Bridgestone's Edge-Treated Tires: Tailor-made For Lorenzo, Or Good For Everybody?

The 2015 MotoGP championship is one of the closest in years. Close championships are always fascinating, but this one has an extra edge to it: the two men fighting over the 2015 title are both teammates, and racing on the same bike. The differences between the Yamaha M1s of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo are virtually non-existent, their results dependent entirely on the riders themselves, and how well their teams prepare the bikes and riders for the race.

With nothing to choose between the bikes, focus has turned to the tires. Jorge Lorenzo's constant references to his preference for the tire with the special edge treatment have made this focus much keener. Under the glaring spotlight of public scrutiny, the allocation of tires which Bridgestone brings to each race has taken on the appearance of being the decisive factor in every race. Before every race weekend in MotoGP, the one question I get asked most via Social Media (other than "who do you think will win?" of course), is whether Bridgestone will be bringing the tires with the edge treatment or not.

This focus on tires is becoming so intense that a number of misconceptions about Bridgestone's rear tires are starting to arise. Some fans are starting to believe that Bridgestone are manipulating the results by bringing the special tires to some races, but not to others. They are starting to believe that tire choice is the sole deciding factor in races. They are even starting to believe that Jorge Lorenzo is the only rider who likes the tires with the edge treatment, and that those tires are an actual disadvantage for most, if not all of the other riders on the grid.

That tires have been a factor is something I have been keeping an eye on for a while. I have had numerous discussions with Bridgestone staff throughout the year, questioning them on the circumstances and process behind the tires and tire choice. At Silverstone, I also questioned a number of riders on how they feel about the tires, and whether they prefer the tires with the edge treatment, or are hindered by them in some way. Given the stakes, I did not ask Jorge Lorenzo or Valentino Rossi about it, but instead got a range of riders with different manufacturers to give their opinions.

But first some history, and an explanation of how we came to this point with the tires. In 2010, Bridgestone came under a lot of pressure to start changing their tires, to allow them to warm up more quickly. Temperatures were unusually cool that season, which caused a spate of cold tire highsides, resulting in some serious injuries. The most high profile of those was Rossi's crash at Mugello, where he broke his leg and was forced to miss three races as a result, others suffered too, such as Hiroshi Aoyama, who fractured his vertebrae, an injury which affected his riding for a very long time.

From that point, Bridgestone worked on making a tire which came up to temperature quickly, but the changes they made came at the same time as MotoGP was preparing to switch back to a 1000cc formula in 2012. The new bikes were heavier, faster, and more importantly, had more drive further down the rev range. Combined with the huge steps forward made in electronics during the 800cc era, this generated significantly greater loads on the tires than Bridgestone had expected. More mechanical grip from the bikes, and better grip from the added weight and new tire design caused the tires to start showing signs of overheating, a tendency which was exacerbated by the increasing role of electronics.

The extra grip available prompted factory electronics engineers to try to exploit that, using electronics to try use the grip and prevent the tire from spinning. When a tire spins, it heats the surface layer; when it grips and creates drive, it heats the carcass of the tire. Surface heat from spinning dissipates rapidly in the air. Heating the carcass means heat throughout the tire, and nowhere for that heat to escape.

There followed a vicious circle. As the factory engineers adjusted their electronics to exploit the grip, the tires would spin less. That meant that Bridgestone could use a softer rubber compound, as the harder compounds were not needed to cope with tire spin. Softer rubber created more grip, which prompted the factory engineers to adjust the electronics even further to use that grip. Load on the tire shifted ever further inward, from the surface to the full carcass of the tire.

Inevitably, something had to give. Tires started developing anomalies, and at Assen in 2012, serious problems developed, rear tires shedding chunks of rubber. Ben Spies finished a long way from the podium with rubber coming off his tire, and Valentino Rossi was forced to pit for tires. Tires coming apart was not an acceptable situation, and so Bridgestone needed to find a cure.

That cure came in the form of what is now known as the heat-resistant layer. Bridgestone, through a secret process, managed to insert a special layer in their tires which prevents the inner carcass from overheating. The interior of the tires dissipated the load better, solving the problem of tire chunking. In 2013, Bridgestone brought those tires only to a few tracks, such as Mugello and Assen, where the danger of tires losing rubber was particularly high.

Yet again, the vicious circle of tires and electronics kicked in, loads and tire temperatures increasing at other tracks as well. At the end of 2013, Bridgestone decided the safest course of action was to bring the heat resistant tires to all of the tracks. The trouble was, using the heat resistant layer at tracks with cooler temperatures or lower loads altered the behavior and feel of the tires. There was less grip on the edge of the tire, and as a consequence, less feedback from the tire at full lean angle. For riders who use a more point-and-shoot style, there was no discernible difference, but riders whose style was based around carrying corner speed were hit harder, as they could no longer feel just how much grip there was on the edge of the tire, as they had the year before. Jorge Lorenzo, the king of corner speed, was particularly badly affected, his style rendered ineffective at a stroke.

Bridgestone looked for a solution, and by mid-2014, they hit upon applying a special treatment to the tires to give the edge of the tire the same feel as if softer rubber had been applied. They basically recreated the feel of the non-heat-resistant tires from 2013, while keeping the heat resistant layer. The edge treatment tires were not needed at every circuit – tracks like Assen, Mugello and Indianapolis place enough load on the tire that they behave like the 2013 tires without it.

