Superbike: the Work of the Pirelli Men

They wander in the paddock, in the pit lane, in the pits… They are the Pirelli Superbike technicians. There are many of them, with different tasks on and off the track. They are the ones who allow the riders to do their job among the kerbs, the technicians of the official supplier of tyres for the SBK.

Since 2004, the historic brand of the “P” lunga has been the official supplier for all classes of the Motul F.I.M. Superbike World Championship. The contract is valid until the end of the 2020 season, an absolute record in the history of motorsport that makes Pirelli the longest-lived brand among the official international tyre suppliers.

Unlike other championships where prototype tyres are used, from the very beginning Pirelli’s philosophy has been to design and manufacture racing products with the help of riders that can be used by all motorcyclists. “We sell what we race, we race what we sell” is the motto that gives life to the historic range of tyres, such as the DIABLO Superbike used in the queen class and the DIABLO Supercorsa SC used in the WorldSSP600 and WorldSSP300 classes.

During the last stage in Misano we had a chat with Matteo Giusti, Racing and Product Communication Manager of Pirelli, to understand what his work consists of, which he does frantically passing through the press room and the pit lane of the circuits around the world during the Superbike rounds.

Hello Matteo, as Racing and Product Communication Manager you are always on the road.

Basically, during the week I work in the office in Milan, then when there are rounds of Superbike, if it is a European stage I usually leave on Thursday, if international a couple of days before because of the length of the trip. Once on the circuit, from Friday to Sunday I follow the round and I am present in the press room to provide information to journalists present on the solutions proposed by Pirelli for that specific round. It’s a classic press office job with the fact that the scenario changes all the time, it’s more or less the same every year but during the season “my office” is around the circuits around the world…

Like the SBK riders, speed is also fundamental to your work.

Yes, right, as for the riders also our work needs the speed, now represented by the internet. I started in 2011, many fellow journalists, those historians so to speak, tell me about when to spread a press release or a press note in the circuit you had to queue to the only phone available in the paddock and then move on to the great innovation that at the time was the fax.

How Did you Start to do This Job and What do you do?

After graduating from the Faculty of Communication and Languages in Milan, I joined a communication agency that had a number of automotive companies among its clients. So I started working in this environment until I had the chance to go directly to Pirelli. Here I became the head of the Motorcycle Press Office with regard to the product and the Racing part. My job is to give visibility to the product, of course, and to all the activities in the racing field. Not only SBK, where we are single tyre suppliers, but also the MXGP World Championship, the BSB and all the other national and international championships in which our company participates. It is a job for which, beyond the skills required by the specific role, you need a lot of passion, you are often away from home and it is precisely the passion for two wheels and motorsport that allows you to face a series of commitments sometimes heavy, sometimes a little ‘less, but always constantly traveling for almost nine months a year.

In addition to the press room, your work also takes place on the track, particularly on the starting grid.

They are on the track on the starting grid like our technicians who follow the world championship with headphones and microphones to follow the drivers of SBK and Supersport 600, two classes that have at their disposal different solutions of tires and can decide which tires to use at the front or at the rear up to 5 minutes before the start, until the sound of the siren. You will surely have seen on TV or live the trolleys lined up next to the bike with two tires ready to use. In some races the choice of tyre is more obvious, while in others some conditions are primarily climatic, but also of the asphalt, etc., Conditions that can obviously determine different choices. I am always on the grid to collect what are the solutions adopted by the drivers at the last moment because then it will be my job to inform journalists in the press along with commentators of international television on the choices made by the drivers. I only have five minutes to collect all the information and send it by email before the start of the Superpole and the three races. The world of communication has changed a lot in recent years and the modern tools at our disposal require us to perform faster and faster to be effective, as it should be for an important international company like Pirelli.

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