Pirelli to bring two development front tyres to Assen WorldSBK round

Assen awaits the WorldSBK paddock this weekend for the Dutch round of the 2022 season, and Pirelli is bringing new front tyres. 

Alvaro Bautista leads Michael van der Mark, 2021 Assen WorldSBK. - Pirelli Moto.

This weekend, the Superbike World Championship will head to the Netherlands, and the legendary Assen circuit, for the second round of 2022. 

The first round of the year in MotorLand Aragon saw Alvaro Bautista win the sprint and second main race on his return to Aruba.it Ducati, while Jonathan Rea won the first race and finished second to Bautista in both Sunday races. Reigning World Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu was third in each race at the season opener. 

The Aragon results mean that Bautista arrives in the Netherlands with the championship lead. He has not been in this position since the Donington round of the 2019 season, after which his and Ducati’s title challenge continued to evaporate.

Since Bautista was last at Ducati, Pirelli have changed their rear tyres in WorldSBK quite considerably. In 2020, the Italian brand brought the SCX rear tyre that, although designed for the 10-lap Superpole races on Sunday morning, has been able to be optimised by the teams over a full race distance over the last 18 months or so. For 2022, Pirelli has got rid of the old qualifying tyre, and replaced it with the SCQ, designed for both Superpole and the Superpole Race. 

Now, for Assen, Pirelli is bringing new options at the front, as they continue to try to improve the options they provide to the WorldSBK riders. 

In addition to a standard front tyre - the SC1 soft compound - Pirelli is bringing two development tyres to the Netherlands. The first - coded A0674 - was also present in Aragon, as well as in Jerez and Portimao last year, and aims to give additional support on corner entry, and in the middle of the corner. 

The second development front tyre - coded A0843 - will be making its race weekend debut in Assen, and uses the same construction as the A0674. However, the A0843 does make use of a different tread design to the A0674, which is designed to “give better mechanical resistance and wear protection at demanding circuits like this one,” according to Pirelli. 

Assen is one of the most complicated circuits on the front tyre, because it must give confidence in high- and low-speed turns, while also giving good feel in fast direction changes.  

For the rear tyres this weekend, the only development option is the SCQ, while the SC1 and SCX options will be the ‘standard’ versions of those tyres that were used throughout last season, as well as in Aragon. 

There is also a development front rain tyre (A0593), that is the same one as used “by many riders,” according to Pirelli, last year in Donington. 

Despite the snow that was present in Assen in 2019, Pirelli have not noted the addition of a studded tyre to this year’s allocation.