NW200: Dunlop Tires UK event manager explains decision to withdraw riders from Superbike final

A number of top contenders including Peter Hickman, who previously set a new lap record of 124.799mph in his FHO Racing BMW, as well as Michael Dunlop, Dean Harrison, Conor Cummins and Davey Todd – runners-up behind Glenn Irwin on Superbike opens – seated the last race of the day.

A problem with a batch of Dunlop Superbike rear slicks has been identified after several riders, including Hickman and teammate Brian McCormack, ran into trouble in the first Superbike race.

Michael Dunlop was also lucky to escape after a huge moment on the coast road on his Hawk Suzuki, with the Ballymoney man forced into retirement. Video footage shared on social media showed how close the 33-year-old had come to potential disaster, and only Dunlop’s acerbic reaction prevented a worse-case scenario.

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The start of the Superbike race at the North West 200 on Saturday, when up to 24 riders using Dunlop tires did not take part due to a safety issue on a batch of Dunlop rear Superbike slicks.

On Sunday, Walsh – who is events manager for Dunlop Motorsport UK – said the issue was a one-time issue and had now been fixed.

He also said he was “100%” confident riders entered into Dunlop Tires would use the rubber as intended at the Isle of Man TT.

“All the other tires in the Supersport race on Thursday and the other races there were no issues and we had a lot of podiums and lap records,” he said.

“In the Supersport race (Saturday) we had the top four on the line on Dunlop tyres.

“But at the end of the first Superbike race there was a problem with the tires used by Michael Dunlop, Peter Hickman and Brian McCormack, although in that same race Clive Padgett’s Honda was on the podium with Davey Todd .

“But for safety reasons we only had to make the decision to pull the riders out of the last Superbike race. Obviously Mervyn (Whyte) wasn’t happy, but I contacted our development guys technical at the factory and it was basically a bad batch of tires,” he added.

“There were 24 bikes fitted with Dunlop tires in the second Superbike race and the only rider we know of who actually went out was Michael Rutter, but he used the tread tires that we use in the Superstock class.

“There was no problem with the other tyres, it was only with the Superbike rear slicks, but not with all the compounds. The problem happened to be with the compound that the top racers were using.

Regarding the TT, Walsh said he spoke with riders and team managers, who reiterated their continued commitment to the brand.

“I have spoken to the team managers and the riders individually and they have no problem moving forward to the TT as they have complete faith in Dunlop because of what we have done over the past few years,” he said. -he declares.

“We have all the lap records in every class at the TT and our record speaks for itself.

“It was so unfortunate in a high profile meeting like the North West 200. Brian McCormack’s tire was gone after just one lap which was only 8.9 miles which is why I couldn’t let the riders Continue.

“Steve Plater is the rider liaison officer at the North West 200 and he was totally on board with me.

“But you just have to look at our success at TT and North West over the years – it’s been phenomenal.

“It was a batch of tires and the issue has been identified and is being resolved.”

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