2015 is the first year where the combination of heat-resistant layer and edge treatment has been used for the full season. At the end of 2014, Bridgestone sat down and mapped out which tracks would need the edge treatment and which wouldn't. That schedule has been followed ever since, adjusted only as they have brought new developments to their tires, a process which is ongoing and the reason they go racing.

But it has also meant that some riders, and Jorge Lorenzo in particular, have been vociferous in complaining when the non-edge-treated tires are brought to tracks where they don't work as well as the edge-treated tires. This, in turn, has created the illusion that Jorge Lorenzo only wins on the tires with the edge treatment, and hence that Bridgestone favors Lorenzo, and that those tires are a disadvantage to the rest of the grid. This conveniently ignores the fact that Lorenzo dominated at Mugello on tires without the edge treatment, and only narrowly lost out to Marc Márquez on the same tires.

So how do the rest of the grid feel about the tires with the softer edge? Opinions are mixed. Some riders say that they cannot feel the difference between the tires with and without the edge treatment, while others have a distinct preference for the softer edge. Nobody I spoke to positively dislikes the edge-treated tires, and the Suzuki riders, in particular, are extremely enthusiastic about them. This is hardly surprising, given the Suzuki's reliance on corner speed for its performance.

Andrea Dovizioso was one rider for whom the tires made no real difference. "I never feel the difference," Dovizioso said. "Every rider is different, the riders feel everything in a different way, with the same bike with the same tires. I really don't feel a big difference." There are factors which play a much greater role, the factory Ducati rider said. "The difference for me is about the asphalt you find in a different track, the temperature. For my style this is a much bigger difference."

Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow preferred the edge-treated tires. "The edge treatment can help," Pedrosa said. "Last year we didn't have it, this year we do, so that can help. Maybe that's an advantage over the last year, and maybe we can manage better that lack of grip."

LCR Honda's Crutchlow was even more positive. "Honestly, sure, we all prefer the edge grip. I don't know a rider that doesn't prefer the edge grip. Because you know riders, what are they complaining about? It's grip, it's the only thing that holds you to the ground. Sometimes with the Honda, we don't mind to slide to turn the bike, but still, if they ask do you want the edge grip or no edge grip, we ask for the edge grip."

What Crutchlow was less enamored of was the heat-resistant layer inserted into the tires. "What we all hate is the heatproof protection. Every tire has the heatproof protection on, because they're scared of the tire getting overheated, but in the days when there were no heatproof tires, they were a lot better. A lot better to ride, much more fun." The risk was just part of racing, and managing the risk of tire damage was the responsibility of each rider, Crutchlow believes.

Bradley Smith also preferred the tires with the edge treatment, but he had a slightly different perspective. Though the edge-treated tires were definitely better, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider felt he could close the gap to the front runners more when Bridgestone brought tires without the edge treatment. "I like the soft edge, but I like the other one as well. I would probably say I'm closer to the other riders without the soft edge, because maybe it suits my riding style a little bit more, pick it up, get it off the side of the tire. I don't mind the bike spinning around as much beneath me, where others like it be on rails all the time. So when it's not there, I'm sometimes closer to the other guys than when it is, so for me, it's either or."

Smith also had an explanation for why Lorenzo prefers the edge-treated tires. "It's more about how the tire works with his riding style, at that moment, how he has his bike setting, things like that. You've got to bear in mind his setting is more on the nose, so when he doesn't that have that soft edge, then the bike slides around more underneath him. My setting is to have the bike more on the rear anyway, so the hard edge for me is sometimes a blessing."

Will Bridgestones tires end up deciding the championship? In as much as tires always decide the championship, then they will. Does Bridgestone bring tires especially for Jorge Lorenzo, tires which the other riders hate? Bridgestone puts their tire plan together at the start of the year, and deviate from it very rarely. The other riders are just as keen on the tires with edge grip as Lorenzo is, but are not able to exploit them to the extent that Lorenzo can. Nor have these tires been developed especially for Lorenzo's riding style. If anything, the 2015 Bridgestone tires – with heat-resistant layer, and with the treated edges for a softer feel – have been designed to recreate the feel of the 2013 and 2014 tires, without the heat resistant layer.

Are the Bridgestone tires having an effect on the championship? Absolutely. But as we saw in Silverstone, different conditions and a change in the weather can radically shake things up. With six races to go, a title chase as close as this is far more likely to be decided by random events – a bout of 'flu, a lapse of concentration, perhaps even something mechanical such as a sticking brake or incorrectly adjust shift lever– than by whether Bridgestone brings the edge-treated tires to a particular race.


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Total votes: 72
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Comments

Excellent article David. Thanks for giving us the opinions of some riders that often get overlooked when talking about the championship. I'm particularly intrigued by Dovi's opinion that there isn't much difference between both types of tire, and it's so true that anyone who has ridden a motorcycle will always want the tire with more grip.

Hopefully people will stop talking about 'Lorenzo's special tires' now and talk about things that don't make me skip reading the comments section of your articles.

Total votes: 183

Thanks David - excellent info as always, and it's great to hear the views of other riders (not just Jorge).

