wear and tear. The SP looks near new after plenty of sessions, while the SC of course are much more worn. It’s an interesting and good result. A small reduction in feel, grip or lap time but the trade off is a lot more durability and in the end, value for the track day rider.

Pirelli have a lot of great target tyres for all riders from entry level to professional racers, and in recent years, they are increasing their market share for road and for race tyre solutions, thanks to their continuation of participating in WorldSBK and dozens of production race series globally.

It is in those series that their efforts mean they can research, develop and test product that in the end, lucky for us, ends up on our own motorcycles. It’s a great journey to see, and for us end users, let’s hope that Pirelli continue to go from Race to Road…


SMSP

 

CHECK OUT TAKA’S ON BOARD LAPS ON THE SC1 V4s


CHECK OUT TAKA’S ON BOARD LAPS ON THE SP V4s

TECH TALK FROM PIRELLI MOTO
The new Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa V4, both in SP and SC compound versions, is on sale now from your trusted Pirelli stockist here in Australia. Check out some of the tech highlights of the new tyres, and have a look at the official Pirelli video while you are at it… 

The fourth generation of Pirelli DIABLO Supercorsa tyres, both in the SP racing street/track day version and SC option (available in different compounds and designed for track use), is available now. Compared to its predecessor, the DIABLO Supercorsa V4 is a completely renewed product in terms of tread design, compounds, structures and profiles.


Check out our DIABLO Rosso IV review here…


DIABLO Supercorsa was created thanks to the experience of Pirelli in the FIM Superbike World Championship, which since 2004 has partnered with the Italian tyre company as its sole supplier. After having launched the DIABLO Superbike slick tyre in 2005 for exclusive use on the track, in 2007 Pirelli presented the racing tyre DIABLO Supercorsa SC, which was followed in 2008 by the SP (Sport Production) tyre for street and track day use.

Bautista secured his second win of the Misano round after fighting his way past the reigning Champion to take Race 2 victory

DIABLO Supercorsa was created thanks to the experience of Pirelli in the FIM Superbike World Championship, which since 2004 has partnered with the Italian tyre company as its sole supplier.

Over time, THE DIABLO Supercorsa SP has become the reference supersport tyre for riders looking to get the maximum out of their high-performance machines without needing to carry an extra set of tyres when they hit the track… and are OK if they get caught in the rain. 

Pirelli say their motto is “We sell what we race, we race what we sell” to indicate how the same tyres used by professional riders can be purchased by all motorcyclists. To date, DIABLO Supercorsa SP remains one of the best and most direct examples of technological transfer from the track to the road among Pirelli tyres, since it shares the profiles and many materials and technologies used for the structure with the SC version.

But unlike the SC version, which uses full racing compounds, the SP adopts a dual compound solution, with a racing compound on the shoulders and a road compound in the central band, to meet road requirements. The SC version, available in different compounds designed to adapt to different asphalt conditions and temperatures, remains a great choice for professional, semi-professional or trackday enthusiasts who want a treaded tyre capable of offering maximum performance on the track.

PIRELLI DIABLO SUPERCORSA V4 GALLERY



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