Michelin has publicly apologised for the tyre failure suffered by Valentino Rossi at the Shanghai GP.
Rossi was forced to pit on lap 16 on the Chinese round due to excessive vibration from his front tyre, which was found to have been caused by the loss of a small piece of tread. The tyre remained inflated despite the missing piece of tread.
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Tests at Michelin's Clermont-Ferrand HQ didn't show any tyre faults, with the same tyre used by seven other riders in the race without problems. The official statement continues:
"The very high level of stress experienced at Shanghai by the centre part of the tyre is the highest during the whole MotoGP season, because of frequent decelerations from over 320km/h to 60km/h within less than eight seconds. It would appear that this tyre could not sustain that level of strain; the safety margin we always include when we develop a tyre was apparently not enough in this particular case. The parameters that influence the levels of stress that a tyre undergoes are, among others: track layout, grip level, riding style and bike set-up."
" We apologise wholeheartedly to Valentino and the Yamaha team for having failed in this case to provide a front tyre capable of being competitive throughout the race. We have, of course, already taken all necessary measures, where physically possible, to ensure that such an event doesn’t happen again."