DUNLOP AND DUNLOP v HUTCHY AND METZELER
The one area of equipment that will definitely divide Dunlop and Hutchinson in 2016 is tyres. Hutchy will use Metzeler rubber as he did with the PBM squad last season while Dunlop continues to use the products of his namesake.
“Last year I was new to the Metzeler thing and I wouldn’t have had a clue what tyre I had in any of my bikes, code-wise or whatever,” the Hutchinson says.
“They were put in and I rode my bike, that was it and I had no input.”
The situation is already very different for this season as Metzeler try to inflict defeat on their rivals in a Superbike TT race for the first time since 2008.
“I went to the Metzeler test in Spain recently and tested 30 different specifications of tyres in three days so I know exactly what I’ve got this year and what I need,” the Yorkshire racer says. “I know what they all are, what they all feel like and what they all do. I’ve made notes on every single tyre I have tried.”
Michael Dunlop’s brief 2014 flirtation with Metzeler before his return to Dunlop gives him a unique perspective on the battle of the rubber. Although he clearly feels Dunlop still offers an advantage, he is reluctant to talk it up too much.
“Metzeler is pushing it and if you look at the riders who have the 132mph laps at the TT it is pretty evenly divided,” he said.