Dunlop Moto2 & Moto3 InFocus: October
The FIM Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championships embark on three back-to-back weekends starting on 15 October in Motegi, Japan. From there, teams travel to Philip Island, Australia, with the final long-haul trip to Sepang, Malaysia on 29 October.
Motegi’s twisty nature, with heavy braking into the corners, makes heavier demands on the front tyres than at most of the other circuits, with less wear to the rears, so the Dunlop technicians have selected the softer rear option from its allocation. From Japan, the riders then face the high energy levels of Philip Island, where the harder compounds have been selected. Heading into the penultimate round at Sepang, where traditionally very warm conditions greet the teams, Dunlop has reverted to the softer options.
After 14 rounds, there have been ten different winners across both championships; six in Moto2, four in Moto3. Franco Morbidelli continues to lead the Moto2 charge, with eight wins to his credit, but a consistent year for Thomas Luthi puts him 21 points behind. In Moto3, Joan Mir has also collected eight victories, and holds a staggering 80-point advantage over second placed Romano Fenati.
September Recap – record-breaking Misano and MotorLand Aragon
Round 13 at Misano saw a record-breaking performance from Enea Bastianini in qualifying. The Italian set a new Moto3 qualifying record, his first of the season, in a time of 1’42.147, eight tenths of a second faster than last year’s pole. Wet conditions for the race presented difficult conditions, but saw Romano Fenati claim his second win of the year ahead of championship leader Joan Mir who took his ninth podium finish. In Moto2 championship leader Franco Morbidelli crashed out of the lead on lap three in similar weather conditions, leaving Dominique Aegerter to take his, and Suter’s first win of the year, ahead of championship contender Thomas Luthi. #ForeverForward contender Hafizh Syahrin took his first podium of the season in third.
Two weeks later the teams travelled to MotorLand Aragon, where Mir came through from fifth to take his eighth Moto3 win of the season and extend his championship lead over Fenati. Second place went to last year’s #ForeverForward winner Fabio Di Giannantonio, who set a new lap record along the way, ahead of Bastianini. Morbidelli bounced back from his crash in Italy to take a slender victory over Mattia Pasini in Moto2, with Miguel Oliviera four tenths of a second further back in third. In near perfect conditions, tyre performance was very consistent, with no drop in lap times from start to finish.
Andrea Migno has extended his Dunlop #ForeverForward Award advantage thanks to two high-scoring rounds in Misano and MotorLand Aragon, which puts the Moto3 rider six points ahead of Brad Binder. The rider who made the most improvements in Misano was Khairul Idham Pawi, the wet-weather expert moving up 19 places in the rain-soaked race to elevate himself to seventh in the standings. Migno was top mover at Aragon, improving by 17 places from his grid position.
#ForeverForward Award after round 14:
The full #ForeverForward table can be seen here.
Round 15: Twin Ring Motegi, Japan – 15 October 2017
- When dry the track is easier on rear tyres than most circuits but the twisty nature features a lot of hard braking that makes more demand on the front tyre
- As a result, the Moto2 softer option rear tyre allocation has been changed to six for Motegi
- The experienced Dunlop engineers have selected the S1 as the favoured Moto3 race tyre which proved as competitive for race distance as the M1 in last year’s race
Motegi Track Facts:
- Length: 4.801km
- Left Turns: 6
- Right Turns: 8
- Energy level: Low
- Left:right bias: 45%/55%
Motegi Tyre Allocation:
Front: Medium '2' (black on yellow)
Rear: MS0 Supersoft (blank) / Medium ’3’ (fluorescent yellow on black)
Rear: Soft ‘S1’/Medium 'M1'
Motegi 2016 Highlights
- Track conditions in Moto3 qualifying were ideal, and Hiroki Ono made best use of his S1 rears to set a new circuit best lap time of 1`56.443 on his way to pole position
- Phillip Oettl came through from tenth on the grid to finish fifth on the S1 rears in Moto3, setting the fastest times in the closing laps
- Johann Zarco took his fifth pole of the year and set a new pole record of 1’49.961
- Finishing second in the race, Zarco’s fastest lap of the race was on lap 22 of a 23 lap race and was just 0.1sec off the lap record.
Round 16: Phillip Island, Australia – 22 October 2017
- Phillip Island is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar
- Dunlop will take the special Hard S1 and S2 for Moto2 to provide optimum grip and durability
- In Moto3 the harder H3 has been selected as the main race tyre due to the severe nature of the track
Phillip Island Track Facts:
- Length: 4.448km
- Left Turns: 7
- Right Turns: 5
- Energy level: Very High
- Left:right bias: 55%/45%
Phillip Island Tyre Allocation:
Front: Soft ’1’ (fluorescent green on black) / Medium '2' (black on yellow)
Rear: Special Hard ‘S1’ (blank) / Special Hard ‘S2’ (grey on black)
Rear: Medium 'M1' / Hard ‘H3’
Phillip Island 2016 Highlights
- Heavy rain and cold conditions in practice and qualifying prevented much dry running across Moto2 and Moto3
- Moto2 qualifying was delayed until 5pm as a result
- Tyre performance was excellent at the most difficult circuit of the season, with just 0.1sec drop from the start to the finish in Moto2
- The Moto3 race was red-flagged due to an incident and a new race distance of ten laps declared saw Brad Binder secure a seventh win
Round 17: Sepang, Malaysia – 29 October 2017
- The Malaysian GP is traditionally held in very warm conditions, so the Dunlop engineers have included the softest spec available for Moto2
- Although the track was resurfaced last year, tyre wear was minimal so the engineers have allocated MS0 alongside the medium front option
- The Moto3 options again favour the softer S1 rear due to the higher temperatures
Sepang Track Facts:
- Length: 5.543km
- Left Turns: 5
- Right Turns: 10
- Energy level: Mid
- Left:right bias: 35%/65%
Sepang Tyre Allocation:
Front: Medium '2' (black on yellow)
Rear: Supersoft ‘MS0’ (blank) / Medium ’3’ (fluorescent yellow on black)
Rear: Soft 'S1'/Medium ‘M1’
Sepang 2016 Highlights
- Although not a wet race, there were damp patches throughout the Moto3 race
- Consistent lap times throughout the Moto3 race and good performance in both the wet and dry conditions
- The Moto2 race was started in the rain, and dried for the last ten laps. All riders used the wet tyres, which performed excellently in both full wet and dry conditions
- The Moto2 race was won by Johann Zarco, who became the first rider to win back-to-back Moto2 titles