At a press conference on Friday at the Montmelo Circuit near Barcelona, Dunlop was officially announced as the spec tire supplier for the Moto3 series, which is to replace the 125cc series from 2012. The move was not a surprise, given Dunlop's long dominance of the support classes in the MotoGP series, and the fact that the tire maker already has the contract to supply tires to the Moto2 series.
Speaking at the press conference announcing the deal, Dunlop Europe Marketing Director Sharon Antonaros said that the tires will not be the same as the ones currently being used for the 125cc machines. The demands of a heavier four-stroke single required the tires to be redesigned to cope with different loads, and will be a wider carcass. As in Moto2, Dunlop will be bringing a choice of two different slicks to each race, along with a single choice of rain tire.
Dunlop also took the opportunity to announce they had extended their current deal to supply the Moto2 series - which was scheduled to expire at the end of the 2012 season - to include the 2013 and 2014 seasons, thus synchronizing their Moto2 and Moto3 deals. This makes it much easier for Dunlop to plan long term for the two series.
The text of the official Dunlop, Dorna and IRTA press release is shown below:
Dunlop to supply Moto3 and Moto2
Dunlop Motorsport, IRTA and Dorna Sports have signed a contract for the exclusive supply of tyres to the Moto3 Championship, a deal which will commence upon the introduction of the new category in 2012 and will run until the end of the 2014 season. An agreement has also been made to extend the existing Moto2 Championship contract until at least the end of 2014.
Dunlop will supply tyres and technical support to every competitor in Moto3, the replacement for the 125cc World Championship. Dunlop has exclusively supplied tyres to Moto2 since its inauguration in 2010. Dunlop's supply has been ratified by Dorna and the International Road Racing Teams Association (IRTA).
Sanjay Khanna, Managing Director, Dunlop Brand Europe, Middle East and Africa said: "Dorna, IRTA and the teams have endorsed Dunlop's commitment to motorcycle Grand Prix racing by extending our Moto2 supply and awarding us the contract for the exciting new Moto3 Championship. These are strong validations of Dunlop's technology which will continue to be highlighted to a worldwide audience through these fantastic Championships."
Jean-Félix Bazelin, General Manager, Dunlop Motorsport commented: "Moto3 is an exciting new Championship for Dunlop, our engineers and technicians and we relish the new challenge, and look forward to the progress in our understanding as we develop tyres for the new 250cc 4-stroke powered racing machines. The extension of our Moto2 contract is a strong validation of the good job we have done in that Championship, the results of which are clear to see."
Sharon Antonaros, Dunlop Europe Motorcycle Marketing Director stated: "Dunlop participates in motorcycle racing in order to develop our products and our knowledge of the latest technology. This provides benefits for our consumers such as our NTEC and Multi-Tread technologies which we have enhanced further through our Moto2 relationship. Moto3 is a fantastic new proving ground and we will benefit from being there at the start of the Championship, when the learning curve is at its steepest, and the potential rewards are at their greatest."
Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO, said: "It is a great honour to be able to continue working with a brand such as Dunlop in the new Moto3 category, and also to extend the existing collaboration we have with them in Moto2 until the end of 2014. Dunlop's passion for the world of motorcycling and its commitment to the MotoGP World Championship are values which have consolidated the relationship between Dorna, and this has been done through two of the three categories which comprise the World Championship. There is no doubt that the constant technological work carried out by Dunlop to improve their products allows the circuit to be a testing ground for these developments, and that this technology is then transferred to the road."