14:17 PM

Dunlop Moto2 and Moto3 battles continue in Argentina, America and Spain

The 2018 FIM Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championships head to the Autodromo Termas Rio de Honda, Argentina for round two on 8 April, after a thrilling start to the season in Qatar. From there the riders and teams move to the Circuit of the Americas in Texas on 22 April before heading to Europe, returning to the venue of pre-season testing for the Dunlop-shod riders in Jerez, Spain on 6 May. 

March Recap – Qatar opener 
Qatar kicked off the 2018 campaign and after last year’s dreadful conditions, ambient temperatures of 25 degrees, and track temperatures of 28, meant conditions were good for the first round of the season. Francesco Bagnaia took his maiden Moto2 race win leading from start to finish ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri who capitalised when Alex Marquez suffered rear brake problems, which dropped him to third. There was a 60 / 40 split on rear race tyre choice across the Dunlop Moto2 riders, with Moto2-4 being the preferred rear. Both option tyres had excellent performance, with 10 riders setting their fastest laps in the second half of the race, and three riders achieving their best performance on the final lap.

Jorge Martin took his second consecutive Moto3 victory, after sealing his first win in Valencia last year. It was a close-fought race, the Spaniard finishing just 0.023secs ahead of Aron Canet who set the fastest lap of the race, a 2’06.373 on ‘M’ front and ‘M1’ rears, in a race that was nine seconds faster than last year’s. Behind the lead two, Lorenzo Dalla Porta finally took third after a race-long battle for position that saw positions change every lap.

#ForeverForward 2018
Qatar proved once again that there are plenty of overtaking opportunities for the riders to gain places in the Dunlop ForeverForward initiative. Top mover in Qatar was reigning Moto3 champion, and last year’s Qatar Moto3 race winner Joan Mir, now racing in Moto2. He gained 13 places on his way to 11th on his debut appearance. Last year’s ForeverForward winner Fabio Di Giannantonio was the top Moto3 mover, gaining 10 places from his grid position to finish sixth in the race. 

#ForeverForward after round one:

1Joan MirMoto213
2Fabio Di GiannantonioMoto310
3Nakarin AtiratphuvapatMoto38
4Dennis FoggiaMoto38
5Tony Arbolino Moto38
6Luca MariniMoto28

The full #ForeverForward table can be seen here.

Round 2: Autodromo Termas Rio de Hondo – 8 April 2018

Autodromo Termas Rio de Hondo Track Facts:

  • Length: 4.8km
  • Left Turns: 5
  • Right Turns: 9
  • Energy level: mid/high
  • Left:right bias: mid

Tyre Allocation Autodromo Termas Rio de Hondo: 

Front: Medium '2' (yellow)
Rear: Medium ‘3’ (yellow) / Extra Hard ’S1’ 

Front: Soft (black on yellow) / Medium ‘M’ (black on silver)
Rear: Medium 'M1' (black on silver) / Hard ‘H3’ (yellow on black)

Autodromo Termas Rio de Hondo 2017 Highlights

  • Franco Morbidelli followed up his first Moto2 win in Qatar with back-to-back wins in Argentina
  • The event marked the first time that the Moto3 harder compound ‘H3’ rear filled all the podium places
  • Joan Mir stormed through from 16th on the grid to take Moto3 victory
  • Tyre performance across both races was excellent, with no drop in performance or lap times throughout the races 

Round 3: Circuit of the Americas (COTA) - 22 April 2018

  • COTA features quite a few tight turns where the Moto2 bikes are under hard acceleration, and these present Dunlop’s experienced engineers with some unique problems. The engineers monitor these in practice and can make necessary adjustments to the race tyres if required

COTA Track Facts:

  • Length: 5.5km
  • Left Turns: 11
  • Right Turns: 9
  • Energy level: mid/high
  • Left:right bias: 55%/45%

Tyre Allocation COTA: 

Front: Medium '2' (yellow)
Rear: Medium ‘3’ (yellow) / Extra Hard ’S1’ 

Front: Soft ‘S’ (black on yellow) / Medium ‘M’ (black on silver)
Rear: Medium ‘M1’ (black on silver) / Hard ’H3’ (yellow on black)

COTA 2017 Highlights

  • Aron Canet set a new Moto3 lap record in both qualifying and the race, but crashed out on lap two while leading 
  • Franco Morbidelli took a third consecutive Moto2 win with victory in Texas, establishing a new lap record on the way
  • In Moto2 the #2 front and #3 rears offered up excellent performance, with no drop in lap times

Round 4: Jerez – 6 May 2018

  • Poor weather conditions meant little dry running in pre-season testing, until Jorge Martin broke the outright lap record for Moto3
  • Jerez is one of the most well-attended events on the schedule, and more than 250,000 fans attend over the weekend

Jerez Track Facts:

  • Length: 4.4km
  • Left Turns: 5
  • Right Turns: 8
  • Energy level: low
  • Left:right bias: 40%/60%

Tyre Allocation Jerez: 

Front: Medium '2' (yellow)
Rear: Extra Soft ‘0’ (yellow) / Soft ’1’ 

Front: Soft ‘S’ (black on yellow) / Medium ‘M’ (black on silver)
Rear: Medium 'M1' (black on silver) / Hard 'H3' (yellow on black) 

Jerez 2017 Highlights

  • Unseasonably high temperatures last year left the track greasy
  • Alex Marquez took Moto2 victory and broke the previous lap record set in 2015 by 0.25sec
  • Aron Canet put the disappointment of his COTA crash behind him to win the Moto3 race

2018 Tyre Specifications

The 2018 specification tyres remain similar to last season but see an increase in the number of sets available in Moto2. Eight pieces of the No.2 front will be allocated to each team. Data gathered from last year allows Dunlop to carefully select the best tyres for each race, offering a number of options of the Moto2 rear, designed to cater for the demands of different tracks and surfaces. The options for Moto3 remain the same as last season, and once again will offer the best grip and increased durability.

In response to requests from the fans, Dunlop has simplified its colour coding across Moto2, starting with the opening race in Qatar. Dunlop takes a different selection of tyre options to each event for the riders and teams to select from, however this year only the softest option tyre of that weekend’s range will be colour coded bright yellow. This year, the change only applies to Moto2, but Dunlop will seek feedback from fans and commentators before deciding on implementing a similar system in Moto3 next year.

Medium '2' (Front)Soft 'S'/'S1' (black on yellow)
Supersoft '0'Medium 'M'/'M1' (black on silver)
Soft '2R1'Hard 'H3' (yellow on black)
Medium '3'
Hard '4'
Extra Hard 'S1'
Special Hard 'S2'