Just after the US round of World Superbike in Monterey, CA, Pirelli invited a selection of notable personalities and moto journalists out for a day of fun, I… mean work. Pirelli held a private track day for the launch of their new Diablo Rosso Corsa II tires, and the event did not disappoint. After the morning for the fog lifted and visibility cleared, the track went hot. Straddled atop a 2018 Ducati Panigale 959 for my first session, I headed out to see what the new DRCII had to offer. After a refresher lap, I turned it up a little bit and went to work.
The DRCII is Pirelli’s first multi-zone compound tire, engineered to offer a greater sense of confidence as a result of improved grip, stability, and consistency. The DRCII tires feature a compound make up that consists of three zones in the rear and two zones in the front. The outer compound zone of the DRCII’s is where the magic happens. The outer region features a slick shoulder that provides a maximum grip that allows for greater lean and maximum acceleration upon corner exit.
The layout at Laguna serves as a proper proving ground for tire testing with its elevation changes, tight technical turns, sweeping corners, and of course, the famous Corkscrew. We were not using tire warmers this day. It was a straight run and gun. Within the first lap of each session, the DRCII’s provided significant feedback that resulted in a hefty boost to my confidence. Again, no tire warmers. But that wasn’t the most impressive factor of the DRCII. I felt like the tire had its nails digging into the asphalt, in the best way possible. The word “grip” doesn’t do these tires the justice that they deserve.
With solid rubber between myself and terra firma plus an increased in size set of cojones, I straddled the Ducati Panigale V4 and headed out. This was when the real fun began. Coupled with the sheer genius that is the Panigale V4, the DRCII tires gave a second to none performance in all categories: acceleration, hard braking, corner entry, and corner exit. The part that rocked my world about the DRCII tires was their stability at lean angle. They just dig into the ground and plant themselves, allowing for you to get on the gas and rocket out of the corner with ample proficiency.
For the rest of my sessions, I sported a full monty grin underneath my helmet as I continued to search for my limits with the new Diablo Rosso Corsa II tires. Even walking about the paddock area, the vibe was more of a paddock party as opposed to a workday. Pirelli invited a robust selection of notable industry personalities, journalists, and choice members of the television and movie sectors. Even my good friend, Mr. Tom Sykes hung around the paddock a bit and offered me some pro tips.
A major thank you to Pirelli for the invite and fantastic track event and congratulations on the Diablo Rosso Corsa II tires. Well done.