Total votes: 153

Tires are the only thing on the bike that makes contact with the ground (unless you are crashing!). Of course most riders are going to like more edge grip rather than less---the trick is to have the bike set-up to take advantage of the tire and take into consideration the preferences of each riders "riding style"---tires are going to be the deciding factor of every race as that's what keeps the bike upright, or not...

Total votes: 128

article! Personally I don't have any suspicions on Bridgestone deliberately bringing tires to specific rounds for favoritism. My point has always been that Jorge has been usually either streaks ahead or far behind and that the tires have been a major factor in the outcome of certain events this season.
Whether or not one feels as though its deliberate or circumstantial doesn't change the fact that performances (mainly Jorge's) have been seriously attributed to what tires were available or worked. I certainly don't know or could even dream to know of how to solve the dilemma of giving all of the riders an option they prefer without it costing a fortune, but somehow I think Michelin will do a better job.

Luckily the weather has also now come into play to add more intrigue to the 'faster' rider debate.

Total votes: 159

Well done david, at last now the situation will be clear to the people who atleast go through this article. Jorge is better on edge treated tyres just because his style is so dependent on corner speed and lean angles for longer period, that is the main reason he excels on those tyres where the others struggle to match his pace. Bridgestone is bringing their allocations as they had decided.

Now at this point of time people are more busy in rossi-lorenzo comparison which includes their favourable circumstances for wins. As both riders are testing in aragon to be more prepared for that race and for misano, i can just imagine how tense the situation can be in that blue movistar garage as they work alongside each other especially after silverstone.

Total votes: 169

Didn't the fact that the track temperature was so high at Mugello further negate the issues the non edge treated tyres give Lorenzo i.e the high track temperature resulted in more edge grip?

Total votes: 128

Temperature is a factor, but it's also about grip, and speed, and load. I believe that Bridgestone won't be bringing the edge-treated tires to Phillip Island either. The loads generated by the track alone are sufficient to give enough grip and feel on the edge of the tire.

It really is an incredibly complex equation, getting the right tires to suit a track, and working out what demands a track places on tires. It is not as simple as a lot of people think. I think even more than electronics, tires is the one area with the most complexity to it.

Total votes: 160

This is why this is a must-read site for MotoGP fans. I think that this subject is so interesting is because Lorenzo is "special case" type of rider. He really is a time trialist and when he can make that work, staying on the edge at a high speed, then he is very, very hard to beat - a product of his times, also as that style won't work without a whole lot of perfection underneath it I'm guessing. The most surprising thing to me about Lorenzo's career is that he wasn't more effective in the 800cc era. But as others have said, when he's fit and his bike is right...boy howdy is he quick. Of course this is also why he doesn't do well when he has to work through the pack (his fast line is easily interrupted, but it's so fast and he qualifies so well...).

I think it would be amusing to see Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi on 500cc bikes. I can see Marquez really giving those things the business, but Lorenzo is a mystery to me there. They seem to require a style that is almost anathema to the mantequilla.

Total votes: 152

"This is why this is a must-read site for MotoGP fans." Why not put your money where your mouth is and become a Site Supporter then?

Total votes: 173

That does clear up most of the questions other than when there are alternatives available to suit both preferences, why are they not made available to those riders at all circuits?
I would guess the answer to be that the freight burden would be too high or something along those lines?

Total votes: 136

Bridgestone don't bring the non-treated tires to tracks where the treated tires are also available because they would be a worse option. The non-treated tires are not a disadvantage for anyone. People either prefer them or are not worried either way. Nobody prefers the non-treated tires.

Total votes: 152

....you man treated tires are not a disadvantage for anyone in this line "The non-treated tires are not a disadvantage for anyone. People either prefer them or are not worried either way. Nobody prefers the non-treated tires"

Total votes: 131

Rossi won the 500cc Championship in 2001. I doubt with out electronics neither Lorenzo or Marquez could keep him in sight on a two stroke.

Total votes: 167

Let's bring them back to the track then ;-)

Total votes: 162

I fail to understand what anything of this has to do with the article in question. And I'm a Vale true fan.

Total votes: 152

Any of the top 15 riders would be roughly where they are now with two strokes. Lorenzo would be just as fast, as would Marquez. Both have won championships on two strokes, and Marquez won a championship on a Moto2 bike, which has virtually no electronics to speak of.

You also have to remember that two-strokes were banned 13 years ago. For comparison, think of the difference between the NSR500 in 2000 and in 1987. A putative 2015-spec NSR500 would be a very different beast from the beasts Doohan and Rossi rode, let alone the bike Wayne Gardner and Freddie Spencer raced.

Total votes: 139

It does make Rossi's achievements even greater though. How many generations has he crossed through now? Not just bikes but competition too.

I look at older bikes and newer bikes much the same. They are all beasts, just different beasts.

Total votes: 125

How some people still think those guys just open the throttle and let the electronics do the rest on modern MotoGP bikes. The sensitivity of today's racers is unheard of, I have no doubt any of the front runners would do great on a 2-stroke.

Total votes: 126

I read somewhere that Lorenzo's rear wheel is wider than Rossi's. Can anybody confirm it? If so, the edge treatment would definitely favor Lorenzo.

Total votes: 143

Pretty sure everyone runs the same size rear wheel 6.25" wide IIRC; some riders try different front wheels (3.75" or 4.00") wide - sharper profile (faster steering) with the narrower front wheel, rounder profile (more stable) with the wider front.

