Birmingham-based tyre giant Dunlop is hoping for its first-ever Moto GP win this weekend as the superstars of the sport descend on Donington.
The Midlands will host bike legends including Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi at the fastest race on two wheels.
And Dunlop are keeping their fingers crossed for an unlikely win after a successful season on their new generation racing rubber.
Developed with satellite technology, the tyres have helped Dunlop lead a race this season for the first time since their return to Moto GP in 2006. At this year's Le Mans Dunlop helped French rider Sylvain Guintoli finish 0.8secs off pole in qualifying and lead the race. The tyres are the result of a multi-million pound project to ensure Birmingham-based expertise can compete with French high-fliers Michelin. A spokesman for Dunlop said: "It's Birmingham against the French. We're confident we can compete."
The company's Erdington Fort Dunlop plant, which employs 350, is less than half an hour from the track where Sunday's Moto GP will be held.
Tyres for the 500cc MotoGP championship are made at the site for the Tech-3 Yamaha team.
Satellite tracking has been used to develop tailored tyres to suit every track and race condition. At this weekend's meeting unique tyres will be used which have compounds and designs to cope with the circuit's fast, tight bends.
A Dunlop spokesman said: "The satellite technology has been a revelation in making sure we have the right tyre for the right track at the right time.
"We are dominating the junior and 250cc classes, and we want more teams in Moto GP to sign up. These new tyres and our satellite tracking program mean we can rival Michelin and Bridgstone.
"Donington is the highlight of the calendar and we plan to show what we can do. Irrespective of what tyres they use everyone has to race under the Dunlop bridge. It is a track we have historically done well at and this year will be no different.
"It would be a dream come true to win our first Moto GP at our home track."
The revolutionary technology has come to the fore in the last year and allows the team to adapt quickly to circuits featuring hard-braking, hairpins and massive straights. Climate, riders' preferences, and the racing set-up of bikes are all taken into account as Dunlop strive to give their team every advantage.
Track surfaces are mapped using a highly-sophisticated form of satellite navigation which feeds its findings into a computer that instructs a machine to build the tyre accordingly.
Last year Dunlop tyres, designed and built in Birmingham, helped Ducati win the manufacturers' championship in the British Superbike Championship, and the flourishing firm are determined to ensure that they repeat that success in Moto GP.
Jean-Felix Bazelin, general manager of Dunlop Motorsport, said: "Fort Dunlop can be considered as a motorsport centre of excellence in the global organisation. Specialists in the USA, Japan, Germany and the UK contributed to the development of this concept and the new race tyre build process, which will give us the opportunity to succeed in MotoGP."
And the hi-tech tyres are becoming more and more common as Dunlop have decided to sell them on to the public. Race fanatics can get their hands on the new Dunlop Qualifier RR tyre, which has been developed using the same technology as the real thing.
Dunlop has been manufacturing race tyres in Birmingham since 1902 and now produces around 300,000 specialist competition tyres a year.
Dunlop Tyres was founded in 1888 by John Boyd Dunlop after he invented the modern pneumatic inflatable. Its first factory opened in Dublin in 1889 shortly followed by Fort Dunlop in Birmingham.
The current company was formed in 1990 when Goodyear took over the European tyre development wing of the Midland firm.
The Fort Dunlop factory supports specialised vintage, motorcycle and touring car tyre production.
It has been extensively redeveloped with a shopping centre and car dealerships. Dunlop tyres maintain a key role in the motorsport industry and the firm was the sole supplier to British Touring Car Championship for 2003 to 2006.
During the 1970s, Dunlop pioneered the world's first fail-safe tyres, allowing a vehicle to continue moving after a blowout.