Founded in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, the company we now know for its expansive range of tires got its humble beginnings in a different industry: telecomms. Back then several new technologies and industries were emerging, including energy and telecommunications. Throughout Europe, kilometers upon kilometers of power cables and phone lines were being put into the ground and into the ocean. All of them needed protection. Enter Pirelli and his expertise in another emerging field: rubber. Pirelli founded a limited partnership, “G.B. Pirelli & C.”, in Milan to produce elastic rubber items – primarily sheathing to protect all these wires buried in the ground. According to Pirelli’s corporate history website, by 1873, only a year after its foundation, Pirelli already had a plant in Milan. Production of carriage bands (they weren’t exactly tires) started in 1885, and by 1894 the first velocipede tire was born.
I hate being the nihilistic voice of MO, but when it comes to the state of American talent at world-level motorcycle road racing, we’re f*#ked. If the swirling rumors of Nicky Hayden’s departure from MotoGP come to pass, it’ll be the first time since 1977 America’s been absent from competing at the world’s highest level of two-wheel racing. Truly sad – especially considering the U.S. hosts two MotoGP rounds.
Tom Sykes entered the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca round of World Superbike as the defending 2013 champion (after only missing out on the honor in 2012 by half a point) and the current series leader with a 41-point advantage. Add that to the attention the Ninja 30th Anniversary celebration that Kawasaki kicked off at Laguna Seca has attracted, and Sykes has a lot to be smiling about.