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We invented the pneumatic tyre in 1888 to win races and we’ve never looked back. To this day Dunlop continues to break records, our recent success at Isle of Man TT confirmed our reputation as the tyre to have at the TT. Continued dominance in the FIM Endurance World Championship, along with dozens of national championships and the men’s and women's MXGP wins.
TT legend John McGuinness chose Dunlop for each of his wins on the Island.
Dunlop was the choice of for the first 100mph production lap in 1969 and since then we’ve claimed the absolute speed records of 127mph, 128mph, 129mph, 130mph, 131mph, 132mph, 133mph and the new 2018 Peter Hickman landmark of 135mph.
Away from the TT, Dunlop invests heavily in the world Moto2™ and Moto3™ world championships, supplying all the tyres. This means that over the years Dunlop has had crucial input from the likes of Marc Marquez, Maverick Vinales, Johan Zarco, Jack Miller, Franco Morbidelli… the list goes on and on.
In the FIM World Motocross Championship, Dunlop is the choice of top teams such as Monster Energy Kawasaki MXGP and our winning Geomax MX-33 tyres are available for all off-road riders.
Dunlop is also the most successful tyre brand in Endurance Racing. Teams such as SERT Suzuki and GMT94 Yamaha have chosen Dunlop to win championships – relying on our enduring performance in races such as the Bol d’Or, Le Mans 24 hours and Suzuka 8 hours.
With that kind of expertise, it’s not surprising that the race tyres develop so fast, and that so much useful technology cascades down to road-going tyres such as the SportSmart2 MAX and RoadSmart III – RoadSmart III’s Nano-Technology compound that grips more and yet lasts longer, for example, stemmed from improving race performance not just in Moto2™ and Moto3™ but in the Endurance World Championships too.
Dunlop has come a long way since May 18, 1889, when Willie Hume destroyed the competition in a Belfast cycle event by winning four of the day’s five races using pneumatic tyres invented the previous year by John Boyd Dunlop. It was the dawn of Dunlop’s drive to win – a spirit which continues to this day.
Dunlop has competed at every Isle of Man TT since the first race in 1907, helping more riders win races than any other tyre company. Of the 18 current single rider lap and race records, how many were achieved on Dunlop tyres? All 18.
The TT is crucial to Dunlop because it’s such an extreme test – tyres have to withstand the 200mph speeds down Sulby Straight, cope with cats eyes and manhole covers, plus bumps galore and, usually, rain.
No surprise then that the TT directly benefits road tyres. Dunlop’s Jointless Belt Construction (JLB) technology came from the IOM TT, reducing dynamic growth at high speed from 15mm to 3mm. This creates smoother handling and straight line stability - whether you’re rattling through Quarry Bends or down the M6. The TT was also a major factor in Dunlop’s development of dual compound tyres, with stickier rubber round the edges, and a harder-wearing centre.
All riders in the Moto2™ World Championship compete on Dunlop tyres, which means we’ve had input from some of the world’s most talented motorcyclists.
Marc Marquez, Maverick Vinales, Pol Espargaro, Jack Miller, Johan Zarco and many more have helped us develop our race tyres. And of course the technology we develop racing goes directly into our road tyres such as the award-winning RoadSmart III.
The level of competition in Moto2™ is phenomenal, with 33 riders all driven by one goal – to win against world class competition. Because this class is so competitive, it’s critical Dunlop gives riders tyres that combine consistency and grip, and also give parity across the different chassis manufacturers. Needless to say, it requires a manufacture of Dunlop’s vast experience to get that equation right, race after race.MORE ABOUT MOTO2™
Moto3™ is one of the closest forms of motorsport on the planet. At the opening round at Mugello in 2017, the top 21 riders were covered by just 3.4 seconds. The entire race was like an elbow-bashing first corner battle. This was not an exception – it is typical of the slipstreaming action.
As in Moto2™, Dunlop supplies all the tyres for the championship, and the heat of the battle means grip and consistency are vital. Not only that, but the 250cc four-stroke engines are open to manufacturer competition (unlike Moto2™ which has a production-based control engine) so Dunlop has to ensure the tyres work across a range of power deliveries.
Dunlop has three slick compounds available with two front and two rear compounds selected for each round.
Racing a motorcycle for between eight and 24 hours puts immense strain on every link in the chain – the riders, bikes and tyres. It’s an extreme test, and one that Dunlop excels at – in the Endurance World Championship, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda and Kawasaki teams have all chosen Dunlop for championship wins.
Just like the TT, endurance racing is a brutal development ground, complicated by the big changes in temperature as racers ride from hot afternoons into freezing nights. It makes life tough for our tyre designers, but it’s worth it – the advances we’ve made translate directly to road tyres, which also have to work across a huge range of temperatures.
MXGP allows us to prove our tyre performance and durability in this most demanding and gruelling World Championship. With a mixture of sand, mud and rocky terrain on the calendar we give our riders confidence to perform at the limit all season long.
Our Geomax range of tyres that are used in MXGP are available for national and local riders, ensuring our World Championship performance is available at any MX event.
In 2018, Clement Desalle, Julien Lieber and Kawasaki chose Dunlop to win at World MXGP level, and last year, Kiara Fontanesi chose Dunlop for her epic win in the Women’s World Motocross Championship.