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