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Ferguson gives latest on Dunlop Moto2 preparations

Ferguson gives latest on Dunlop Moto2 preparations

motogp.com caught up with Dunlop’s Jeremy Ferguson this week to get the latest on how the British tyre manufacturers are proceeding with their Moto2 project.

Selected earlier this year to be the single tyre suppliers for the new Moto2 class from its commencement in 2010, Dunlop have been busy preparing their product for the new 600cc 4-stroke machines.

Dunlop Motorsport Manager Jeremy Ferguson explained to motogp.com how the current 250cc and 125cc suppliers are proceeding with the project and what the key factors are in developing a cost-effective, yet consistently performing Moto2 product.

What were the initial steps in the project from a technical perspective?
It started as soon as BQR and Laglisse in the Spanish Championship and Moriwaki in Japan had Moto2 bikes. BQR were already a partner team of ours in the Spanish Championship as well as in MotoGP. In the initial stages there were no defined regulations about rim diameters or widths so we initiated the racing using what we used for Formula Extreme in Spain.

How do you ensure that costs are kept reasonable?
We aim to keep costs down in several ways. First of all in terms of the actual quantities of tyres to be allowed at each race, which I think will be decided on in Estoril, and I think the quantities will be less than in MotoGP for example.

We have also decided to have a fixed rim width so that there is no possibility for teams to try different rim widths. There will be a 3.75″ (inch) front and 6″ rear in terms of widths and 17″ diameter front and rear, so there is no possibility of teams saying ‘we need to try a 3.6″ front or a 3.82″’ or any other funny number. So that is also part of the cost saving principal.

We will have two specs of slick tyre and only one spec of wet tyre per event. Performance has to be reasonable and there are certain circuits where, for safety reasons as well as performance, you need a certain specification to cope with the nature of the track, Phillip Island being the obvious one.

When will final products will first be available to teams?
The intention is to have a finalised product for people to test and use in November. We are now finalising compound specification, as we have identified the physical dimensions and the construction, so we are sorting out the appropriate compounds for the different racetracks.

How relevant is your 125cc/250cc data and the data you gathered in MotoGP until 2007?
The circuits are the same, so we have all the Grand Prix circuit data, from the MotoGP class and from 250cc. The bikes are not the same as the 250cc bikes, we can see that from the ones that already exist, but that is ok because we can work on it. It is now just a case of making sure that you have the right combination of compounds for the individual and difficult circuits.

What do Dunlop expect from and hope for Moto2?
It is a whole new world for everybody. What we want to achieve, to be perfectly honest, is what Bridgestone have achieved in MotoGP. That means close competition and tyres that are of a really good standard, because you can see that from results, like when people set new lap records on the last lap or penultimate lap of a race, then the tyre has done its job.

Obviously, we will treat everybody the exactly the same so we will use the same system of marking and distribution that there is in MotoGP, with all the tyres barcoded and distributed by Mike Webb and his people before the race weekend starts.

Tags:
250cc, 2009, GP CINZANO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI

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