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Isle of Man TT
Dunlop make a clean sweep with victory in all five classes
Dunlop’s 2009 Isle of Man TT involvement has been wrapped up in victor’s laurels as the tyre manufacturer took on all comers to take an incredible clean sweep of victories in all five classes at the legendary island road circuit. As Steve Plater crossed the line to take victory in the Senior TT on Friday afternoon it marked the end of the 2009 races and gave Dunlop their fifth class victory of the event.
It was a fitting end to Honda’s 50th anniversary at the TT as the duo of John McGuinness and Steve Plater on the HM Plant Honda bikes set about dominating the Senior TT. Riding on Dunlop KR106 front and KR108 (N-TEC) rear slick tyres, McGuiness showcased devastating speed over the 37.73 mile course. Already the outright lap record holder having broken last year’s time earlier in the week in the Superbike race, he set an all-new lap record of 131.578mph on his second lap before disaster struck and he was forced to retire on his fourth lap with a broken chain, ending his victory hopes for 2009. Fellow team rider Plater was also breaking records, posting the fastest ever 6 lap race distance time of 1hr 45m 53.15secs on his way to victory. Plater also took home the coveted Joey Dunlop TT Solo Championship Trophy for the best overall results of the week.
“I really had it in my head to get a good result,” said Steve Plater. “That’s what I was concentrating on. This achievement will finally sink in next week and then I have to turn my attention back to short circuits and the British Supersport Championship.”
“To be as strong as I was in the race and have to retire due to a broken chain is devastating,” said John McGuinness. “I’m gutted for me and also for the team and Honda, especially this year for Honda’s 50th. But I’m pleased it was my team-mate to take the top step of the rostrum and at least there’s always next year.”
The HM Plant Honda riders had started the roll of success earlier in the week, riding on the same Dunlop slicks as used for the Senior TT, they stormed the Superbike TT race head and shoulders above the competition. McGuinness took the win, making it his 15th TT victory, the second highest total ever recorded for the IOM TT, followed 18 seconds later by team-mate Plater, It was during this race that both the Dunlop shod riders became the first official 130mph+ racers of 2009, McGuinness breaking his 2008 record with a lap of 130.442mph.
Supersport TT race A
The 600cc Supersport TT and Junior Supersport TT saw adrenalin fuelled action as the riders lapped the circuit a mere 5mph on average slower than the superbikes. Dunlop D211GP shod Ian Hutchinson took the second TT win of his career in the Relentless Junior Supersport race following a hard fought four lap contest which saw contender for the win Bruce Anstey retire on the final lap with mechanical issues. Hutchinson was closely followed by fellow Dunlop rider Keith Amor who also made it onto the podium in a repeat of last year’s finish with the third place spot.
Both Hutchinson and Amor celebrated a repeat of these standings in the Superstock TT race, taking first and third spots on the podium respectively and adding more wins to the Dunlop scorecard as the week progressed. Hutchinson’s victory in the Superstock TT on the Padgett Honda is the first time a rider has taken the chequered flag on Dunlop tyres in the class, increasing the significance of the impressive clean sweep by Dunlop in all classes this year.
Supersport TT race B
The second Supersport TT race saw Michael Dunlop take his first ever TT win on the Street Sweep Yamaha R6. Again riding on the Dunlop D211GP tyres that have proved so dominant in supersport across the globe, Michael Dunlop’s first win was a convincing one, taking the lead early he was in front for the entire race to take the chequered flag. The first podium for the family since 2000, the young rider still has a way to go to catch his father’s five TT victories and his legendary uncle Joey Dunlop’s 26 TT victories.
How the TT works - 5 races run over one week
Unlike traditional road racing, TT races are time trails with an average lap time of 18 min. Riders are dispatched at 10 second intervals onto the road course, giving each rider an initial clear run and minimizing the danger of collisions. Races include pit stops for refuelling and tyre changes. The races are named:
Senior TT: one race of six laps open to all classes. The showcase event.
