What a problem these tyres are! The Czech Grand Prix proved to be a thriller, with the tyres yet again playing a starring role. Some riders saw their front tyre shed pieces, others suffered but, in the long run, choosing the hard tyre paid off. During this first part of the season, the Michelins have raised many questions. The situation in the Suzuki garage at Brno wasn't simple either, as outlined by Davide Brivio.
“We initially felt it would be a flag to flag race. Our riders had tested both the soft and hard tyres, during the sighting lap we believed that the hard didn't have grip and that the soft was the only choice. As a result, we went with the soft tyre. Once the track dried out, we thought there'd be a bike swap but it never happened”.
In the flag to flag can you put the same tyres on the bike?
“Up until two or three years ago you couldn't but now you can yes. So you can put in two hard tyres and continue. Unfortunately, with no communications between the rider and the garage it's difficult to come to an agreement, as we saw with Lorenzo. It's not easy because it takes time to put in the tyres and once back on track, you need to quickly make up the gap, despite the limited number of laps. Unfortunately, MotoGP isn't Formula 1”.
The rain is always an unknown.
“It's true, the situation is always different. Last year, at Misano, Smith stayed out on track and finished second because it started to rain again. In Germany, Marquez, having gone off track, got the strategy right, while Crutchlow's hard tyre proved to be the winner at Brno. We strive to learn every time, but the situations differ”.
Is it not risky to leave riders on track with tyres that are disintegrating?
“It's a difficult choice, perhaps they should use the black or red flag. With some riders, like Iannone, it was clear they were in trouble. I think the riders should opt to stop. Those who are less inclined to take a risk, like Dovizioso and Lorenzo, came in right away. The other, more 'daredevil' riders continued. For sure the situation was on the limit”.