If you watch MotoGP or World Superbike or remember the glory days of AMA Superbike racing, then you’re likely familiar with the excitement of the last laps of the final qualifying session. It’s at the end of that session when everyone is putting it all on the line in search of that one fast lap that could lead to pole position. It’s that part of the session where every bike is fitted with the softest rear tire available: the Qualifying tire – or simply the Q.
MotoAmerica and Dunlop are bringing that excitement to the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship with the announcement that qualifying tires will be part of Superpole 2 for the coming 2016 season, beginning with the season opener at Circuit of The Americas, April 8-10, in Austin, Texas.
The ultra soft qualifying tires are good for four laps, according to Dunlop Motorsports Technician Tony Romo – two laps to bring the tire to its best temperature, a hot lap to qualify, and another lap to get it back to pit lane. But the gains are significant: up to a second a lap over the tires made to go race distance, Romo says.
All 10 Superbike riders who transfer directly from Free Practice 3 to Superpole 2 will have the opportunity to use the Dunlop qualifying tire in an effort to compete for the top 12 spots on the starting grid. Ditto for the two riders who transfer from Superpole 1 to Superpole 2, which means all 12 riders in Superpole 2 will get the chance to use the soft tire.
The use of the qualifying tires will definitely bring more excitement to the MotoAmerica Superpole 2 session as riders scramble to get the soft-compound tires on their bikes at just the right time to try and secure pole position.
“There’s nothing like having more grip,” said MotoAmerica President and three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey. “More grip means faster lap times and Dunlop qualifying tires provide that grip. I think it’s important for our riders to get used to managing the qualifying tires. They provide a sensation like no other and you can use the extra grip to find new ways to go faster. Our fans are going to enjoy the extra excitement that having the qualifying tires in the final Superpole session bring to the show, and I think a lot of track records will be broken this year.”
MotoAmerica is the new North American road racing series created in 2014. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time 500cc World Champion, two-time AMA Superbike Champion, and AMA Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey, ex-racer and former manager of Team Roberts Chuck Aksland, motorsports marketing executive Terry Karges, and businessman Richard Varner. For more information on MotoAmerica, visit www.MotoAmerica.com. Also make sure to follow MotoAmerica on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.