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Dunlop’s mid-season tyre use review

Dunlop’s mid-season tyre use review

With the mid-season break underway, Dunlop have reviewed some interesting trends of 2014 so far from a tyre perspective.

Last season the top six in the Moto2™ World Championship only chose the same tyres eight times out of 17 races. This season has seen far less variety with the top six riders differing in option only twice so far.

In Argentina, Luis Salom finished third having chosen the softer 997 rear compared to the special hard 067. 997 was also the choice of Tito Rabat and Simone Corsi at Mugello, finishing first and fourth, while the remaining top six finishers had opted for the softer medium compound.

Clinton Howe, Dunlop’s Operations Manager, Motorcycle Grand Prix, explains why, saying, “Last year we were in a position where we were aiming to have two relatively equal options for the riders to give them choice. Our development has been continuous and we have focussed on extending the operating window of our tyres.”

“This has meant that the tyres we take to the tracks now are much more versatile than even just a couple of years ago and suit more conditions. Once the rider has experience and feels comfortable on the tyres it means that they can then focus on tweaking bike settings rather than switching between tyres – there are fewer variables if they stick with the tyre they know works for them.”

The tyres for 2014 are generally ‘harder’ than their 2013 counterparts. Riders usually shun harder tyres with a perception that they have less grip and hence are ‘slower’ than their softer counterparts. Sachsenring was won on the newest generation special hard tyre but the race was faster than in 2013 on softer compounds by seven seconds.

Dunlop’s development work is a continuous process and reactions to positive development in the testing are implemented as soon as possible. The Phillip Island test in March resulted in new 25-067 special hard tyres being introduced on the track in June. Work is already underway for 2015 specifications, so while the riders are focussed on the second half of the season, Dunlop is planning far ahead for future improvements.

Moto2, 2014

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