Many were asking the question yesterday: why has Michelin decided to bring the front tyre with the old carcass to Argentina? In Qatar, Piero Taramasso had assured us that the new tyre for this season had already been selected and that there would be no changes.
In order to solve the mystery, we thought it best to go directly to the source and ask him ourselves.
“It's true that I said we'd decided on the front tyre, but we had spoken before the Losail race - explains Taramasso - Up until then, only Rossi and Iannone had complained about the front tyre and so we'd decided to continue along that path”.
Then what happened?
“At the end of the race, other riders told us that were not sure about the choice, I'm referring to Marquez, Crutchlow, Pedrosa and Aleix Espargarò. The situation changed”.
Various riders and various bikes, with Honda and Aprilia as well as Yamaha and Suzuki…
“Yes, the riders talked about movement bothering them when going into a lean from an upright position. So we carefully analysed the data from the first Grand Prix”.
So you changed your mind?
“After winter testing, we were sure of our choice, also due to the riders' sensations but a race is not the same as testing, in that situation riders push from start to finish. So we've decided to reintroduce a tyre with an old construction, it will be a sort of test, in the most useful conditions possible”.
So the riders can also use it in the race?
“Sure, the more information we have, the better. They will have three compound options with the new construction, plus one with the old”.
“After the race we'll decided whether to propose it again at Austin and then we'll decide on the path to take this season”.
Does that mean that you don't want to have two tyres of different construction available throughout the year?
“Exactly, that turned out to be the case last year and we don't want to repeat that. We want to have just one solution and so we need to decide”.
Looking at the Argentina GP, how have you prepared for a race that was so problematic last year?
“We're calm, in terms of the rear, we have the compounds used last year with the Qatar carcass, which proved robust throughout the whole of last year. I'm confident - we no doubt want to do better than last year. The only problem will be the weather but, I repeat, I'm feeling calm”.