Supersport TT: two seperate races of four laps using road lgal D211GP tyres
Superstock TT: one race of four laps using D211GP tyres
Superbike TT: one race of six laps using slick tyres
TT facts and figures
Dunlop Motorsport team of 4 services all riders for Isle of Man TT event
134 separate rider entries on Dunlop tyres
1000 Dunlop tyres used over races
All 5 race classes won by Dunlop
9 podium finishes
Overall lap record broken twice on Dunlop tyres
Fastest race time record broken on Dunlop tyres
Dunlop history in the TT
Dunlop has been an intrinsic part of the TT for over 100 years, and can lay claim to winning the first official race in 1907. Over the century countless victories have been recorded. In 2007, as the races celebrated their centenary, Dunlop helped John McGuinness set what was then a new lap record on his way to the Senior TT win.
Moto2 prototypes already on the pace on Dunlop tyres
Moto2, originally proposed as the replacement class for 250cc in MotoGP from 2011 will now start in 2010, although for 2010 only existing 250GP bikes will be able to run alongside the 600cc four stroke Moto2 machines.
BQR and Laglisse, Dunlop partner teams in the Spanish CEV Championship, have been testing their prototype Moto2 bikes for a couple of months with former GP rider Roby Rolfo showing their potential in lapping at 250GP times in Jerez at the end of May.
June 7th saw the first race outing for the Moto2 bikes, the prototypes being allowed to run alongside the 1000cc Formula Extreme bikes at the Jerez round of the CEV. Daniel Rivas, riding the BQR Honda confirmed their potential, his fastest race lap of 1’43.3 equaling that set by Alvaro Bautista in the Spanish 250GP.
The new class, announced at the end of 2008, has been created by the FIM to be a prestigious, fast but cost effective category to run alongside MotoGP’s premier class. There will be a unique four stroke engine, supplied by Honda, governed by a standard electronic system limiting the bikes to 16,000rpm, and supplied to the teams by Dorna, the MotoGP promoter.
Whilst the engine and gearbox are standardized, chassis are free with development being actively encouraged of prototype frames and swingarms within the overall regulatory framework 91 entries from 47 teams, including nearly all the existing 250GP teams, and several of the independent MotoGP class teams, including Tech 3 have been submitted for a maximum of 36 places on the 2010 GP grid.
Whilst the tyre regulations for Moto2 are still being discussed, it is clear that there will be tight restrictions on quantities and numbers of specs in keeping with the aim of the new class.
Meanwhile Dunlop continues its development of the 17” Moto2 tyres together with its Spanish partner teams during the summer, whilst waiting for other teams to ready their chassis and start testing later in the year.
GP250 / GP125
Glorious sunshine greeted the 125 and 250GP riders in Catalunya, bringing an end to the difficult weather conditions and wet to slick tyre changes of the last two GP races. Everyone was back on Dunlop slicks and riding the hard compounds as dictated by the fast corners of the Catalunya circuit, the majority of the 125 riders opting for the wider 120 profile tyres offering more stability.
In the 250GP race Mapfre Aspar’s Alvaro Bautista rode strongly to claim his second win of 2009 extending his championship lead to 12 points as main rival Marco Simoncelli crashed out on the second lap. Local resident Scot Racing Team rider Hiroshi Aoyama took second placed honours with Pepe World Team’s Hector Barbera finishing the podium.
The 125GP saw drama in the closing laps as race leader Bancaja Aspar rider Simón mistakenly celebrated victory on the penultimate lap. Having battled with Simón for most of the race for top spot, Ongetta Team I.S.P.A’s Andrea Iannone took the opportunity to slip past and take the win. Simón got back on the pace but had to settle for fourth. He does however take the championship lead from team-mate Bradley Smith who finished in eighth position.
Dunlop is now producing its newest technologically advanced tyre, SportSmart², in sizes for Ducati’s Streetfighter 848 and 899 Panigale. SportSmart² has been designed to accentuate and optimise the riding experience with improved handling achieved by a new front tyre shape and construction delivering faster turn-in, accurate line holding and braking stability in corners.
The new KTM 1290 Super Duke R features Dunlop’s newest technologically advanced SportSmart² fitted as original equipment. SportSmart² was developed with KTM for the Super Duke R, designed to accentuate and optimise the rider experience.
Dunlop’s new technologically advanced tyre for sport bikes takes its name from SportSmart x SportSmart = SportSmart2, delivering comfort, superior handling*, optimised wet and dry grip, durability and high speed potential. The technology behind SportSmart2 has been developed by Dunlop’s European R&D team and is derived from products that have proved to be winners in racing, such as the D212 GP Pro.