In preparation for updates with the various spec tire options at Mopar CSBK National events in 2018, Dunlop official supplier Pro6 will be testing some new rubber this weekend at Shannonville Motorsport Park, ON. During the final round of the RACE Super Series, September 22-24, Canadian racers will get their first look at new tires specifically designed for the Lightweight and Middleweight race categories.
With Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike confirmed as a new category at Canadian National rounds in 2018, Dunlop have announced a new spec tire for the class, the Q3 Plus. Designed for small displacement, production-based racers, the Sportmax Q3 Plus made its debut in the KTM RC Cup races at the final two MotoAmerica rounds of 2017, earlier this month at New Jersey and Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama.
As with all the other Dunlop tires used by all the classes on the CSBK tour, the new Sportmax Q3 Plus is built just across the border from Canada in Buffalo, New York. Compared to the tire used in the 2015-2017 Canadian Kawasaki Ninja 300 spec series, the new Sportmax Q3 Plus has a updated profile, new compound and new tread pattern.
Among the riders using the new Dunlop Sportmax Q3 Plus rubber in the KTM RC Cup at Barber was front runner Alex Dumas and last-minute “Wild Card” entry, the 2017 Kawasaki Ninja 300 Spec Canadian National Champion Xavier Paradis, both from Quebec.
When the tire was launched at New Jersey, lightweight class competitors dropped their lap times by almost two seconds, with the pace at the front of the Lightweight race shortening the total time of the race by thirty seconds – a substantial improvement.
Racer feed back was also universally positive – competitors like the improvement in turn-in, edge grip, and feel – saying the new Q3 Plus was an improvement in all areas, with no loss in durability. A few of these new Lightweight-class tires will be available for front-running racers to test this weekend at Shannonville.
Meanwhile, MotoAmerica also switched to a new tire for middleweight riders mid-season this year, and the latest version of the successful KR451 will also make its Canadian debut at S.M.P. this weekend.
This tire is a revamped slick, better suited to the stock, 5.5-inch rear wheels found on production middleweight, Sport Bike class equipment. The 180/60 design is a better fit for these 600c class racers when compared to the previous, 200/55 sizing. Newly crowned MotoAmerica Supersports Champ Garrett Gerloff credits the newly-profiled tire with aiding his title push aboard his Graves Yamaha YZF-R6.
This Buffalo-produced tire offers improvements in turn-in, edge grip and durability. The new shape of the design, with a revised radius, is the key to the performance step-up. Again, a few of these new Dunlop slicks will be available for top racers to try at Shannonville.
Dunlop and Pro6 intend to announce further CSBK Spec improvements, including a new construction for the Superbike class, over the winter months, during the Canadian motorcycle show season.