MotoGP control tyre manufacturer Michelin have made the unusual decision to forgo a soft front tyre option for this weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix, instead electing to bring two different construction of both front and rear tyres in an attempt to cater to mixed requests from the 23-rider MotoGP grid.
They’ll trade the soft front for one medium of both the normal front tyre that’s been in use since Mugello this year and another construction built especially for the unique demands of Misano last year that offers more stability under braking and cornering.
The rears will be different too, with one of two medium options designed to come up to temperature quicker.
But while the move might seem unusual, Michelin’s two wheeled boss Piero Taramasso says that it’s a good solution for the tricky nature of the Misano circuit.
“Misano is quite a difficult and complicated circuit because it can generate high tyre temperatures as the bikes spend a lot of time at big lean angles. With ten right-hand turns compared to just six left-hand turns, Misano is harsher on the right shoulder of the rear tyre. Last season we were very pleased with the performance of all the tyres, we broke some of the existing records – which we would obviously like to do again this year – but the most satisfying thing was the consistency and durability our tyres showed on race-day in very hot and demanding conditions on an abrasive surface.
“We have recently tested at the circuit with many of the top riders, so have some good up-to-date data which will give us a solid starting point for the weekend. With Misano we start the last third of this exciting season and there is no doubt we will see a large crowd this weekend at the one of more spectacular battles for the championship.”
One person who won’t be complaining about the decision is Dani Pedrosa, with it potentially playing into his hands just like it did twelve months ago, when the switch to the more stable construction finally allowed the lightest racer on the grid to generate more temperature in the rubber and breeze past Valentino Rossi in the closing stages of the race for a stunning victory.
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