Total votes: 134

Two different front wheel widths are allowed, and one rear width. Should have no effect on the rear tire.

Total votes: 150

Rossi's crew chief tried the narrower front rim, which made the front tire more V shaped, if I'm not mistaken. This made the bike for him easier to turn.

On my track bike, a pointier front profile allows my bike to more effortlessly fall into the turn. For example, DOT race tire Michelin Power Cup, using the front 'V' profile is a dream

Total votes: 151

Perhaps your efforts to bring some reality to some of your unhinged readers might reduce some of the comments that have drifted disturbingly close to those on crash.net.

In the course of half a season, Lorenzo's detractors have had him going from being completely mentally destroyed and unlikely to ever win another race again, to ruining racing with his total dominance (worst season ever!), to a whiny baby who can only destroy the field when things are just right. :-)

I'd be fine with Rossi winning the championship, but would quite enjoy the suffering his fans will experience if Jorge prevails.

Total votes: 161

Oh, really?! Dude, I don't recall anyone going all HAARP / Chemtrail / Moon Loonie over the tires. Several people did ask for clarification regarding when and how B-stone decides to deploy the Edgy Rubbers. For anyone halfway plugged-in and paying attention, this is a straightforward question to ask.

Total votes: 160

win the title. It would likely cement him as THE GOAT once and for all and realistically, who predicted him to win it?

As far as the rims go, I read that SG had Rossi move to the narrower front rim before Assen.

And as far as edge-treated or not, the only thing that matters is everyone having the same choices available to them and how they feel on their tires. Confidence is everything.

Rossi apparently has a wider range of comfort in tires as compared to Lorenzo. May bode well for him next year as well.........

Total votes: 164

great write as usual.
i've now joined the site supporter elite!
More than happy to contribute to the joy you bring us david
long may it continue.

Total votes: 159

You wrote: " At the end of 2014, Bridgestone sat down and mapped out which tracks would need the edge treatment and which wouldn't. That schedule has been followed ever since, adjusted only as they have brought new developments to their tires, a process which is ongoing and the reason they go racing."

So we should know what Bridgestone schedule is for the next 6 races about this edge treatment right ?

If this information is given publically at the beginning of the year, no suspicion, otherwise unfortunatly...

The main reason why i'm not suspicious is that I think approximatly 80% of the paddock would prefer to see Rossi win the title :)
So if there should be a manipulation, it would have been more in this way in my opinion (poor english sorry).

Last thing, "Nobody prefers the non-treated tires." . Well I think the complete sentence should be "Nobody prefers the non-treated tires if both are availabe" ... a certain Mr Rossi would not cry if these tires were not allocated at all during the next 6 races.

Great article as usual by the way

Total votes: 136

I have spoken to Bridgestone about why they don't publish the tire allocations beforehand, and they said that although they do know fairly exactly what they will be doing, they sometimes need to change the allocation. That could be because they are either ahead or behind their development program, it could be because weather conditions are very different to what they expected (e.g. if it were to be very cold at Misano, or very hot at Silverstone or Valencia). Changing the published tire allocations would look a lot worse than not publishing the tire allocations, and also complicate planning for the teams. The teams are not told what tires Bridgestone are bringing until a few days before the event starts, so they can't plan around tires.

As I understand it, the edge treatment will be on the tires except at Phillip Island. However, a Bridgestone spokesperson refused to confirm that, as they said they will not comment on which tires are to be used.

As for your last point, as Bradley Smith said, he prefers the tires with edge grip, but is closer to the front when those tires are not available. But that is not so much beating the opposition, as taking advantage of their being hamstrung with bad tires...

Total votes: 170

Interesting stuff David,

Is there any reason why Bridgestone didn't just apply the edge treatment to the tyre allocations for every track?

Is having too much edge grip ever a problem or is it an expense thing (although as they apply it to most of the tyres anyway I can't see it being cost)...

Cheers

Macca

Total votes: 154

A good question, and I am not 100% sure of this, but I believe that it has something to do with the load on the tire, and the amount of heat generated in the tire. Having the edge treatment at tracks with high loads on the edge (that is, lots of long corners at high speed) is likely to overheat a tire, and I suspect that the edge treatment is a little bit more susceptible to overheating than the tire without it. It is safer at those few tracks not to use the edge treatment.

Total votes: 175

I know Lorenzo complains when the treated tires are not in the allocation but is there anyone else that vocal when they aren't on the truck?

Total votes: 132

As I wrote in the article, the Suzukis love the edge-treated tires, and complain when they aren't available. The Suzuki is probably the best bike for corner speed, certainly the best handling bike. It is probably even more dependent on the edge-treated tires than Jorge Lorenzo is. But Aleix Espargaro's complaints rarely get coverage because a) he isn't in the title race, and b) he has more important things to complain about, such as the lack of a seamless gearbox.

Total votes: 173

David, do you know the type of tires that will be used in the upcoming races?

You mentioned that NTT (not-treated tires for Philip Island) but curious to learn about the rest of the tracks.

Also, on the races that Lorenzo has not won, are those races where he was on NTT? Mugello is the exception but I'm trying to get a sense to those times when Lorenzo claims that they "didn't have the pace" and ended up not winning.

