On Wednesday, February 11, Dunlop invited a bunch of media and riders out to Perris Raceway to ride on the company’s new Geomax MX51 tires. Originally, the tire intro was supposed to take place on the 10th, but with all of the rain in Southern California, it was moved back a day to allow the track to dry out a bit.
The crew at Perris Raceway did a great job preparing the track despite the water, but the track was still pretty intimidating right off the bat, because the ruts in the turns quickly became so deep that they would shift you into another gear. During lunch, the track crew went out and fixed the problem areas, and it was pretty good for the rest of the day.
I felt really comfortable on the new tire and on the track after they killed most of the bigger ruts. Was it the tire? Was it that I raced on this track nearly every weekend for about a decade? It’s hard to say since I don’t get to ride that much, but the tire certainly didn’t hurt my riding.
The MX51 replaces the D756 tire, which is the most popular tire in motocross, so I’m sure Dunlop didn’t just approach the replacing of that tire all willy-nilly. The MX51 was used by Kevin Windham to win the Seattle Supercross last year, and by Trey Canard during his successful Lites East series in 2008, as well as by Andrew Short and Davi Millsaps throughout the last couple of seasons in prototype form.
The best part about the event, though, was the gathering of many of the Dunlop Legends together, including Broc Glover (who works at Dunlop now), Jeff Ward, Perris co-owner Rick Johnson, and the coolest of all, Malcolm Smith. Also in attendance were Windham and Canard, who just couldn’t stop bragging about his Snuggie, along with Jeremy McGrath, Andrew Short, Nick Wey, Mike Sleeter, Erik Kehoe, Ryan Hughes and more.
McGrath reported that he’s already feeling better from his crash last weekend, although he is still quite sore, and although Windham and Canard left a little while after the presentation and didn’t ride, Short, Wey, Sleeter, Kehoe and Hughes all put in quite a few laps.