TT 2022: Michael Dunlop makes switch to Metzeler Tyres for opening night of practice after Dunlop Tyres withdraws rear Superbike slick following safety issues at NW200

Michael Dunlop made the switch to Metzeler Tyres for the opening night of qualifying at the Isle of Man TT after Dunlop Tyres withdrew its rear Superbike slick option on safety grounds.

By Kyle White
Sunday, 29th May 2022, 6:58 pm
Updated Monday, 30th May 2022, 4:58 pm

However, the 33-year-old is understood to be running Dunlop tyres for Monday's second practice evening, with the 19-time TT winner weighing up his options ahead of the opening RST Superbike race on Saturday.

Ballymoney rider Dunlop had a lucky escape at the North West 200 when his rear Dunlop tyre came apart on the fast Coast Road section in the opening Superbike race. Peter Hickman also experienced problems with his rear tyre at 190mph in the same race.

As a result of safety concerns, Dunlop Tyres advised it riders to sit out the feature NW200 Superbike race, with many of the leading contenders missing out, including Hickman, Davey Todd, Dunlop, Dean Harrison and Conor Cummins.

Michael Dunlop topped the Supersport times on his Metzeler-shod Yamaha on Sunday at the Isle of Man TT.

In the latest development on Friday, Dunlop Tyres confirmed that it had withdrawn the KR108 rear slick and was offering a treaded alternative.

A statement said: “Following tyre conditions experienced by three Superbike riders on Dunlop KR108 slick rear race tyres at the North West 200, and understanding the importance of giving riders the confidence they need to perform on such a demanding high-speed road circuit, we have taken the decision to withdraw the KR108 slick rear tyre range from the 2022 Isle of Man TT Races and offer the D213 GP PRO treaded rear tyre range as an alternative option.”

On Sunday, 19-time TT winner Dunlop set the pace in the Supersport class on his Metzeler-shod MD Racing Yamaha at 124.10mph. He was eighth fastest on the Hawk Suzuki in the Superbike class with a lap of 124.469mph and 12th in the Superstock class after only doing a single lap on his MD Racing Honda at 120.607mph.

Outright lap record holder Hickman, plus 2019 Senior TT winner Harrison and Milenco Padgett’s Honda riders Todd and Cummins continued to run Dunlop tyres. Todd recorded the fastest lap of the day on his Superbike at 127.49mph.

Newcomer Glenn Irwin and 23-time winner John McGuinness were already using Metzeler tyres after Honda made the switch from Dunlop rubber prior to the start of the 2022 road racing season.