Eric brings up a good point. Depending on the surface # of heat cycles may not translate from track to track as some tracks are more abrasive than others.
None the less I’ll add more data points and maybe more discussion points here as well.
This weekend I did practice and warmups on a set of YLCs that had 18 heat cycles on them at the end of the last warmup and they felt fine. I switched to my “race tires” which only had 9 cycles on them going into the day and they felt worse than the warmup tires. That said I brought home P2 and was only .1 off of quick lap of the race. Air Temps also went from low 70’s in warmups to just over 90 at race time so the track was changing.
3 variables come into play for consideration on why the race tires possibly felt worse than the practice tires.
1- Age of the tire. I’m starting to wonder if age of the tire, once you start using it, plays a factor as well as number of heat cycles. I’ve been trying to put as few heat cycles as possible on those race tires which means i originally ran them at the very beginning of May and have been using them sparingly over a 10 week period since I started. The practice tires with more cycles on them have only been used for the last 6 weeks and just been used more frequently. When swapping them between wheels the set with more cycles subjectively felt easier to work with and manipulate onto the wheels.
2 - Wheels. This somewhat goes back to another thread but my practice tires were on OTK MXJ cast magnesium wheels and my race wheels were on OTK MXL forged magnesium wheels. It was 90 degrees yesterday and should have been the perfect weather for the MXL wheels to shine, but I’ve had more than a couple people tell me that the MXL is just too stiff of a wheel for the hard compound YLC tire. They claim the YLCs like a wheel that produces a little more grip.
3 - Heat - It just got hot and the first two heats the kart was a touch free to put power down but in the final it actually wasn’t bad, just still not quite what I wanted. Everything was hot and greasy at that point though.
So I’m left to ponder these things but though I’d share them in my journey with understanding these tires better. Oh…and to really blow your mind I went the same pace in the race as I did in the final warmup so feel aside they were still pretty much the same on the clock. I just wonder if when I was pushing hard in the race if I couldn’t have put down a better lap on the other set of wheels / rubber.