Michelin's decision to limit use of the super soft front rain tyre to a maximum of ten laps took many of the riders by surprise. Dovizioso, at the end of day one, wants answers. “I'll raise it at the Safety Commission” he promises.
Andrea provides us with his take.
“Let me start by saying I haven't yet spoken with the Michelin technicians - he explains - If I put myself in their shoes, or in Dorna's shoes, I understand that it's tough to find a regulation to suit every situation that may arise during the season. The main problem is that, right now, the tyres have a limited field of use in terms of the temperatures. There are no two tyres that can suit all the conditions that we come across during 18 rounds”.
And this is clear from what we've seen in the past.
“I understand their worries after what happened in Brno - he recalls - but at Phillip Island there's no need to limit use of the super soft to ten laps. This is a track where there is no hard braking, temperatures are low and there's little grip. With that tyre I think you could cover race distance”.
Dovi considers the decision to have taken somewhat hastily.
“It would have been to wait until after the first session or decide at the end of the day - he continues - I realised today, even without using the softer front compound, that the limit is not there but at the rear. I didn't use it because I had only one, while I had two of the harder solutions, Michelin wasn't ready to give us any more”.
Andrea didn't complete many laps in the morning.
“Two short exits - he specifies - and I have to say that my sensations on the bike were not great. Despite this, I was able to lap six tenths from the fastest, which isn't bad ”.
Rather than the tyres, Hector Barbera is focusing on making the most of this second opportunity to ride the GP16. Though he didn't make the best start.
“I'm not very lucky - he says - Motegi wasn't the best track for me, Phillip Island should be but unfortunately we had rain. My initial feelings in the wet are similar to what I experienced in Japan in the dry, in that I don't have confidence with the front. We made a change, taking things in the right direction, but the rain became heavier and I had to stop”.
The Spaniard needs just one thing - to clock up some more miles.
“The GP14 is perfect in terms of setup, while I still need to adapt the GP16 to my style . In order to do that I just need time on track, wet or dry - he explains - The worst case scenario would be if it were to rain tomorrow and then we have a dry race”.