Philip Neill’s Tyco BMW team ran the now-18 times an Isle of Man TT winner, Michael Dunlop, in the Superbike and Senior races in 2018 on a BMW S1000RR and the man from Ballymoney runs on his namesake’s rubber but how does the tyre end up on the bike?
Dunlop bring 750 rear slick tyres for the 22 backed riders in five races; Superbike, 2 x Supersport, Senior and TT Zero and a few days before taking their 13th consecutive Senior TT race win with Peter Hickman at the helm of his Smith’s Racing BMW, the team invited us to their fitting area to see what happens when Dunlop’s used rear Dunlop needs whipping off and replacing with a fresh new one:
After punishing the rear tyre for two laps of the demanding 37.73-mile Mountain Course it’s the pit stops at the end of laps two and four of the Superbike and Senior race where the race can be won or lost. The quick release rear wheel is replaced with a new one equipped with a fresh new tyre and off down the Glencrutchery Road and Bray Hill sets Michael Dunlop and his rivals. Whether the team is celebrating or commiserating at the end of the six laps, it’s the rim with the worn rear tyre from laps 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 that are carted off to the Dunlop fitting area in the paddock to have replacement rubber fitted ready for the next race. As race fans we take it for granted but for the riders, it’s what keeps them attached to the ground (mostly) and fighting for 135mph+ laps.