Interviews 14 Aug 2018

Industry Insight: Pirelli’s Garry Crilly

Link International's Pirelli product manager on the current ASBK season.

As a presenting partner of the Yamaha Motor Finance Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) and the defending champion tyre brand, Pirelli has proven the class of the premier class field in recent seasons. Distributed by Link International, Pirelli product manager Garry Crilly talks about the season to date ahead of Morgan Park Raceway’s fifth round in Queensland.

Image: Foremost Media.

Pirelli has so far dominated in 2018. What do you put the success down to?

With the brand’s WorldSBK experience and tyres suited to production based motorcycle competition, the product suits ASBK to a tee. It also helps that the fair majority of the field uses our tyres. That helps us to select the right tyre for the right track, with so much data at our disposal. If you can nail the right compounds, that goes a long way to having a competitive tyre.

With such as successful season last year, are you proud that Pirelli has maintained strong results?

Definitely, we are very proud with what we have achieved. There was plenty of work over the off-season to make sure we were ready for this year. We knew Dunlop and Bridgestone would come after us and debut their improved product. To be able to win as much as we have in 2018 is a proud moment.

How would you compare the tyres from last year to 2018’s?

We didn’t want to re-invent the wheel when it came to 2018’s compounds. It was more about fine tuning the tyres for better performance. After such a successful year last year, we didn’t want to change too much of a good thing.

Morgan Park Raceway is this weekend, what has been a major focus for Pirelli in the lead-up?

The biggest focus has to be durability.The tyres will have to be able to absorb the rough sections of the track. Several sections can be low-grip, with high abrasion. Weather conditions can be very interesting at the track with cold conditions in the early morning and late afternoon, but warm during the day. As a result, we may have to run different tyres in the morning and afternoon. The main point is we have to find a balance between performance and durability for race distance.

Image: Russell Colvin.

What compounds will you be bringing to the track?

For YMI Superbike we will be running two fronts and three rears. We will be bringing all the SC compounds with us, we will narrow it down throughout the weekend to find the best rubber for the conditions.

How do you manage your relationships with the big teams and the privateers?

We try to treat them as equally as possible. It’s really important that we support the major teams, but the privateers are really important to us. They have the same spec tyre available and we supply technical support to all teams when they require it.

How many tyres will you be packing in the Pirelli truck?

We will be packing over 600 tyres to cover the four classes we supply this weekend. We can’t wait to get back to the track and we’re really confident for more strong result.