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Tire Wars

When it comes to sportbike tires, you have to keep an open mind. Tires get reputations, and one bad experience can keep a consumer away from a particular tire brand the rest of his/her life.

You might think you are a Dunlop guy, or a Michelin guy, or a Metzeler guy, or a Bridgestone guy, or a Pirelli guy, etc. Sure, you tried Brand X before, but that tire was s***! Well, things change.

I have a fast friend (okay, it’s “Hoss”, aka Jeff Whitmer, over at Temecula Motorsports) who wouldn’t try the latest Michelin Pilot sport radials. “I don’t like Michelins” he’d tell me. “They do [such and such]. They can’t be as good as my Dunlop 207s.”

I told him I had tried the new Michelin Pilots, and they were excellent tires and worth his evaluation. Guess what? He tried the Michelin Pilots and loved them. He is converted.

In any event, the point of all this is to introduce the following press release from Metzeler concerning its new “Rennsport” tires, and the purportedly amazing things these tires did for racer Mark Junge’s lap times at Gateway International Speedway. We have reprinted the press release below, but we want to test these tires ourselves. We’ll try to grab a set and get back to you later. Here is the press release:

“Mark Junge switches to Metzeler – breaks track record

Top WERA and PACE roadracer Mark Junge (pronounced Young) switched to the new Metzeler Rennsport tires and proceeded to shatter the track record at Gateway International Speedway. Junge piloted his Vesrah GSXR 750 to a 1:05.80 bettering Roger Lee Hayden’s previous track record by nearly 2 seconds. Junge was also able to push his Vesrah YZF600R6 to a 1:06.2, 1.5 seconds below the old track record.

Mark Junge battled with fellow Metzeler riders Tray Batey and Lee Acree throughout the weekend with all three riders bettering the old track record. During the 750 Superstock event, Junge had to recover from a poor start. Junge attempted to chase down leader Lee Acree finishing second and setting the new track record in the process.

Junge has tried all three of the top tire brands this season even mixing front and rear tires from different manufacturers. Ultimately, the Metzeler Rennsports front and rear proved to be the best combination.

Mark Junge races for Vesrah Racing in the PACE Wrenchead.com National Roadrace Series and WERA National Challenge Series where he holds the 1999 National 600 Superstock, Sportsman C Superbike and Sportsman Formula 1 championships.

Mark is sponsored by Vesrah, Fujico, Marshall Distributing, Nielson Enterprises, Graves, Factory, Penske, Shoei, Sharkskins, Elf Lubricants, Sprocket Specialists, Vanson, and DID.”