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I figured this might interest a few people. A very objective test with the rider preference mostly neutralized. The Dunlops did quite well as did the Pirelli Supercorsa SP's.

 

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/545/21916/Motorcycle-Article/2015-Sport-Motorcycle-Tire-Shootout.aspx

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German magazine MOTORRAD test not only on race tracks in wet and dry conditions, but also on public roads. Their winner was the Michelin Pilot Power 3 along with the Metzeler Sportec M7RR.

 

http://www.motorradonline.de/motorradreifen/sportreifen-12070-zr-17-und-19055-zr-17/548082

 

The Michelin came last on the track, but one the wet test, performed best when worn, lasted the longest and was the best street tyre. The Metz came second on the track, matched the Michelin on the street, was almost as good when worn, lasted second longest and came 4th out of 6 in the wet.

 

Dunlop Sportsmart 2 came shared 4th on the track, last on the street, last when worn, 3rd in the wet and third when it comes to wear rate.

 

http://www.motorradonline.de/motorradreifen/sportreifen-12070-zr-17-und-19055-zr-17-endwertung/548082?seite=17

 

Bike used for the test, temperatures, rider preferences, asphalt - everything matter. So a test can be a guideline, but isn't gospel.

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This may be why? I found a test by the same German magazine about the Q2, made back at the end of 2010 http://www.motorradonline.de/motorradreifen/produkttest-acht-sportreifen-im-vergleich-dunlop-qualifier-2/306420?seite=13

 

How it scored
Track:

The Qualifier 2 only gave respectable grip once hot, whereas the Sportsmart worked at much lower temps. The Q2 cannot begin to match the Sportsmart when it comes to stability and feedback, and the latter totally ruled on the track.

Wet:
On the wet track, the Q was nearly 2 seconds slower the the S version. The Q had a very narrow window between gripping and sliding and lacked grip during cornering and acceleration.

Public roads:
The S was much better also here, giving better feedback and working well from cold. The superiority of the S model was even greater on the road than on the track.


Conclusion:
This is how quickly development can go. In 2009, the Q2 replaced the little loved and unconvincing Q1 and ended on a decent 3rd place in the comparison test. However, the new Sportsmart makes the Q2 look really old already.

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The one thing I have taken away from tire comparisons over the years is two things.

 

#1 Tires often are better suited to their purpose. Street tires are better on the street than track oriented tires. Track tires are better on the track than street tires.

 

#2 Different bikes change the suitability between tires. Different geometries and different handling characteristics. Unless you have the exact bike they are using in the tests you should take that into consideration when looking at the results.

 

I think the test that I posted was kind of interesting because of the "blind method" they used with the rider. They probably left the bike on the warmers when the rider got on the bike. Even then though it's difficult to completely eliminate bias. I'm quite familiar with Q3's and would probably realize I was riding on Q3's after a lap or two due to the feel even if I could not see the tires. Due to my familiarity with Q3's they would give me more confidence since I would know what to expect out of them.

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"Blindfolded" tests has been the norm for almost 40 years, I believe? CW did it in 1977 and beyond, using Wayne Rainey as one of their test riders in 1983 to get a racer's perspective. Interestingly, he could also tell a couple of tyres right away due to familiarity, just like you. I don't think MOTORRAD has done these sort of tests as long, though, beginning in the mid-80s, but also done with the riders not knowing what tyres were used.

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