LORENZO’S TYRE WOE
Given the Yamaha Factory Team & Lorenzo’s metronome-like consistency for several seasons, which would very strongly suggest they know exactly what they are doing with “set-up” – this is one of those strange ones that arise occasionally. As to Bridgestone’s exculpatory comments: - Mmmm, well – as Mandy Rice-Davies famously said in Court during the Profumo scandal, “Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?”
Race tyre construction is a technological “black art” with all materials, componentry & the build process itself being a tightly & strictly controlled business indeed. Tyres are produced in marked “batches” according to their intended use, type & compounding, which theoretically should negate any “variation”. However, there have been far too many rider experiences like Lorenzo’s Le Mans one to simply imply that the problem is a matter of Black & White allocation of singular fault or blame. After all, Rossi also complained of the same syndrome (a rogue or crook tyre) earlier in the week-end & Casey Stoner also had inexplicable tyre wear & feel problems in several races through 2012 too, after having been on various & usually immaculately reliable Bridgestones since 2007.
It is entirely possible that combinations or “mixes” of temperature, set-up, track surface & ambient conditions (how wet/how dry etc) can combine to affect rider “feel”, tyre grip & longevity. In other words – it isn’t a matter of fault or “excuse” – it’s just the way it is & riders with differing styles, albeit on the same bike & tyre compounding, can very well have quite different experiences. I will ‘fess-up at this juncture to having enjoyed a long exposure to bike & car racing with the Firestone/Bridgestone Company in the past.
These two excellent links may assist readers in a basic understanding of both the build process & tyre/bike set up: http://www.motorcyclistonline.com/features/122_0311_michelin_tire/ AND http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFO4f33Z8bQ