There is no sweeter sight, we can tell you, than that of a moving van filled to the roof with the latest in track-ready rubber pulling up to your trackday (especially when the two guys making the delivery plan to stay and change tires for you). As you can imagine, we started the slugfest at Miller with broad smiles.
Dunlop provided tires for all our contestants (less the Ducati, as explained) and suggested that the Workhorses ride on the company’s current high-performance sportbike tire, the Sportmax Q2.
Dunlop’s Q2 rear tire features something called Intuitive Response Profile that “intuitively allows greater latitude in line choice while cornering and provides amazingly linear steering at various lean angles.” Rear Q2s also have Dunlop’s MT Multi-Tread dual compound, with harder rubber in the center for improved wear characteristics and a softer compound on the shoulders for lateral grip. Our Workhorses were perfectly happy on the Q2s at Miller, even with Eric Bostrom twisting the throttle.
The Q2 is available in a wide range of sportbike sizes. The 120/70ZR17 fronts we used have an MSRP of $120.22; the 190/55ZR17 rears run $184.95.
For the Exotics, we moved up to the truly race-ready, made-in-the-U.S. Dunlop D211 GP-A in the normal front size, 120/70ZR17, and the new 190/60ZR17 rear, which was developed from the 190/55 to provide a larger footprint. Dunlop brought a single front and two rears for each bike to get us through the timed runs, but the only beastie to chew enough rubber to need a replacement was the Aprilia; all the rest ran 20-25 hot laps on a single set. Available sizes are 120/70ZR17 fronts ($155) and 190/55ZR17 ($184) or 190/60ZR17 ($244) rears.