Dunlop: Japanese GP, Moto2 Preview
Dunlop heads to Motegi for the Japanese Grand Prix, the fourteenth round of the 2011 Moto2 Championship, held on September 30 – October 1.
The Japanese Grand Prix is something of a homecoming for Dunlop with the brand part-owned by Japanese company Sumitomo Rubber Industries. All Dunlop’s Moto2 tyres are produced, however, at Dunlop Motorsport’s factory in Birmingham, England.
Dunlop will bring the front tyre allocation of the 717 hard compound which has been used at all rounds so far this year. The medium compound reverts to the 753 as used for all rounds prior to Sachsenring this season.
For the rear, the 6838 medium/hard and the 4924 hard compounds will be brought. The 6838 is the same compound as used successfully at Motegi in 2010, whilst the 4924 is a new compound – replacing the 6770 from last season.
“Motegi is a stop-start track, all slow corners with no real high speed challenges so you basically need a good balance with mechanical grip and good stability,” explains Dunlop Motorsport’s Moto2 co-ordinator, Clinton Howe.
“The stability from the tyres is important as the riders are either standing on the brakes or accelerating hard so they don’t want a tyre with a lot of movement in it.
“In terms of the track surface, Motegi can be abrasive, but because of the slow nature of the turns the tyres do not get punished too much.
“There is more of a challenge with the temperatures, as these can range from pretty cool in the morning to quite hot and humid in the afternoon, however we’ve previously found that the track is typically around the 30-35˚C region which is the sweet spot for tyre performance.
“If it rains it’s one of the hardest tracks on front wet tyres, due to the nature of the braking demands, and the heat build-up. We see shape change in the centre of the front wet tyres, but the sides are perfect. The centres almost overheat, so a drying track is the worst scenario.”
The fourteenth round of the Moto2 World Championship at Motegi starts with practice on Friday September 30, followed by qualifying on Saturday and then the race at 12:15 local time on Sunday October 1.
Source: Dunlop Motorsport Media