Ahead of this weekend’s Spanish GP, Dunlop have confirmed that they will be introducing a brand new tyre for the Moto2 class.
With engines now supplied by Triumph, the Dunlop race rubber needs to deal with upgrades in both power and torque. For the opening rounds of the new season, Dunlop took the decision to give teams 2018 specification tyres, to allow them plenty of time to get used to the new engine.
As of this weekend however, the 195/75 R17 rear will be replaced by a wider 200/75 R17 to help riders make the most of their 2019 machinery.
Stephen Bickley, Senior Race Engineer, explained the reason for introducing the new tyre at Jerez:
“The 2018 tyre has proven to be more than capable of meeting the performance of the new bikes. By using it in the opening rounds, the Dunlop technical team was able to collect information and establish how the new bikes impact the tyre performance, checking if more heat was being generated giving us valuable data for the larger 2019 rear tyre.
“The 200/75R17 is a physically larger tyre than the 195/75R17, increasing in diameter by over 10mm. This provides improved traction in both longitudinal and lateral directions.
The stability of the Moto2TM tyres was a highly-regarded attribute, and riders tell us we’ve actually improved on this with the new shape, carefully controlling the stiffness of the tyres at all lean angles.”
In addition to the new size, compound wise Dunlop will also be going 1-step harder than it did in previous years for Moto2 at Jerez, following a recent resurfacing at the track which makes for a more aggressive surface.
Dunlop are also looking to spice things up in Moto3, with the introduction of two near rear tyre options and a soft compound front.
According to Gary Purdy, Dunlop’s Lead Trackside Support Engineer on the Moto3TM programme, this will make teams think more about strategy:
“Testing has shown that the Soft tyre could be quicker in the opening laps of the race with a fast warm-up time, but in the closing stages the Hard may be the quicker tyre. Both tyres are capable of performing consistently over a race distance, but the difference in characteristics will bring an additional factor into planning a race gameplan.”