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Motorsport is at the heart of Dunlop. Our invention of the pneumatic tyre in 1888 was to achieve the goal of winning a race. We’ve never looked back since.
In Belfast, Northern Ireland on May 18, 1889, spectators could not have known that they were witnessing the birth of Motorsport history. Riding for the very first time on pneumatic tyres invented the previous year by John Boyd Dunlop, local cyclist Willie Hume destroys the competition by winning four of the day’s five races, proof of the supremacy of air-filled tyres over their solid rubber predecessors, and the dawn of Dunlop’s intrinsic links with motorsport competition.
Since this time, Dunlop has competed at every Isle of Man TT event held since the first race in 1907. What’s more, Dunlop has helped numerous riders to not only win races, but to break countless records. 2015 saw Dunlop rider John McGuinness take his 44th podium, a record in itself to add to his 23 race victories.
What’s more, Dunlop continues to break records on the international stage. Our investment in global championships such as the FIM Moto2™, Moto3™ and Endurance World Championships drive the constant development of new technologies.
This racing success yields new tyre technology developed with input from many of the world’s greatest riders and these innovations in motorcycle tyre technology quickly make their way to the creation of new Dunlop motorcycle products. Tyres such as the road-going Sportsmart 2 and RoadSmart III include many cascaded technologies developed from our track and road racing, whilst our MX range runs parallel with Dunlop’s race winning product in MXGP. The high speeds of the TT circuit have helped create Dunlop’s ‘JLB’ technology and epitomise our ‘Race to Road’ philosophy. Jointless Belt Construction reduces tyre growth due to centrifugal forces at high speeds from 15mm to 3mm. JLB results in smoother handling with straight line stability, and reduced ‘weave’ effect – a big advance for Dunlop’s motorcycle customers. RoadSmart III’s Nano-Technology compound designed for grip that is stronger for longer has also stemmed from improving race performance.
All riders in the intermediate and lightweight classes of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship continue to compete on Dunlop tyres.
Moto2™ continues to produce ultra-competitive racing. Several riders from the Dunlop one-brand series have more than held their own in the top formula including champions Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro.
For the Moto2™ 600cc four-stroke motorcycles, Dunlop provides tyres that combine consistency and competitiveness with parity across the different chassis manufacturers. Two tyre options are available for each round with two compounds selected by Dunlop to suit each particular circuit.
The 250cc four-stroke engines are open to manufacturer competition unlike Moto2™ which has a controlled Honda engine. Dunlop has three slick compounds available with two front and two rear compounds selected for each round.
On track, the Endurance World Championship (EWC) has produced many Dunlop Champions. Dunlop has helped teams win 15 of the last 22 titles.
Dunlop’s involvement is about more than winning – endurance racing is our ultimate and toughest development ground.
The tyres face extreme demands with big switches from warm to cold and cold to warm, as they race for up to 24 hours.
Dunlop has competed at every Isle of Man TT event held since the first race in 1907. What’s more, Dunlop has helped many riders to not only win races, but to break countless records. 2015 saw John McGuinness take his 44th podium, a record in itself to add to his 23 race victories. Of the 18 single rider current lap records and race records, Dunlop tyres have powered all 18 men and women into the record books.
Those records include the fastest outright lap set by John McGuinness in 2015, and all six fastest sector times held by Michael Dunlop, Steve Plater and Michael Rutter.
The northern-European version of the open Spanish CEV championship offers international-level riders the chance to compete in an eight-round series, on circuits including the Nürburgring Circuit and the GP circuits of Sachsenring and Assen.