Without a doubt, we're in for a treat on this last 6 races!

Total votes: 147

As I wrote in a comment above, we do not yet know which races will have the edge-treated tires. It is my understanding that they will be available at all of the last races except for Phillip Island, but that is not certain.

Total votes: 164

The non treated tires wherever they are brought is the biggest handicap for lorenzo and dani too prefers edge treated tyres over them .....obvio. So its a disadvantage....

Total votes: 141

... that we're back to friendly discussion, last week was too quarrelsome for this reader at least.

For me this season has been so close, so unpredictable, and so exciting that I've given up even thinking that this one or that one has the edge!

Total votes: 151

Another great article with depth, detail, and insight uniquely available from you, David. Thank you for your diligent coverage of the series we all love.

You've done a good job of showing that the edge-treated tires are good for everyone. But haven't you also shown that there were tailor-made for Lorenzo?

"At the end of 2013, Bridgestone decided the safest course of action was to bring the heat resistant tires to all of the tracks... For riders who use a more point-and-shoot style, there was no discernible difference... Jorge Lorenzo, the king of corner speed, was particularly badly affected, his style rendered ineffective at a stroke."

Who else relies on high corner speed? The only other riders you've mentioned are the Suzuki riders. But they didn't exist in 2014. Let's look at the riders you interviewed.

Dovi: "I never feel the difference."
Since he never feels the difference, it's highly unlikely that he joined Lorenzo in asking for 2013 tires.

Pedrosa: "The edge treatment can help. Last year we didn't have it, this year we do, so that can help. Maybe that's an advantage over the last year, and maybe we can manage better that lack of grip."
Pedrosa says "maybe" the edge treatment is better. But in 2014 he was on the podium 7 times in the first 9 races, and he was well ahead of Lorenzo in the championship. Doesn't seem likely that he would be calling for the 2013 tires.

Smith: "... without the soft edge ... maybe it suits my riding style a little bit more ... I don't mind the bike spinning around as much beneath me, where others like it be on rails all the time. So when it's not there, I'm sometimes closer to the other guys than when it is, so for me, it's either or."
Smith doesn't mind the bike spinning and moving. The non-treated tire might suit his style more. And he specifically says it's "either or" for him. So why would he join Lorenzo in calling for 2013 tires?

Crutchlow: "Honestly, sure, we all prefer the edge grip. I don't know a rider that doesn't prefer the edge grip."
In 2014, Crutchlow had switched from the Tech3 Yamaha to the pre-Gigi Ducati. He had all sorts of problems, and he may have called for the 2013 tires out of desperation. But as a non-alien rider on a bike known to be troublesome, how much clout would he have had?

Based on the information in this article, and on the rider 2014 history, it seems that Lorenzo was probably the only rider asking for 2013 tires in the first half of 2014.

"Bridgestone looked for a solution, and by mid-2014, they hit upon applying a special treatment to the tires to give the edge of the tire the same feel as if softer rubber had been applied. They basically recreated the feel of the non-heat-resistant tires from 2013..."

So Bridgestone gave Lorenzo exactly what he was asking for. While the edge-treated tires do work for everyone, doesn't it seem that they were tailor made for him?

I'm not supporting conspiracy theories for 2015. I'm just trying to make an analysis of the info you've presented regarding 2014. Thank you, again, for your coverage.

Total votes: 164

The edge treated tyres are faster than the others ... for Lorenzo more, for others less difference that's thrue.

But they are faster, and I trully think that the n°2 objective for a manufacturer is to bring the the faster tyres (n°1 = they must last the distance ... at least since PI 2013)

So it's quite simple if you just look with this objective in mind: 2013, fast but ridiculous sometimes, beginning of 2014 slower but ok with overheating, mid 2014 they find a solution to do both, except in some places.

Why otherwise favor Lorenzo against Rossi and HRC, the more powerful and popular "entities" ?

Total votes: 148

You are looking at this from the wrong perspective, and as a result, very much missing the point. Nobody was asking for the 2013 tires. That is now how tire development works.

Here's what happened. In 2013, Bridgestone brought the heat-resistant tires to a select number of tracks which load the tires particularly severely. The tires worked well there, with no complaints. Bridgestone saw loads in the tires increasing at every circuit as a result of electronics (see the explanation in the article), and decided to bring the heat-resistant tires to every circuit.

At the first test of the new tires, at Sepang in 2014, both Yamaha riders - both Lorenzo and Rossi - said they didn't like the new tires. The Honda riders were fine with them, but the Yamahas hated them, because they had less feel on the edge. All of the riders reported less edge grip.

As they do at every test, and at every race, Bridgestone took that data and tried to find a solution. What they found was this edge treatment, which restored most of the feel on the edge. They then gave all the riders the new tires to test, and the new tires were met with very broad approval. The new edge-treated tires became the new standard tire.

So it was not that Lorenzo was the rider asking for the 2013 tires. Certainly, he was the rider who complained most vociferously about the heat-resistant tires. But it was not that Lorenzo asked for the 2013 tires, and Bridgestone gave it to him. Bridgestone took feedback from all riders, including Valentino Rossi, who reported a loss of edge grip, and they solved that problem.

