AMA roadracing paddock regulars got a jolt earlier this year when former racer Jim Allen announced that he was retiring on April 1—no joke!—after 31 years of service with Dunlop Motorcycle Tires. The encyclopedic Allen had worked for Dunlop in a number of racing-related capacities; his official title at the time of his retirement was Senior Manager Motorcycle Road Racing.
Allen’s successor is Sebastian Mincone. He joined Dunlop in February, 2008, as manager, motorcycle road racing, having transferred to Buffalo, New York, from Birmingham, England, where he was sales and product manager for the European motorcycle motorsport division. Mincone has worked in various series, including Grand Prix and World Superbike. He began his career with Dunlop in 2002.
I’ve been getting to know Mincone this summer in my role as team manager for Team Cycle World Attack Performance Yoshimura Suzuki, Cycle World’s hand’s-on, four-race look into the current world of AMA Pro American SuperBike racing. Dunlop supplies the KR106 front and KR108 rear N-Tec slicks for American SuperBike and the DOT-approved treaded D211GP-A tires for the Daytona SportBike and SuperSport classes.
Just like Allen before him, Mincone clearly loves his work. He shared the following story with me this past August on pit lane at Virginia International Raceway.
“When I was a young boy, my father took me to Imola in Italy to watch the Formula One race,” he began. “When we returned home after the event, my father asked, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’”
“I said, ‘I want to be a Formula One tire technician.’”
He paused and smiled, adding, “Then, I discovered motorcycles.”
Score one for two wheels.