Team Dunlop, Dunlop Tire Company’s popular amateur motocross program featuring up-and-coming minibike stars, is looking for a few good youngsters. Following the program’s successful launch earlier this year at the World Mini Grand Prix races in Las Vegas, young amateur motocross racers around the country can soon throw their hat in the ring to become members of the elite Team Dunlop squad for 2008.
“We will begin our search for 2008 Team Dunlop riders at the Mini Olympics November 19-24,” said Dunlop Off Road Technical Manager Brian Fleck. “We will base our 2008 selections on the 2007 amateur national results, results from Loretta Lynn’s and the 2007 final amateur power rankings. Factored into that will be rider attitude, professionalism and regional impact.” Fleck added that participation in the 2007 Team Dunlop program was no guarantee of 2008 selection.
Seventeen riders made the Team Dunlop squad in 2007 (see below) and each one competed in a number of amateur national events. At the granddaddy of them all, the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships at Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, 10 Team Dunlop riders competed and many took home titles, including:
- Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo, who won the 85 (7-11) Modified title and the 85 (7-11) Stock class.
- Suzuki’s Eli Tomac, who won the Super Mini (12-15) class and the 85 (14-15) Modifieds.
- Cobra’s Mark Worth, who won the 51 (7-8) AMA 2 Stock class.
Runner-up honors went to Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett in Super Mini (12-15) and KTM’s Jacob Hayes in 85 (12-13) Stock, while third-place performances were carded by Hondas’ Brandon Mays in both 85 (12-13) Stock and 85 (12-13) Modified.
“It has been a real pleasure to work with these kids,” said Fleck. “This was our first year with Team Dunlop and we have plans to enhance the program in 2008. It will be exciting to see how far our 2007 riders end up going in their racing careers. Hopefully we will be working with them when they transition to AMA Supercross and Motocross.”
About Team Dunlop
Team Dunlop identifies outstanding young people who compete on motocross bikes displacing up to 85cc and helps them move up to the next level. Dunlop has a long and proud history of amateur support for thousands of young racers every year. Additionally, Dunlop serves as the official tire sponsor of all the major amateur OEM groups, including Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Cobra and Polini.
Team Dunlop provides tire support and preferred service at select amateur races. Dunlop promotes and advertises Team Dunlop in national media as well as on the Dunlop website. As a bonus, Team Dunlop riders become involved as development riders for the next generation of Dunlop racing tires in the youth segment. In 2007, Dunlop also contributed to an educational savings fund for the Team Dunlop riders to underscore the importance of staying focused on schoolwork. Team Dunlop riders can be easily identified because they sport a unique logo on their exclusively-branded Team Dunlop racetrack apparel.
Dunlop is especially proud of the Team Dunlop riders on the 2007 squad and congratulates each of them for their outstanding effort. Listed alphabetically, they are:
- Blake Baggett – Kawasaki – Grand Terrace, California
- Justin Barcia – Honda – Monroe, New York
- Walker Brightwell – Suzuki – Cincinnati, Ohio
- Jake Canada – Yamaha – Sun City, California
- Adam Cianciarulo – Kawasaki – Port Orange, Florida
- Mitch Epstein – Polini – Agoura, California
- Ashley Fiolek – Honda – St. Augustine, Florida
- Blake Green – Kawasaki – Riverside, California
- Jacob Hayes – KTM – Greensboro, North Carolina
- Justin Hill – Yamaha – Yoncalla, Oregon
- Brandon Mays – Honda – Lancaster, New York
- Colt Nichols- Kawasaki – Muskogee, Oklahoma
- Aaron Plessinger – KTM – Hamilton, Ohio
- Carter Stephenson – Cobra – Rolla, Missouri
- Eli Tomac – Suzuki – Cortez, Colorado
- Rookie White – Polini - Winchester, California
- Mark Worth – Cobra – Queens Creek, Arizona
About Dunlop Tires
Dunlop Tires is the largest supplier of original equipment and replacement motorcycle tires in the U.S. and the only manufacturer of motorcycle tires in North America. With North American operations headquartered in Buffalo, NY, Dunlop has been making and selling high-quality tires in the U.S. since 1923. For more information, visit www.dunlopmotorcycle.com.