Aragon GP: Dunlop preview – Moto2 & Moto3
Dunlop Moto2 and Moto3 riders are now on their way to the penultimate European round on the championship calendar. Only five rounds remain, with the next round at the Spanish Motorland Aragon track followed by three fly-away events and a season finale back in Spain at the circuit of Valencia.
125 points are still available making it feasible that any of the top nine Moto2 riders can claim the title. Scott Redding and Pol Espargaro have a points advantage and look to be favourites. In Moto3 just three riders have a realistic change of winning the crown: the Spanish trio of Luis Salom, Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins are at least 92 points ahead of the rest and are the only race winners so far in 2013. Interestingly of the three Luis Salom has the most race wins with six compared to Viñales on two and Rins on four, but Salom has led only 33 laps with the others being out in front for 88 and 91 respectively.
At Misano Dunlop introduced a second new rear tyre compound in as many races. The new 9998 compound is softer than anything else used so far in this championship and it performed well with good durability. The riders took a liking to it with all of them choosing it for the race.
For Aragon Dunlop takes into account the weather conditions as much as the asphalt and circuit layout. In cooler conditions tyres are worked very hard, so the selected compounds need to be durable enough to complete the 21 lap race distance. However if conditions are warmer durability is not an issue but the tyre still needs to have good stability, as tyre temperature can increase significantly.
Clinton Howe, Operations Manager Motorcycle Grand Prix
“Misano was another success story for Dunlop. The new Moto2 rear 9998 compound was as soft as we have ever used in this championship. Times in the race were very consistent with Pol Espargaro setting a new lap record on lap 22 / 26 and most other riders only able to show 2/10ths of a second lap time difference from the start to the end of the race proving the consistency of the tyres. In both the Moto2 and Moto3 classes, the circuit best lap and lap records were broken, showing our strength in giving the riders the equipment they need to constantly improve.
“Aragon is another chance for us to prove again the latest ‘997’ rear compound. Riders have commented that these new ‘9’ series tyres are giving them confidence to push harder in the race and typical comments are that it is easier to ride the bikes. This is good news for Dunlop as we believe that going into 2014 and beyond, these tyres will be our stepping stones to more success in this championship.
“I’m looking forward to the next few races. It seems that Espagaro and Redding have decided to turn their championship challenge into a chess game by making sure they finish each race with points, whereas Rabat and Nakagami are hitting form and now starting to make a firm challenge for the championship themselves. Nakagami is the highest points scorer in the last four races with 80 points compared to Redding and Espargaro taking just 59 points each. The second highest scorer is Rabat with 63 points. If all riders continue in this form, Nakagami could win the championship by the time we leave Motegi. Now there’s food for thought!”
Source: Dunlop Motorsport