Dunlop has ‘complete trust’ from riders for Isle of Man TT after NW200 tyre woes

Dunlop has identified and fixed the tyre issues that affected its bikes during the NW 200, says it has full trust from riders heading to Isle of Man TT

Conor Cummins - Padgett's Honda [credit: North West 200 Pacemaker]

Dunlop Motorsports UK Director Pat Walsh says the company has ‘complete trust’ from riders heading into the 2022 Isle of Man TT despite its tyres being withdrawn midway through the North West 200 due to ‘a bad batch’ slipping through the net.

Michael Dunlop, Peter Hickman and Brian McCormack suffered rear tyre issues during the first North West 200 Superbike race over the weekend, with the former of these suffering a dramatic high-speed blowout on the Hawk Suzuki from which he was lucky to stay upright.


Though most tyres lasted the distance - with Davey Todd finishing second to Glenn Irwin on his factory Honda using Metzeler rubber - the decision was taken to withdraw all Dunlop-shod bikes from the second race.

An investigation has pointed towards a ‘bad batch’ of slick rear tyres being supplied onto Hawk Racing and FHO BMW, giving Dunlop no choice but to play it safe and withdraw early.

“At the end of the first Superbike race, there was a problem with the tyres used by Michael Dunlop, Peter Hickman and Brian McCormack,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“Clive Padgett’s Honda finished on the podium with Davey Todd, but on safety grounds, we just had to make the decision to pull the riders out of the final Superbike race.

“Essentially, we believe it was a bad batch of tyres and the problem just happened to affect the Superbike rear slick compound that the top riders were using.

“It was just so unfortunate at a high-profile meeting like the North West 200, an international road race. But you only have to look at our success at the Isle of Man TT and North West over the years – it has been phenomenal.

Raising concerns just weeks before the more demanding Isle of Man TT gets underway, Dunlop maintains it has identified and fixed the problem, adding riders have full faith in the company heading to the high-speed endurance event.

“We have rectified the problem and a new batch of tyres are being made.”

“I’ve spoken to the team managers and riders individually and they have no issue going forward to the TT,” he said.

“They have complete trust in Dunlop because of our success over the years.”