AMA Supersport racer Cory West gives you the lowdown on all
the action during the Pirelli tire test at Daytona International
WORDS: Cory West
PHOTOS: Brian J. Nelson
After my trip to Daytona in October for the fall CCS Race of
Champions, I talked to Pirelli about coming back down to do a tire
test in December. They wanted me to help them out with their new DOT
race tires, so Chuck (my wrench) and I penciled that weekend in on
The Dunlop teams tested on Monday-Wednesday and the Pirelli riders
tested Thursday and Friday, which was good for us because the Dunlop
riders helped clean the track up before we got on it. This was my
first real taste of what my new R6 would feel like for next season
and I really took advantage of the track time as much as possible.
There were 13 riders at the track for the Pirelli test which meant
there wouldn’t be very much drafting and racing with the other
riders. It was kind of hard to get used to just turning laps all by
myself sometimes, especially coming around the banking and down that
long front straight all alone. It was nice to turn all the laps and
get very familiar with the track though; I put in around 70 laps on
Thursday and 30 laps on Friday.
Thursday was the most productive day because of the nicer weather,
with temps in the mid-60′s and light winds. I ran some long stints on
quite a few different tire combinations to try and see what tires
were going to be better for the 22 lap 600cc Supersport race in
March. Pirelli has an all new DOT tire for the upcoming season and I
am really excited about how good it felt already. The banking at
Daytona is notoriously hard on the left side of the rear tires, and
that has always caused an issue as far as durability over race
distance. The new tires held up well with as much as 30 laps on one
tire. The grip level was still good too, which is going to be a big
factor when it gets close to the end of the race.
Friday turned out to be kind of a crummy day. The weather was much
cooler with highs only in the low 50′s and high winds up to 30mph.
That made it harder to turn quick lap times with such low temps in
the tires and track surface. I still ran through a couple different
rear tires before lunch and then we pretty much called it a day.
Pirelli seemed happy with my feedback and Chuck was happy to get our
set-up a little closer for our first race in March.
It was nice to compare times with the other Pirelli riders and Dunlop
riders that I will be racing against next season. I heard that the
Dunlop riders had a little nicer weather and from what we saw there
is still some room for improvement, but we are definitely competitive
already. The move to a smaller displacement motorcycle and smaller
class may pay off very well next season and I can’t wait to tell you
more about it! Stay tuned!!
For more information on Cory and Shift Racing, visit: www.shiftracing.com