Dunlop Secure Moto2 And Moto3 Single Tire Contract Through 2014

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."

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Does anyone look at the big picture in GP racing? We can't get replacement riders in the top class because one reason we're told is that the BS tires have unique properties and riders need time to acclimate. So now we have the 2 lower classes riding on one brand tire and when/if they get to move up to the top tier they will be required to understand a completely unfamiliar tire with minimal testing time. If tires have to be spec equipment the supplier should supply all 3 classes or have no spec tire and let each team decide what to do.


With spec equipment there is nothing forcing the supplier to improve the product. At the last post race test all the riders wanted BS to introduce the new rear tire immediately but since BS made and shipped the tires for this entire season months ago there is no way it will happen.

A few years ago we riders were having race technology transfer to the road in one year and got multi-compound and multi layer rubber among other improvements that produced noticeably better and safer street tires. I don't remember any new technology development on tires being trumpeted since we've had spec tires in WSB and MotoGP.

An example to observe is F1. They had a spec tire that was pretty good but since it was so good the racing was predictable because the tires were predictable too. Now they signed a new contract and in essence demanded crappy tires that degraded quickly to a level of unpredictable performance simply to create more passing, even if it is only due to the larger number of pit stops needed to replace shagged tires. One of the drivers did very well in a recent race because they messed up during qualifying so had an extra set of unused tires for the race. So now Pirelli is not learning anything from racing in F1, their participation is just a large-scale marketing exercise. As is F1 so I guess it is a great fit.

In motorcycling we've had a huge transfer of race technology to street bikes that can be purchased for $10k. From tires to chassis to fuel economy to electronics we have better bikes due to racing. How long will it last when we treat the top level of racing as a marketing exercise? Its for this reason that I am against a spec ECU. It would be one more area where we won't innovate in the quest to improve the 'show'.