Dunlop Qualifiers - 2nd Try
Right before my last track day I bought a new set of Dunlop Qualifier tires for my 2005 Yamaha R6. The set of Qualifiers I had on there before were worn down and rock hard, courtesy of three track days and a few thousand miles. They had survived two track days at Willow Springs with good performance, but their third track day at Pahrump, NV was too much to ask and my speed suffered. Riding the canyons on those things became a challenge; the bike just wouldn't grip and turn like it's supposed to.
Armed with brand new sticky rubber, I hit the big track at Willow Springs again and pushed the tires near their limit thanks to my growing familiarity with the track and some tips from AMA Superbike racer Jason Curtis. It was definitely the hardest and fastest I have ever ridden, and the tires definitely paid the price. There was one session where they simply got too hot and started sliding on me (I am by no means comfortable sliding the tires).
It's starting to dawn on me that tires will become the biggest expense of my track day addiction. Willow Springs is really hard on the right side of tires, and the way I rode last time out I'm not sure I'll use these tires again for another track day there. Some people have suggested I try using the Michelin Pilot Power 2CT, a dual-compound tire with softer rubber on the shoulders. They definitely won't last longer, in fact they'll have a shorter life, but maybe they'll handle the heat a little better.