MichelinIn Michelin they had warned already. They would take the Scott Redding tire that deflated and broke in the MotoGP practice session to their factory in Clermont-Ferrand (France) to analyze it. And until they knew what had happened to him it, in the GP of  Argentina, the tires would not be recovered with that kinder for piloting construction. They would have to compete with the already misnamed safety tires: tires that are specifically made for the grand prize, but with the housing of identical construction to the safety ones: tougher and offering lower yields, lap times would not be better to the previous year.

The plan would be the same for the GP of Spain, held last weekend, because although by then the answer had barely gave time to prepare all the necessary tires for the whole grid. It happens, however, that the decision now that Michelin know why the Redding tire failed is taken: They will not return to the racing tires from early season.

After the analyzes carried out in France, Michelin concluded that in Argentina followed by a series of factors simultaneously: The combination of high temperatures (30 degrees in the environment, 44th in the asphalt), with a fairly tall pilot (6´1”) and the demands of the circuit [two critical curves which generates added temperature inside tire] caused too much stress on the back rubber.

These are factors that could be repeated again at any time, difficult to control. The pressure was correct. So Michelin has decided that in no way they can recover the tires with which he competed in Qatar and Argentina (although it was a flag to flag race). The construction of the housing of those tires is not safe.

“After what happened in Argentina and found what had happened to the Redding tire, deciding to run with a harder construction is right. As is doing it in the next races. Also in Le Mans [the next race, on May 8] the construction of the tire will be more robust, not hard, it is not the same. It will be similar to that of Austin and Jerez. And we will continue with the pressure to 24.6 psi, somewhat lower than before (27.5 psi) and have more surface contact with the asphalt.  “ said NIcholas Goubert, Michelin technical director.

Of course, after the last Grand Prix and numerous complaints from pilots, who have suffered many problems spinning (short and frequent bouncing of the rear tire, for lack of adherence of the same, which prevents a normal drive), Goubert knows he must make changes in the housing.

MotoGP tires for Michelin does not condition the whole course of the races every weekend. “We have to make a tire that works for all pilots and different conditions”. The first is security. So they can not return to the construction they had at the beginning of the season. But Michelin admitted they are not happy with what they have so far. And will work on a tire with which everyone can use.

On Sunday Andrea Dovizioso, who retired due to a problem with the water pump of his motorcycle, said that the Ducati team had had problems all weekend because the rear tire. “From the first test there has been changes made by Michelin and that has made it difficult for teams to adapt.” In a circuit like Jerez, so narrow, the pressure on the rear tire is greater, it is stressed and does not get traction. The italian was confident that the type of tires would not change at least not in the next two or three Grand Prix: “We will have to work with it.”

The same resignation was in the words of Dani Pedrosa, a pilot who was been the promise in preseason, when, for its delicacy to the handlebar, for style, he presented himself as one who had better adapted to the new tires. Ever since Michelin had them run with this more robust housing, for safety reasons, he is not able to work the rear tire designed to withstand the pressure from pilots weighing almost double. He has changed his driving, but that has just allowed him, as in Jerez, to finish in fourth and almost miraculously.

So he told this Sunday: “I did my best, but does not mean i gave it everything I could when I go in rain: I lift the bike slowly, gear changes soon, I do not give full throttle. In the straight lines you could not go to full pedal the bike would skid … the entire race I had to regulate myself, because I knew that eventually the tire could burst if the wheel kept skidding. “

Monday was the day of official test at the Jerez circuit and Pedrosa finished fifth, but just three-tenths of his teammate Marquez, the fastest. Goubert confident that the situation, with much effort by Michelin, will be focused this time on the front tires, and hopes it can be improved as soon as possible.


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