ALEIX ESPARGARO ‘ WHEN YOU USE TOO MUCH TRACTION CONTROL, YOU FUCK THE ENGINE!’
“WHEN WE CHANGED to Michelin it was the worse year of my career. Every time I attacked I lost the front. I changed my technique after spending many afternoons with Tom [O’Kane, his Suzuki crew chief] in front of the computer, understanding the combination of lean-angle and front-brake pressure.
“From there I became more balanced, using less lean angle and less brake pressure. The Michelin front has improved a lot but it’s still not like the Bridgestone. With the Bridgestone you could have 15 bars of [front brake] pressure with 60 degrees of lean, elbow on the ground, locking the front and not crashing! With the Michelin it’s all about stopping the bike in a straight line as fast as possible.
“With the unified electronics we struggled at the beginning, because we had to change the way the traction control works and how the engine-braking works, but it’s not a big drama. To me the bike is better with less TC and wheelie control. Every time you use too much TC you fuck the engine. When there is no grip I don’t like to increase the TC. I prefer to work with power reduction in the engine management, because if you use too much traction control you get more movement from the suspension and the chassis, so the bike becomes very unstable.”
Espargaro tries not to worry the TC when grip is at a premium GOLD AND GOOSE, APRILIA RACING