Stars crash as tyres cause may­hem at Misano WSB

Van der Mark left feel­ing flat af­ter tyre de­flates as he closes in on first WSB win


Tyres were the talk of the Misano WSB round for all the wrong rea­sons af­ter some high pro­file prob­lems saw many top rid­ers strug­gling.

Hav­ing weath­ered the storm from the pre­vi­ous round at Don­ing­ton Park, where Jonathan Rea’s tyre de­flated and sub­se­quently came off the rim as he plum­meted down Craner Curves at 130mph, Pirelli were de­ter­mined to get things back on track at their home round... but things didn’t go to plan.

The big­gest vic­tim of Pirelli’s on­go­ing is­sues was Pata Yamaha man Michael van der Mark. Hav­ing made a stun­ning start in the open­ing race, no­body ex­pected the young Dutch­man to be able to hold off the chas­ing Du­cati and Kawasakis, but af­ter lead­ing for 13 laps and stretch­ing the pack he looked well-placed to se­cure his first ever WSB win. But on lap 15 he suf­fered a highly un­usual and un­ex­pected crash which brought an end to his race and left the en­tire pad­dock scratch­ing their heads.

With the team at great pains to cover up the crashed bike as it re­turned to the pad­dock, the fault was later con­firmed as a sud­den rear tyre de­fla­tion which re­sulted in the tyre com­ing off the rim.

Van der Mark said: “These things are not meant to hap­pen. I had no warn­ing, noth­ing. Even when I was slid­ing I had no idea. No vi­bra­tion, noth­ing, this was re­ally weird. We must be happy that there is no big dam­age to me or the bike. If the race had gone full dis­tance I think I could have had a podium.”

Another rider who had high hopes at Misano was Spa­niard Jordi Tor­res, but like van der Mark his race two ended with tyre is­sues. The Althea BMW rider was in a solid sec­ond, but was robbed of a cer­tain podium when his rear tyre started to de­flate and he had to pull in.

And it wasn’t the first time he’s suf­fered de­flat­ing tyres, hav­ing en­dured the same prob­lem at round four in Assen. He said: “It did not ‘go’ but it started to slide and then just went down and down.”

World cham­pion Jonathan Rea was another vic­tim of tyre is­sues in Misano. Hav­ing sur­vived his sick­en­ing last-lap col­li­sion with Chaz Davies in race one where he still man­aged to fin­ish third, Rea ran into tyre prob­lems in race two and aired his con­cerns over the cur­rent level of prod­uct from Pirelli in the se­ries in­clud­ing a re­cent two-day test at the Misano cir­cuit.

“This was the first re­ally dif­fi­cult race of the sea­son. We had a lot of in­con­sis­ten­cies at the test. On day two we put one set of tyres in and – hav­ing been do­ing 1m 34s with ease be­fore – and we could barely do low 1m 35s. We can­not just blame the track con­di­tions but it seems I have had some in­con­sis­ten­cies with the tyres I have been get­ting. I have never ex­pe­ri­enced this be­fore. It is some­thing to an­a­lyse.

“To­day my tyre that was out of bal­ance was and I had a lot of chatter. But so far, there is no con­clu­sion. I guess there will be no con­clu­sion from VDM’S tyre. We can­not point fin­gers be­cause, in my opin­ion, Pirelli is one of the safest tyres in the world. But they need to re­ally un­der­stand and have some con­clu­sions for what hap­pened to my tyre and VDM’S tyre.”

‘These things are not meant to hap­pen. I had no warn­ing, noth­ing’ MICHAEL VAN DER MARK

Van der Mark’s de­flat­ing tyre is com­ing off the rim

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