The fact that Lorenzo benefits most from a development does not mean that such a development was done at his behest, or that he was the only rider asking for that development. Lorenzo was just one of many riders clamoring for a fix to the loss of feel on the edge. But he is one of the riders who has benefited most.

Bridgestone did not give Lorenzo what he asked for. Bridgestone gave the MotoGP riders what they asked for. 

Total votes: 180

thank you David,

as all riders prefer the edge grip tyres,no probs,

the issue would be if no edge grip tyres were available,as it appears that
the Yamaha team would suffer,

so as long as BS bring the tyres to all the relevant tracks,its all good for every one,

great set of articles

to me,I think Rossi has a 60% chance of the title

Total votes: 114

What you say makes sense. Thank you for the additional info.
Keep up the great work!

Total votes: 119

It's true that in the 2014 preseason tests at Sepang both Yamaha riders struggled badly with the tires in race runs, but Rossi's team still managed three 2nd places in the opening 5 races against Lorenzo's one 3rd in the same period. That shows they adapted much better.
Btw, the whole tyre debate started at Assen by Lorenzo and the spanish press which came up with the conspiracy theory. Until now Rossi didn't say a word about it. (I would have like to read his opinion in this article)

There is one thing in the whole tire situation I really don't like. Basically the whole year the harder compound isn't used at all. No matter if it's cold or hot only the softer one is preferred. I think Bridgestone should have made two usable compounds for every track and hope Michelin will make better job in this regard.

Total votes: 144

Equal to Pedrosa.
And you are wrong saying Rossi didn't say a word about it, he answered some specific questions when asked both this season and in 2014.

Yamaha team manager Massimo Meregalli believes the issues are exacerbated by Lorenzo's riding style.

"At the end Valentino was able to make the fastest lap of the day.

"Jorge continued to have some difficulties, especially because of his riding style.
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112704

About tires, Lorenzo protested by those brought here by Bridgestone.
" They have a stiffer construction on the shoulder, a feature that I like more, to him less. I have a small advantage, but he has had in the last races when it was softer . "
http://www.gpone.com/en/2015062517346/Valentino-Rossi-la-partenza-che-sp...

Rossi is not that vocal when things are not going his way but not shy to answer questions when asked...

Total votes: 112

Very interesting article.
I can't fail to notice tough, that you only mention the issue of grip, but if i remember well, there have been other issues with the Bridgestone since the bikes went back to 1000 cc.
Riders such as Stoner or Rossi have also encountered problems under heavy braking, is the carcass deformation not causing some level of instability, reason why riders chose a harder tyre that might subdue this?
In my opinion it would go some way to explain why Honda are struggling this year and Rossi, perhaps the best at setting up bikes is finding it harder to get set ups that works for him.
The edge treatment tires could well provide with this little more stability under braking and corner entry on the brakes, helping both Marquez and Rossi in these phases, it's as if Lorenzo suddently became faster and he lost his way with set up.
Something else, the comments made by Smith as reported can be a little misleading, it looks to me that both himself and Lorenzo are of a totally different size and weight.
So it would be normal for Smith to need more "bike weight" on the rear, since he loads the front wheel a lot more than Jorge with his body weight.
Lorenzo style still requires more weight on the rear wheel than Rossi for example, who prefers to brake harder, and also have more steering control when the rear departs on the gas.
At Sepang2, Rossi said that the 2014 tyre didn't work as well with the M1 but he still managed equal best lap times with Pedrosa, while Lorenzo was way off their pace and struggling.
Setting and riding style, plus Rossi ability for sliding the bike on brakes and gas made the difference.
From my humble point of view, Lorenzo have the advantage of tyres that works 100% for him, whether Rossi and Marquez aren't able to get 100% of the bike with the same tyres, in fact nobody else can get 100% of the tyres Lorenzo likes because they do not ride as he does, this demands a totally different setting and weight distribution.
Just a thought.

Total votes: 151

I thought that he referred to how Lorenzo set up the bike. More weight on the front ( and that is bad for braking ) to support is style of riding. He also prefers a "softer" setup than Rossi so on the exit his Yamaha can still get good drive without spinning ( to much ).

Total votes: 116

Thank you beaufort for sticking your neck out. I had the same question. Thank you David for clarifying. This is the best MotoGP site bar none. You do an excellent job David. I think the fact that you are able to look at this from the angle you have and argue against beaufort's perspective (which was mine before you answered his question) proves you are fairly unbiased. I think I'm still smarting from Bridgestone ignoring 27's strong complaints about the new front tire at the beginning of 12', which the corner speed king and slower riders liked and he hated. So when Bridgestone react to rider complaints, and we (those of us away from the track) only hear one rider complaining, some of us are prone to suspicion of inconsistent behaviour from Bridgestone. Anyway... We won't go back there. :)

It's hard for those of us far removed from the track - the riders and Bridgestone staff - to not start to question some of these changes. Thanks for quelling the paranoia.

Wow. This is the most interesting championship in a long, long time. These last 6 races are going to be incredible.

