Dunlop Gets Moto2 Contract

Henny Ray Abrams | June 26, 2009

Dunlop has been chosen as the control tire in the Moto2 class by the Grand Prix Commission, after submitting the only serious bid for the contract.The three-year deal was announced by the FIM on Friday afternoon, ending weeks of speculation that the new class which will feature Honda-powered prototypes would be open to all brands, but with restrictions on quantities.As it turned out, only Dunlop made a concerted effort and for that they were rewarded with the deal that begins in 2010.”First and foremost, at the end of the day, my understanding is Michelin said they weren’t interested on the grounds of the sort of regulations that Dorna had made clear were going to be in place, which basically are the same as MotoGP,” Dunlop’s Jeremy Ferguson said in the press room of the Circuit van Drenthe, site of the Dutch TT. “Even if it was an open class, then all the limitations and marking and random distribution and everything else would be in place. I guess they eventually decided that it didn’t fit their plans, strategy or whatever.”Added race director Paul Butler, “If I’d been betting, there was a possibility that it would be two competing, but that was going to be under strict terms so it didn’t get expensive, so there wasn’t a war that increased costs. And through that discussion, Dunlop were the only ones who actually fit the bill.”No one from Michelin was available for comment in Holland.Ferguson continued. “Obviously we made a proposal which is effectively, I mean it’s virtually identical to the rules and restrictions in the MotoGP class in terms of…the quantity’s slightly less. All tires marked on a Thursday. Random distribution by (FIM technical director) Mike Webb and two specs of dry and one spec of wet per race. All of that is virtually identical, well it is identical to MotoGP.”The teams will pay an annual fee per rider, as is done in World Superbike, but that fee hasn’t been determined, because “until we’ve agreed to the number we’re going to produce and especially the amount of official tests which are all part of the package, you can’t sort of come to a final number,” Ferguson said.The tires that are to be used are being tested on Moto2 machines that are being campaigned in the Spanish championship. Ferguson said that “already we can see with the first prototype Moto2 bike in the Spanish championship, the fastest lap in the race by a rider who certainly isn’t (Alvaro) Bautista, was the same as Bautista’s fastest lap in the Spanish grand prix in 250.”Dunlop is currently the only supplier in both the 250cc and 125cc classes. Bridgestone is the control tire of MotoGP. And Dunlop is also the control tire of the AMA Pro Road Race Championship.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.