You are here

MotoGP, Michelin: the single tyre? a problem for the riders

Goubert: "We were to blame in Argentina, not Ducati, now the carcass is more rigid. Temperature, weight and style are critical factors"

Michelin: the single tyre? a problem for the riders

Michelin has shown its face, in the specific form of its sports division head, Nicolas Goubert, who admits that the problem with Scott Redding's rear tyre in Argentina was a structural one.

"It was a puncture that led to the explosion of Loris Baz's tyre in Sepang, no doubt about it - recalls Goubert - But at Rio Hondo it was a combination of factors: the track temperature, the rider's weight, the riding style. Fortunately the carcass held, it stayed inflated and Redding was able to stop and this is the most important thing, the safety of the riders, but we're removed that type of construction from production anyway".
Following on from this - and already in Texas - Michelin introduced a new rear tyre with a more robust carcass.

"We've taken this decision and will stick with it. The previous tyre was inflated to 1.9 bar, this one to 1.7. The choice to use a more rigid carcass is a definitive one because we don't want a repeat of the combination of factors that led to the delamination. In reality we've used this type of construction for 18 months with no problems, but of course tests are completed with only a few riders and with different track conditions and temperatures."

There was those who pointed the finger at Ducati in Argentina, saying they were putting too much stress on the tyre. Goubert does not agree.
"The problem had more to do with the rider's riding style and weight than with the bike - he underlines - The Ducati has never given us problems, on the contrary I'd say it's one of the bikes that least consumes the tyres. I heard that Dovizioso said his bike is trickier than the others, but not because of the tyres."

The criticism that Michelin now faces is that the new carcasses might prove more challenging for the lighter riders than for the heavier guys.
"I can only say one thing - states Nicolas Goubert - the real problem for the riders is the single tyre! In the past every different need was met, today we have to provide a solution that is good for all the manufacturers, for Ducati, Aprilia, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki. And for riders who barely weight 60 kg like Pedrosa or 80 like Redding".

Gouberts also confirmed what has been known for a long time.
"It's much more difficult to constrcut bike tyres than F1 tyres. First f all, the difference in weight of the car drivers is insignificant compared to the overall weight of the vehicle; secondly, we're talking about weight in a fixed position. But the most important thing is that in F1 the driving style has little bearing on the stress tyres are put under.

When we ask various car drivers to evaluate tyres, we receive the same considerations, while with the bikes opinions are a lot more personal and influenced by various factors.

Translated by Heather Watson

Related articles