The Daytona 200 didn’t go off as planned for the AMA, Dunlop, or the Daytona Sportbike riders yesterday, as a hot track caused tire problems around the grid, leading to crashes, red flags, and ultimately a shorter race.
The 57 lap race was red flagged on lap 27 when Danny Eslick bit it at Nascar Four. The riders were called in for a “mandatory tire change” after Dunlop decided that the current tires couldn’t handle the length or the heat of the track.
“Up until today, in the 200, we had a very, very clean weekend with respect to tire performance,” said Mike Buckley, the Vice-President of the Motorcycle Division for Dunlop Tire. “We certainly did not see any of the overheating that we saw on the front tires in the 200 today prior to that race, The major difference that we had today, obviously, was the ambient temperature and a track temperature that, I believe, was in the 118 degree range, as opposed to a high of 95 that we saw yesterday. That change alone is probably the main contributor to what we saw happen.”
Buckley said that Dunlop wasn’t completely satisfied with their tire tests earlier this year, and set up a special private test to get the tires ready for the Daytona 200. Dunlop was confident going into the race that their tires would be able to handle the 200 mile race. Obviously, they were wrong.
Fortunately, Dunlop was prepared for such an event.
“We always have something available in the truck just in case,” said Sebastian Mincone, the Senior Roadracing Manager for Dunlop Tire. “Safety’s always the first thing that we think about.”
The delay, which ran nearly three hours, was unfortunate and frustrating. Fans complained about the delay and Speed TV pulled the live broadcast. But luckily, the world class racing that completed the Daytona 200 made it easy to forget the delay.
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com