It would seem to me that so far Michelin is winning the tire war in SBK. Baylis, Xaus and Edwards seem to be able to run harder longer. Bostrom and Haga look fast for five laps on the Dunlops then they fade.
Maybe shamar can chime in on this, but I seem to think there are definitely tracks that suit one tire or the other. That being said, Corser still holds the track record at Phillip Island, and he was on Dunlops. It should be interesting because the top six riders are evenly split with Michelin having Bayliss, Edwards and Xaus, while Dunlop have Bostrom, Haga and Hodgeson. I think it'll be those six riders racing for the win every race. We'll see!
I'm certainly no expert, but just from watching results, different tracks favor different riders. Not to mention set up, compound choice...blah blah blah. And sometimes, you just have it no matter what. For instance, I don't think Bostrom could have been beaten last year at Laguna if he were running dirt bike tires.
If I put what I wanted in this signature, I would piss too many people off.
unfortunately, i've got nothing more to add other than what ris and all of you've initially stated... yup, michelin dominates in europe and dunlop dominates here in the states. but of course, this is certainly no "revelation".
it's been this way for years. it should be noted, michelin also gets alot of feedback and telemetry from GP's to incorporate into their overall designs. and the two series, share many of the same circuits like assen, phillip isle, and valencia. so i wouldn't be surprised, if statistically over the years, the data shows a michelin runner averages more wins at those aformentioned circuits.
unless we can go back in time and reverse all the factors that lead to everyone using michelins and thus, getting a "stranglehold" on the European circuits and everyone using dunlops in the states and thus getting a similiar "coup" with racers on the American circuits, it's not likely to change with any significant degree. what's "in place" is going to be "in place". once that's achieved, their respective "over-use" only serves to reinforce each other's dominance.
it's sort of analogous to a point i made over in the ducati forum a while back regarding the respective manufacturer dominances of SBK (ducati) and GP's (honda). once ya get a "streak" going...? the natural human inclination of everybody else around you observing this is to try and duplicate that success (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery). and how do we duplicate said success...?
the answer is, "by going the path of LEAST resistance... and NOT the greatest". simply put, as a rule of thumb (not an absolute) we human beings are intrinsically lazy or "energy conserving". LOL put in layman's terms... "hey, if that guys winning using tire brand A, then that's what i'm going to use and make it easy on myself rather than having to put out an effort (both mental and physical) of figuring out what's wrong or right with the brand B i'm using... thereby, i can focus my resources (of which i'm limited in anyway) to other things like suspension set-up, power development, etc etc"...
truly though, the even greater "tire wars" are set to kick off in GP's. and this again, is because of some the aforementioned reasons i stated. with the change, comes the opportunity "to get the ball rolling" so to speak. a "ball rolling" that is towards snagging "market share" and ultimately the coveted and much sought after "dominance". once that's achieved, a manufacturer knows they can essentially sit back and relax and just "reap the rewards" of their initial effort... LOL 'cause after a while it'll become "self-reinforcing" almost like a snow ball rolling down hill...