Total votes: 149

techs, and the armies that the factory teams employ also no doubt have a serious impact on the equation of these two varied rubber options-and making the bike get the finish line with 20 litres of fuel. I believe the factory Yamaha squad currently have the two best riders, data techs and machine-hence an unassailable 1-2 in the title chase.
I think one of Rossi's problems with the treated tires is the lack of front feel under heavy braking and then the lack of traction on exit for which they seem to spend most of those raceweekends trying to sort out, he is heavier and taller than Jorge-considerably-so a spinning rear wheel is not going to add to his issue of fuel management, and we are only usually talking 3-4 tenths

All of this of course, also makes me thing of the tyre war years again, and I don't believe there has been this much talk of rubber since 2007. as is now, back then there was a lot of talk of traction control and style preferential rubber options with the very public and almost instatnaneous demise of Michelin who couldn't supply their Weekend special anymore due to the new supply regulation.

Regardless of the debate, this is still one of the finest seasons in recent memory-so far on par with 2006-2009 for me-As long as we don't get anymore runaway Jorge timetrial wins.

Total votes: 144

One thing worth noting about front tires. They do not use either the heat-resistant layer or the edge treatment. The front tires are not loaded in the same way the rear tires are.

To an extent, Rossi's issues with braking are a consequence of a choice he made in 2012. When Bridgestone brought the current family of front tires with a softer carcass, most riders preferred them, except for the Honda riders, and especially Casey Stoner. He said they were too soft, and squished too much under braking. Rossi went along with those tires at the time, but he revealed to use last year (if memory serves) that he felt exactly the same as Stoner, but as he was on the Ducati, and was "in the s**t anyway", then he was happy to give everyone the tires which were worse in his eyes. Back on the Yamaha, he now has to deal with the new tires.

But the new fronts are better in warm up, and Yamaha have made incredible steps forward with braking for the M1. There was a really big improvement in 2014, and another smaller one this year.

The point about spinning the rear is also a good one. This is something the Hondas have struggled really badly with all season too, far, far more than the Yamahas. Really, it's a sign that Bridgestone could go even softer on the rear, despite already having gone roughly one step softer on their rear tires at almost every track. This is just the typical vicious circle of grip and electronics (and mechanical grip) at play. Perhaps the reason that Lorenzo can get an advantage from the edge grip is because he stays on the edge of the tire for longer and is accelerating harder while still leaned over, exploiting the extra grip.

Total votes: 139

You already said this about Rossi in this previous article which i did read with interest at the time.

Technically, there were a lot more going on than that, the gossip wants that the Bridgestone have an unusually low pressure, and it doesn't help.
Honda did find themselves in troubled water in 2012 with an overweight RCV on top of their traditional bias for front end weight distribution.
In my humble opinion, it is all good for as long as a rider rides within the limits of his suspension settings, but when they come too close to it (fuel weight or attack at the limit), not only the suspension is close to be out of travel range but the tyre start to squat and "roll" from under them when they wants to turn on the brakes.
There is no damping at all at the limit with the softer front tyres and once this start to happen they end up with front end heaviness and instability, plus the rear start to loose traction because the pitch angle is not what previously perfectly good settings would make it with a less flexible carcass, it actually increases the nose-down attitude of the bike, in turn, putting more weight on the tyre than normal.
I am not 100% sure if it does affect the Honda this way but it's where i would look about their rear wheel lack of traction and nervosity, it takes weight away from the rear wheel too, more than normal settings and even hard braking would with a more rigid carcass.
One thing perhaps Bridgestone didn't anticipate is the increase in performance of the bike and therefore, the increase in braking performances as well, they go faster, have to brake harder this season, the carcass reaches its limits earlier.
Lorenzo have this advantage over the top front end riders like Rossi and Marquez, but also these carcass offer as slightly larger patch on the shoulder as well.

Total votes: 108

With a higher corner speed, Lorenzo needs less acceleration when leaned over, that's the reason why he went back to his old style in 2011, he didn't feel safe on the gas and the M1 engine is designed not for pure grunt but controlled torque instead.

Higher corner speed at the apex means higher speed out of the turn and there is less strain on the tyre when the pilot open the throttle to reach the same speed at the point the bike is upright.

Often we have seen the M1 seemingly accelerating faster, in fact they have more traction with torque when the RC are full throttle on power but spinning and not yet taking advantage of it, it's more of an issue on faster curves.

Total votes: 114

Of all people Cal should be counting his lucky stars he did not have to step into motogp in 2010. With as much time as he spends in the kitty litter now, you would have thought him to be some sort of half man half cat in 2010. I remember Bautista and Lorenzo being absolutely abused on those tires. Didn't Lorenzo shoot the moon in Sepang that year? Oddly, De Puniet did come to grips with them and up his game considerably once on Bridgestone.

On a sad note, tire problems were not rectified in 2011 and as a result, in my opinion, we lost Supersic58. I may be alone, but I blame Bridgestone for his death due to their inherently dangerous tire.

Curious if others think I am nuts with that last comment?

Total votes: 159

How anyone can be blamed, let alone the tire supplier for Simoncelli's death is just not fair or sensible. Shit happens in racing. Why not blame Honda then, or Colin Edwards, or Simoncelli himself for another crazy move? Solves nothing.

Inherently dangerous tire... I would say the 800cc bikes were more to blame for the spate of crashes, peaky motors, stupidly high corner speeds.. again, blame Honda?

Total votes: 134

Tires had nothing to do with Simoncelli's tragic death. The rear went from too much gas, he tried to hold onto the bike and save it, instead of letting go and lowsiding out, and the bike threw him into the path of traffic. It was a deeply tragic rider error.

