Pirelli will bring their prototype new hard tire for teams to use in practice for this weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Teams did a limited amount of running on the tire in practice in Canada. The revised construction is aimed to prevent a repeat of the tire delaminations seen at some earlier races.
However Pirelli does not yet have the unanimous agreement it requires from teams to use the new tires in a race.
F1’s official tire supplier is bringing its hardest compounds to this weekend’s race and using a new bonding process to guard against delaminations.
“We’ve brought the two hardest compounds to the British Grand Prix,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery, “with a new bonding process connecting the tread to the steel belt, which is designed to eliminate the isolated delamination issues to reach a unanimous agreement about this.”
“However, we do still have that possibility on stand-by should it be required in future. During free practice at Silverstone we will have the same prototype hard seen earlier this season.
“The actual construction of the tire won’t change, as the teams weren’t able tire available that we tried out on Friday in Spain, aimed at even greater durability than our current hard. This is in order to give the teams the chance to test this new compound on a different track to collect more data.”
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”