The rac­ing’s been grip­ping

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

Once again Miche­lin have come un­der fire af­ter a dif­fi­cult week­end that saw most of the grid com­plain about a lack of grip from the Mont­melò cir­cuit – and many lay the blame firmly at the door of the French tyre firm.

How­ever, while Miche­lin have shown a propen­sity for chang­ing tyres from week­end to week­end – some­thing pre­vi­ous con­tract hold­ers Bridge­stone weren’t keen to do, it’s not tech­ni­cally cor­rect to lay too much of the blame at their door.

That hon­our in­stead goes to the Cir­cuit Catalunya it­self, and the state of the as­phalt. One of the old­est sur­faces in the championship, its com­bi­na­tion of well-pol­ished large­di­am­e­ter stones and high heat means that by it’s very na­ture it’s a hellish com­bi­na­tion of both abra­sive­ness and slip­per­i­ness, es­pe­cially when the tem­per­a­tures rise above 50°C, like they did on Sun­day.

That’s why the Mo­togp rid­ers’ safety com­mis­sion called on the eve of Sun­day’s race for the track to be resur­faced ahead of next year’s race, with some even go­ing so far as to sug­gest a boy­cott.

And while Miche­lin’s ten­dency for al­ter­ing the com­pound and con­struc­tion might not be an ideal sce­nario for rid­ers and teams, it’s cer­tainly spiced things up. It’s hard to imag­ine that if we were still on Bridge­stones that we’d have had four win­ners from seven races so far in 2017.

‘A hellish mix of abra­sive­ness and slip­per­i­ness’

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