Pirelli have enlisted Fabian Barel to help get their prototype Scorpion Gravity tyres into a winning position.
Pirelli have just announced a technical partnership with the three-time Downhill world champion for the development of a new line of Scorpion MTB tyres dedicated to the DH and Enduro racing world.
It is only a little over 2 years since Pirelli released their Scorpion mountain bike tyres, and Pirelli is working hard on a new line that is specifically dedicated to the Gravity Racing world. The process of research and prototyping began two years ago and is now in the final stage of development, and now Pirelli engineers have involved Fabien Barel: the three-time world champion (as well as a bronze and a silver medal) and seven-time national DH champion.
Barel left racing in 2015 and now works on several projects, as a technician and consultant in the world of gravity, as well as trying his hand at e-enduro races. His experience in gravity disciplines and technical expertise make him the ideal partner for Pirelli, for the development and continuous improvement of its products.
When we tested the Scorpion Trail and Enduro tyres, we were told that a Gravity line were in development. And now they are already at a prototype level and have already been tested by Barel himself. They they can be seen on the bikes of some athletes and teams, who will be racing them in the EWS and World Cup DH circuits.
Downhill has always been recognised as the most rigorous and demanding laboratory from the point of view of product stress. It is the perfect and definitive test bench, where tyres are pushed to the limit in all their aspects, from reliability to extreme grip. The smallest gains in rolling resistance, grip and shock absorption can be the difference between success and finishing down the start order.
"Pirelli's involvement in the world of MTB Gravity racing is a great opportunity for everyone," said Barel. "Pirelli is a global leader in tyre production as well as having an enormous sporting palmares. And when it comes to racing, having competences from the best is great for everyone as it brings the sports and performance forward. I'm a great believer in Pirelli's technical skills and their ability to interpret the needs of the mountain bike world in the best possible way. There's already a solid line of Pirelli MTB tyres on the market, my job is to help complete it with models dedicated to racing, which will hopefully lead to the successes that the company has already achieved in many other sports. Take Formula 1, motocross or Superbike, for example. The clear objective of these new tyres is to reach the top of the podiums."