THE GE­NIUS OF MICHE­LIN’S TYRE WAR

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MOTOGP RE­PORTER

Since their re­turn to the Motogp cham­pi­onship at the start of this sea­son, Miche­lin have taken a lot of flack. Start­ing with Loris Baz’s high-speed tyre ex­plo­sion back at the Sepang tests (even though it was later dis­cov­ered to have been caused by a punc­ture) and lead­ing up to the tyre se­lec­tion in Brno only re­cently, the French firm has had a lot of fire fight­ing to do.

But what they’ve man­aged this sea­son so far is re­ally quite re­mark­able. Some­how, as they work to de­velop new-spec­i­fi­ca­tion rub­ber for in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful Motogp ma­chin­ery, they’ve man­aged to create a tyre bat­tle in a one-make se­ries.

How? By pro­vid­ing a wide se­lec­tion of choices for the rid­ers each week­end, and by en­sur­ing that dif­fer­ent tyres can be used suc­cess­fully by dif­fer­ent ma­chin­ery and dif­fer­ent rid­ing styles.

Com­pare that to last year, when it was com­pletely nor­mal to see the ma­jor­ity of rid­ers elect for the same front tyre op­tion from Bridge­stone. Or even to Sun­day’s Moto2 race, where every sin­gle rider on the grid used the same com­bi­na­tion of Dun­lop tyres.

And what that has re­sulted in is the sin­gle most com­pet­i­tive sea­son in the his­tory of Grand Prix rac­ing. What we’ve seen this year time and time again, from Crutchlow’s stun­ning wet win to Pe­drosa’s vic­tory on Sun­day, is that rid­ers can once again take a risk on tyres – they can gam­ble, and real­is­ti­cally ex­pect that it might just pay off for them.

And even bet­ter, it’s come with no real neg­a­tives. Now that rid­ers have adapted their rid­ing style to the new tyres, they’re show­ing no in­crease in the num­ber of crashes com­pared to last year, and yet we’re get­ting rac­ing that’s closer than ever.

‘Rid­ers can once again take a risk on tyres and real­is­ti­cally ex­pect it to pay off’ SI­MON PAT­TER­SON

Pe­drosa’s tyre gam­ble paid off

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.