Dunlop is to remain the official tire supplier to the Moto2 and Moto3 classes for the next three seasons. The European arm of the US-based tire conglomerate is to keep the role it has had since the start of the two four-stroke classes. That, in itself, was an extension of the near total dominance Dunlop had in the 125cc and 250cc classes which preceded them.
The renewal should come as no surprise. There has been little interest from Dorna in finding a replacement for Dunlop, nor much interest from other tire manufacturers in taking on the role. The role does not bring the same level of either media profile nor media scrutiny as the MotoGP contract.
For the most part, Dunlop has done a solid job in Moto2 and Moto3, with few complaints from the teams - though there were some protests when Dunlop started insisting on enforcing a minimum tire pressure after a couple of serious incidents as teams pursued grip by lowering tire pressure. The only serious complaint raised by the riders is the fact that in Moto2, there is only a single wet-weather compound.
Below is the press release from Dorna issued announcing the contract extension:
Dunlop to remain tyre supplier to Moto2™ and Moto3™ until 2020
Three-year contract extension sees the classic marque remain sole tyre supplier to the lightweight and intermediate classes until at least 2020
The FIM Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championships will continue racing on Dunlop tyres until at least the end of the 2020 season, with a new contract extension securing the future of this long-standing partnership for at least another three years. This announcement continues Dunlop’s proud history in World Championship motorcycle racing that began in 1949, when Les Graham rode Dunlop tyres to glory in the first 500 Championship for motorcycles.
MotoGP™ is a leading global sport with far-reaching international impact which in 2017 featured 86 competing riders from 18 different countries. Moto2™ and Moto3™ are an integral part of both MotoGP™ race weekends and the entire Championship, showcasing some of the closest racing on the planet as well as the talents coming through the ranks who will one day redefine the possible in the premier class.
Moto2™ was launched in 2010 and Moto3™ in 2012, replacing the outgoing 250 and 125 classes respectively. Dunlop have been the exclusive tyre partner from the beginning of both Championships, after also having proven the most successful tyre company in the 250 and 125 categories - including claiming 17 250 World Championships before the category was replaced by Moto2™. Since the introduction of the new categories, Champions have included Marc Marquez, Maverick Viñales, Johann Zarco and Pol Espargaro - showing the effectiveness of the categories in creating MotoGP™ frontrunners.
As well as this new three-year agreement to continue as official tyre supplier to Moto2™ and Moto3™, Dunlop will also continue to promote the unique #ForeverForward Award, which rewards the rider who has made the most overtakes during a season across both categories. In 2017, the winner was Moto3™’s Italian GP winner Andrea Migno, who gained a record-breaking 137 positions over 18 Grands Prix.
Xavier Fraipont, Managing Director of Dunlop Motorcycle and Motorsport EMEA: “We are proud to continue our long and successful relationship with Dorna in Moto2 and Moto3. We are constantly pushing forward and bringing new technologies to the sport. Indeed, we introduced a brand-new specification of Moto2 tyre at Valencia for the final round of the 2017 season and this was chosen by the race winner, Miguel Oliveira. Top level motorcycle racing allows us to test and develop new constructions and compounds. We then apply the learnings to our award winning tyres such as the Dunlop SportSmart MAX and the new SportSmart TT.”
Pau Serracanta, Managing Director of Dorna Sports, Commercial Area: “It is an honour for us to count Dunlop as one of our longstanding collaborators within motorcycle Grand Prix racing. Tyres are one of the cornerstones of truly world-leading competition, and Dunlop are the perfect collaborator for Moto2 and Moto3 as both categories continue to provide some of the greatest racing and battles on earth. Another three seasons racing together is cause for celebration for all involved.”
The push for innovation and constant progress now fires up once more over the winter, before Moto2™ and Moto3™ get back on track for the Qatar GP in March.