MICHELIN GO FROM TYRE HERO BACK TO ZERO
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.