Michelin will not bring the controversial front tyre that caused conspiracy theories at the last round of the 2017 MotoGP championship to this weekend’s third round, instead sticking with the original options of rubber as the series heads to Texas.
The new option started conspiracy theories last time out when it was claimed by some that it was brought as an option thanks to pressure from several riders, only to be then withdrawn from the allocation by the riders’ safety commission after shipping delays saw it unavailable until the second day of action.
Instead, the allocation for this weekend will contain three front and three rear options, with asymmetric rears to help cope with the demands of the abrasive track, according to Two-Wheel Motorsport Group manager Piero Taramasso.
“COTA is another very demanding circuit and features many changes of direction, slow turns, fast bends and a long straight. There are also hard braking areas and all this together makes for a big challenge for a tyre to cope with. The riders are always demanding the very best and that is always our target- to be able to give the optimum tyre for all riders and bikes to use.
“We were unable to produce the very good performance that we had hoped for in 2016, but this season we are going there fully prepared – thanks to data we got after last year’s race – and with a range of rubber that will work well around the Texan circuit. With three fly-away tests and then the three long-haul races to start the season, it has certainly been a busy time, but we are all totally focused and will arrive in Austin fresh and ready for the task-in-hand.”
It’s been speculated that the French firm will instead bring the new option front, based on the development tyre trialled by the grid at the final round of 2016 in Valencia, to next month’s first official mid-season test at Jerez following the fourth round of the championship at the Spanish track.
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