After the Styrian GP, images began to circulate on the net of the problem with Miguel Oliveira's front tire, which forced him to retire. In those photos it can clearly be seen that two large portions of the tread have broken off, making it impossible for the Portuguese rider to continue the race. To understand what happened, we went straight to the source, questioning Michelin's manager Piero Taramasso, who did not deny that there was a problem but who was not yet able to give us a certain answer.
"It takes time to do all the analyses, not only on the tire but also the data to understand how it worked, therefore all the parameters, from the pressure to the suspension adjustments - explained Taramasso - What I can say for sure is that there is not a structural problem, the tire structure remained intact and has no imperfections. Those photos that are circulating are not nice, I cannot thank those who published them, but you can see that it is a problem with the tread that has come unstuck in two places ”.
Could it be a problem that arose during the production of the tire?
“We are still trying to understand what happened and when we find out we will announce it to the team and to the media. It may be something related to the manufacture of the tire ”.
Oliveira used the hard compound, wasn't it the right choice?
"The hard front worked well, Binder finished 4th on the KTM with that tire, even with the Ducatis that used it there were no problems. A lot of them were used throughout the weekend, even in FP4 with a lot of heat and a full tank of fuel, in race set-up, and everything went well. Too bad there was this problem, we hope to have an answer as soon as possible ”.
You will withdraw this tire for the Austrian GP?
“It is a decision that we will take either today or tomorrow, it is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. If we can understand the origin of the problem well and if we are sure that it will not recur, then we will leave it. If, on the other hand, we do not have enough information, we will change it ”.
Bagnaia instead complained about the soft rear tire, did you manage to understand what happened?
“We have focused on the front for the moment, but it is true that Pecco complained of poor grip, as did Marquez. We are looking, but in that case, it could be a problem related to the heating of the tire. The track conditions were particular, the asphalt was not very rubbery after the morning rains and with a temperature of 21°, it had never been so low. Also here we use a special casing, the same that we also bring to Thailand, made to lower the temperature. They are tires which as a result are very sensitive to pressure, if the rider fails to push hard and heat it up then the compound does not work. It is a problem that also exists with standard tires but, with this one in particular, it is even more exasperated. However, we are also analysing the data in this case and we will certainly have an answer by this week ”.
For the front, however, the work is going to take longer?
“It takes more time for the microscopic and chemical analysis”.