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Dunlop's Ferguson on triple flyaway demands

Dunlop's Ferguson on triple flyaway demands

Dunlop's Ferguson on triple flyaway demands

Dunlop head Jeremy Ferguson is well aware of the different demands placed on tyres by the next three tracks on the MotoGP calendar, and spoke ahead of the Malaysian race on the distinct weather and conditions offered by each of the circuits.

"The three ( Sepang, Philip Island and Motegi ) are probably as different from each other as it is possible to imagine. Sepang is well-known to everybody in MotoGP. It is the circuit where everyone tests the most during the winter, and there is not a great deal of variation in the track and ambient temperatures during the year because of its location. However, it is now six months since we were last there, and obviously our tyres have moved on a lot since March. Nevertheless, we have a lot of data for Sepang, which helps us narrow the compound and construction choices. As a circuit, its less tough on tyres than Philip Island, but more demanding than Motegi, and with track temperatures of 50C the norm, delivering race long tyre consistency remains a challenge".

"It can also rain in the afternoons, and this can vary from a quick shower which wets just part of the circuit, to a tropical storm. Even when it rains, though its still hot, so the track dries pretty quickly. This would be a difficult place to put the 'flag to flag' race regulation, with its attendant pit stops in case of rain, to its first test!!"

"Philip Island is very challenging - whatever the weather. Often, you can have three seasons in one day there. The track layout is also very difficult for tyres - probably the biggest challenge of the season - with many high speed corners, particularly the long last left hander, which generate very high temperatures in the rear tyres, particularly on the left side. This means that we have to build tyres specifically for this circuit to counter this. Its a great circuit that riders love, and produces wonderfully close racing - but very difficult for the tyre technicians!."

"Motegi is quite different - a 'stop and go' type of circuit, which means that acceleration traction out of the many low speed corners is important. Most of the corners are very short which means that they dont generate much heat into the tyres.There are also a lot of heavy braking areas at Motegi, which puts more of an emphasis on the front tyres than at many other tracks. This means that the front tyre is probably as important as the rear here".

"Naturally, as the home race for all the Japanese factories it brings its own special pressures. With much of our MotoGP tyre development being done by our Japanese team based in Kobe, we have quite a lot of data on the circuit, even though testing with MotoGP machines there is virtually zero for most teams".


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