Squidpuppet wrote:IMO, tire management is more about making a race plan(s) based on the knowledge that the tires will begin going off on lap "X" and continue to degrade at a pace of "Y" for the duration of the race, and then implementing said plan(s) based on where you find yourself on lap "X".
That is pretty much where I was coming from also, and the reason I bought the apparent trust in the relationship Stoner has with Gabbarini as a factor. I think we saw at Jerez last year (while it lasted, for Stoner) that both he and Lorenzo were very much in tyre conservation mode in the early stages of the race, and mainly racing each other for position rather than trying to race the field. Simoncelli showed the results of just going for it.
Lorenzo's reputation for tyre management and metronomic laps right to the finish has to be well-deserved, nobody would seriously doubt it. I think that in Stoner's case, the memory of his 'run away from the start' race strategy on the Ducati has resulted in the impression that he has no other modus operandi, whereas I think we have seen some evidence at least from last year that he is adaptable and able to use a race strategy that is more flexible; again I cite L.S '11 as a significant example. That race is worth watching for the strategy alone, and bought back memories to me of another rider at an earlier time who would almost inevitably carve up the pack and leave in the last quarter of the race..
The bottom line here is: we will see as the year progresses, all the rest is conjecture. I do, however ( and yes, waving my little 127
flag), believe that at this stage there is no reason to think Stoner faces any greater challenge in tyre management than any other rider.