Continuing a recent trend of Dunlop tyres with confusing names is the GP Racer. This isn’t really a race tyre, it’s a trackday hoop with the breadth of ability to dip into a club race paddock to one side or fast road use on the other.
We have tested these on road bikes, and BJ ran a set for over 4,000 miles and loved them. You’d do well to get three Racetec rears to last that long and they’d never get as warm. The GP Racer works on the road. If you’re the kind of rider that thinks you need race tyres to look cool or live with your ‘mental’ speed on the road, then this is what you should really be using: race looks, race name, proper warm up and effective grip. Don’t expect 2CT rivalling wet grip, though it hangs on better than you’d think from looking at it.
Racing is an altogether different kettle of bananas, and asking a road tyre to reach so far is pushing it. Dunlop say that you can use the GP Racer for novice club racing, so that’s what I did. I used a set (medium front, endurance rear, as per Dunlop’s recommendations for the bike and hot weather) for round nine of the ThundersportGB championship at Mallory Park in the summer. I was in my novice bib, but my 180bhp powerbike and the fierce GP1 field stretched Dunlop’s ‘club racing’ brief to the limit.
In fact, it was a stretch too far. I was uncompetitive against the guys on slicks and felt like I was crawling round. The laptimes give some perspective. My best of 56.7s is faster than I went on a Rizla Suzuki British Superbike on slicks a couple of years ago. It’s an ok time, but ThundersportGB is just too quick for the GP Racers to look anything but out of their depth.
So where does that leave them? Well, they’re still good for steadier club racing. If you’re a bit further back and still finding your way, doing say 53s+ at Brands, 1m15s+ at Snet, 59s+ at Mallory, then the GP Racer will work for you by being as grippy as you need, easier to keep warm, and long lasting (ie cheap for a weekend).
Better still, I think this is the best trackday tyre out there. You can’t run fast race pace on trackdays anyway because that’s not what they’re for and instead of thinking you