MICHE­LIN GO FROM TYRE HERO BACK TO ZERO

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

Mo­togp con­trol tyre man­u­fac­turer Miche­lin suf­fered a dis­as­trous week­end in Ar­gentina. Less than a fort­night af­ter be­ing her­alded for the huge ad­vances their tyres have made over win­ter test­ing, the French man­u­fac­tur­ers were left reel­ing fol­low­ing an ex­plo­sive de­lam­i­na­tion of Scott Red­ding’s rear tyre dur­ing Satur­day’s Free Prac­tice Four ses­sion. The Pra­mac Du­cati man was lucky to walk away with only mi­nor in­juries from rub­ber hit­ting his back and de­stroy­ing his bike’s rear end.

With po­ten­tial causes rang­ing from a fail­ure within the tyre it­self to a build-up of ex­cess heat caused by a com­bi­na­tion of Red­ding’s ag­gres­sive rid­ing style, weight and the power of his Du­cati, it may be weeks be­fore a de­fin­i­tive an­swer is found.

How­ever, while there may be blame to be laid at the hands of Miche­lin for some of the week­end’s is­sues, many in the pad­dock di­rected their wrath to­wards Mo­togp’s race con­trol, af­ter a se­ries of bizarre de­ci­sions made in the af­ter­math of the in­ci­dent.

Fore­most among these was the de­ci­sion to im­me­di­ately restart the FP4 ses­sion in the wake of Red­ding’s in­ci­dent, with riders ques­tion­ing whether they would be safe to run on the tyres at all. As if to high­light their move even fur­ther, race con­trol then went on to stop the ses­sion some 20 min­utes later in or­der to an­a­lyse the in­ci­dent.

But the most bizarre and am­a­teur look­ing de­ci­sion came when they an­nounced that teams would run a spe­cial re­serve tyre kept for such emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, only to then with­draw the op­tion and in­stead opt for a short­ened race with a manda­tory pit stop.

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