News 27 Feb 2022

Dunlop investigating Edwards Supersport tyre deflation

Plans in place to switch to harder compound for this afternoon.

Image: Foremost Media.

Dunlop is continuing to investigate the deflated tyre that forced title favourite Tom Edwards out of Supersport race one at Phillip Island this morning.

It’s understood that Yamaha rider Edwards was on Dunlop’s MS1 tyre in this morning’s restarted eight-lap encounter, but will switch to the harder MS2 option for race two.

While Dunlop isn’t yet certain of the cause of Edwards’ race-ending problem as he entered turn 12 on the sixth lap, it was already planned that Edwards would be moving to the stronger tyre for the afternoon as track temperatures rise.

“Obviously the tyre deflated, that was quite clear, but what caused that, we’re having a closer look at,” Dunlop motorsport manager Robbie Bugden told CycleOnline. “Its not ideal and a shame for the team, but we are still trying to understand how and why it happened.

“It’s not something that we’ve seen before, so it does appear to be quite unique, so we will look further into it. There are a lot of different things that we can do, but we had a strategy to run a different compound in the afternoon anyway – we’re not going to deviate from our initial plan.”

The Bikebiz-backed team of Edwards was under the impression that debris could have played into the problem, indicating that he didn’t realise there was an issue until the moment it fully deflated. He miraculously kept it on two wheels before coming to a halt on Gardner Straight.

“I felt really good before it and ended up getting something in the tyre,” Edwards explained. “Obviously, with the pressure going down it started to tear the tyre and I didn’t realise until I had that big moment that it was going down – we were lucky to save it and look forward to the next one now.”