Five-time Isle of Man TT winner Peter Hickman has announced a deeper relationship with Dunlop Motorcycle Europe that will include an Official Brand Ambassador role, adding to his duties as a Dunlop test tyre rider.
Avon Tyres and two-time Isle of Man TT race winner and former British Supersport champion Steve Plater has become brand ambassador for Avon’s motorcycle tyre range. Avon has been working closely with Plater in recent months to enhance the 3D Ultra Xtreme and 3D Ultra Xtreme Slick products. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the 3D Ultra Xtreme and 3D Ultra Xtreme Slick, along with the wet-weather 3D Ultra Xtreme Rain Racer, are high-performance tyres developed with demanding track use in mind. Cooper has previously introduced brand ambassadors for particular product ranges, like Formula 1’s David Coulthard, who represented Cooper UHP tyres.
Dunlop will bring a new version of its KR 108 slick tyre to the Isle of Man TT (IOMTT), as it seeks a continuation to its success at the event. Developed over the winter at a range of test circuits, including a final validation at the traditional pre-IOMTT test at the Castle Combe Circuit, the KR 108 has been designed to heat up faster and give the rider more grip and confidence at the start of the race.
After four years of partnership with Bridgestone, Belgian motorcycle brand Saroléa has now selected Dunlop as a technical partner for its Saroléa SP7 electric racing motorcycle. Dunlop comments that the change of technical partner accompanies yesterday’s announcement of the next goal for Saroléa, which is to be recognised as a candidate for future Le Mans 24h and FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) competition and thus directly compete with the most powerful petrol-powered EWC machines. The switch, adds Dunlop, was a move Saroléa made “to help achieve this goal.”
Avon Tyres’ motorsport team will mark the 60th anniversary of the first ever 100mph lap at this year’s Isle of Man TT (27 May-9 June). Set on Avon tyres, the record-breaking lap was ridden by legendary Scottish rider Bob McIntyre on a four-cylinder Gilera, running on Avon’s Speedmaster GP race tyres.
Bridgestone is continuing its partnership with the all-electric Belgian motorcycle manufacturer Saroléa. For the fourth year in a row, the tyre maker will support Saroléa’s participation in the TT Zero races at the Isle of Man on 7 June. Bridgestone’s partnership with Saroléa dates back to 2014 and involves the provision of full technical support and tyre expertise for Saroléa’s track and road ambitions.
In 2016 Cooper Tire continued to support the World Rallycross Championship and European Rallycross, also providing tyres to Dakar Rally veteran Xavier Foj, who has taken on the challenge an impressive 26 times. Meanwhile, Avon Tyres burnished its reputation as master of classic motorcycle race tyres, underlined in the Isle of Man this year with victories for Avon in both the Senior and Junior Classic TT races, for John McGuinness and Michael Dunlop respectively.
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden has taken on 23-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness on each other’s race-winning machinery. Hosted by Dunlop and Honda, the head-to-head took place at Scotland’s Knockhill circuit on Monday. Shedden swapped his race-winning Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R for McGuinness’ Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP for 30 laps of the Scottish track. (See full article for the video.)
Ian Hutchinson won the Supersport and Superstock categories on Metzeler’s road legal Metzeler Racetec RR tyres, developed through past road racing seasons. The tyre manufacturer’s products were fitted to the whole podium in both races, but it was Hutchinson’s imperious form that led to victories on his Team Traction Control Came BPT Yamaha YZF-R6 in Supersport and Tyco BMW S1000RR in the Superstock class.
While Michael Dunlop was busy making history on Dunlop, the tyre brand also saw new records set on four wheels. Running on medium compound Sport Maxx BTCC race tyres, triple British Rally Champion Mark Higgins beat the previous record for a car around the Isle of Man TT Mountain course.
Dunlop tyres helped Michael Dunlop to a sub-17 minute lap around the iconic 37.73 mile Isle of Man TT Mountain Course, twice shattering the existing lap record, which was held by 23-time TT winner John McGuinness. The Hawk Racing BMW rider averaged 133mph on the opening two laps of the six lap race, achieving the tyre supplier’s objective of creating the 133mph Club on day one.
Bridgestone’s partnership with electric motorcycle manufacturer Saroléa continues with its third visit to the TT Zero at the Isle of Man on 8 June. Riding on two promising performances (fourth in 2014 and fifth in 2015), the all-electric Belgian motorcycle manufacturer is reaching out for the podium this year with two world class riders. Bradford’s Dean Harrison and Northern Ireland’s Lee Johnston will pilot an SP7 each, 2 bikes in 2 different colours.