Since the first Isle of Man TT in 1907, Dunlop has made a name for itself as the most successful tyre manufacturer in the iconic road races history books.
Having missed only two TT events since its inception, Dunlop has continuously evolved its tyre technology to push the boundaries of what’s possible; allowing riders to break records and reach faster average speeds with every new development. In fact, the last 15 years alone, top riders have chosen Dunlop to claim more than 60 victories and 150 podium finishes.
The TT has been a major contributor to Dunlop’s tyre development. Following the 1969 TT race, Dunlop’s K81 tyre was renamed the TT100 because it was the first production tyre to turn in a 100mph lap with the help Malcolm Uphill and his 750cc Triumph.
And Dunlop’s modern-day treaded tyres continue that success – and after wins at the NW200 last month for its latest generation treaded D213 GP Pro tyres, it’s clear that things are looking good for the 2019 TT. But it’s the Senior TT where Dunlop tyres really shine, with 13 consecutive Senior TT wins under its belt – beginning with John McGuinness in 2005, who turned in an average lap speed of 124.342mph, while Peter Hickman continued that success last year recording an average lap speed of 131.7mph.
Dunlop’s Road Racing Event Leader, Pat Walsh explains Dunlop’s success at IOMTT: “Every one of the Senior TT wins has been incredible. We have seen a mixture of manufacturers winning in this period including BMW, Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha. It shows Dunlop’s adaptability and commitment to success at one of the toughest races on the road racing calendar. One race that stood out for me was John McGuinness breaking the 130mph barrier on Dunlop tyres in 2007, that record stood for three years.”
Sebastien Montet, Dunlop’s Technology Director, outlined the contribution that tyre innovation has made to the gains in pace: “At the beginning of this incredible run of Senior TT success we had just introduced MultiTread technology to our road racing tyres. This allowed us to use a mix of compounds to boost durability and grip at the same time. In the middle of the last decade we introduced several new technologies. Our NTEC technology features highly reinforced casing and allows riders to run lower inflation pressures. This ensures more of the tyre footprint is in touch with the road for more of the time and, most importantly in the case of Road Racing, the extra compliance from the casing allows the tyre to recover its shape from impacts with bumps, jumps and contours of the TT circuit.
“At the same time, we introduced Dunlop’s Jointless Belt Construction (JLB) which gives riders smoother handling, straight-line stability and reduced ‘weave’ effect. This, combined with our Jointless Tread, was derived from our World Championship Moto2 tyres. More recently, we’ve focused on temperature control. Our Heat Control Technology was used in recent TTs. This advanced tread construction features different layers of compound, where the base compound can be tuned to either generate or reduce heat build-up in order to optimise the performance of the top layer of compound. This year Dunlop has focused on a compound that heats up quicker, essential to boost rider confidence on a chilly morning before racing down Bray Hill after the start line.”
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