Bradley Smith says that despite the high number of crashes on the opening day of full testing with MotoGP’s new Michelin tyres, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the rubber.
Instead, the top finishing satellite rider says it’s simply a case of riders needing to adapt their riding style to suit the profile of the French manufacturer’s product.
“I think the crashes were a combination of things. The profile of the front tyre from the Michelin to the Bridgestone is different, especially the contact feeling. It’s different. It almost feels like we’re on more of a triangle than a flat plane. “That’s ok if you take it steady; if it’s a hill you can roll it in but if it’s a mountain you have to take it gingerly. Once you get there it’s fine, but you have to be careful getting there.
“I had my own moments; I got confidence on the new bike, flicked it in as I would normally and suddenly it’s like ‘woah! That’s not the way to do it.’ They just need to be ridden in a different way, but you can’t expect two manufacturers to make exactly the same tyre anyway.”
However, the Tech 3 Yamaha rider was able to make the adaption to the new tyres and his new bike – the machines Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo finished Sunday’s race on – to finish the day eighth overall.
Less than half a second off the fastest time of the day set by Marc Marquez and only 0.008 behind teammate Pol Espargaro, he was able to lap at 1:31.997 – faster than his fastest lap of Sunday’s race.