Total votes: 145

And sorry to rip off a scab, but it was the second lap and his front let go first, not the rear. His rear hooked later and brought him back across the track but the tire let go because they were not up to temperature.

Again, my own opinion and I am not a whack job, I think I have convinced myself of this unfortunately.

Carry on. Still Missing SuperSic58

Total votes: 144

David, as a Brit writing about a sport passionately followed in your country and the rest of Europe but barely known in North America, why oh why have you adopted the North American spelling for what we all know as a tyre?

This borders on treason! We should resist Americanisms at all cost, especially when they are unnecessary and downright confusing, as in this case. Tire??? I'm tired of hearing about it!

But seriously, what's wrong with 'tyre' (aside from edge grip or the lack of it)? It's a good functional word, the spelling with a 'y' being in common usage in all the world aside from North America, a philistine region where 99% of people would not know a Rossi from a Marquez.

The advantage of 'tyre' is that it tells you exactly what is under discussion, as opposed to 'tire'. On the grounds of clarity alone, I can see no good reason to swap (though no doubt you will claim to have one...)

As with all language, this aberrant and abhorrent tire spelling is not set in stone (or should I say rubber?).
For the sake of your heritage and most of the readers of your otherwise excellent posts, why not reconsider and retread the tyre usage? Besides being on the side of clarity, common sense and sensibility, preserving good English words is the decent and patriotic thing to do!

On that note I shall retire.

Total votes: 174

The guy writes great articles for everyone to enjoy reading (and debate) and yet you call him out for that?

You are right though that Americans (99% of us,as you point out) would not know the difference between a Rossi and a Marquez. 98% of us would also not know the difference between a Ronaldo and a Messi. We're pretty simple people afterall.

You're right in the spelling back in your country, but really, does it matter in the end? People reading this are not the 99% here in the States and the same demographic on your side applies. We get what he means quite clearly.

It's posts like yours that will end the ability to comment and put opinions out on threads here.

Total votes: 148

"It's posts like yours that will end the ability to comment and put opinions out on threads here."

?? I don't understand, please explain.

Total votes: 141

...because your comments are inflammatory--and, judged as a whole, they seem intentionally so. Should you persist in drawing folk out, especially over inconsequential matters, I, too, can see where Mr. Emmett might simply decide moderating comments isn't worth the effort.

Total votes: 104

How would that statement sound translated into German or Japanese? Just say "you're welcome" for not knowing. Unreal.

Total votes: 130

I use American spelling for historical reasons (largely because an American, Chris Jonnum, helped me out when I was starting and I was targeting an American audience). Now, I could switch to British spelling, but why would I use a minority spelling when the whole world, bar a tiny group on a small island, uses American spelling?

As for patriotism, I am firmly on Samuel Johnson's side of the argument.

Total votes: 142

David, I love your articles. I show that by being a Site Supporter, and encourage others to do the same. But on this point your reasoning above is flawed, on two counts:

1. You say "...why would I use a minority spelling when the whole world, bar a tiny group on a small island, uses American spelling?" Not so. According to www.grammarist.com: "Tire and tyre both mean a covering for a wheel, usually made of rubber. Tire is the preferred spelling in the U.S. and Canada. Tyre is preferred in most varieties of English outside North America. Of course, all English speakers use tire in the sense to grow weary."

Seems you're factually wrong there David: tyre is not a minority spelling, it's the majority spelling. And in terms of MotoGP fans, your core audience, I'd safely speculate there are a lot more of us on the 'small island' (as you disparagingly call your homeland, Britain) than in the whole of North America. That's one good reason to treat the native speakers of English with some respect: by using the spelling of tyre that the majority of your fans use.

2. You say "I use American spelling for historical reasons (largely because an American, Chris Jonnum, helped me out when I was starting and I was targeting an American audience)."

Fair enough, but that was then in a different time and situation. Your fan base is worldwide now, and Americans are only a small part of it. So be consistent and respect your present audience in the same way you did your American one in the past, and adopt our majority spelling. That's logical and fair, is it not?

BeePee

Total votes: 155

I shall use whatever spelling I like. Living as I do in a country with an official spelling (yes, mandated by the state), I appreciate perhaps more than others that the great glory of the English language is its flexibility, it's ability to adapt. The strength of the English language is that spelling and grammar follows usage and adapts to how it is actually spoke and written, instead of standing like King Canute trying to hold back the tide of change.

As for the UK being my "homeland", I haven't lived their for over 25 years, and I will not be moving back again. I have always used US spelling, and I shall continue to do so for the foreseeable future. If my use of US spelling upsets you, I will be happy to refund your subscription. If you would like to continue reading my articles without getting annoyed by minor discrepancies in the usage of letters in words, you can always use a site to translate US spelling into British spelling.

I would like to think that the articles I write are more interesting for their content than their spelling.

Total votes: 180

I should not get caught up in justifications of spelling or word choice. I sometimes find it frustrating when I devote so much time and energy into creating what I believe to be interesting and in depth analysis of motorcycle racing, that I find myself defending trivia. I should know better.

If people believe I create engaging content, I hope they will support the site. If they feel I do not, then they are free not to.

Total votes: 139

Exactly. Everyone here finds your articles extremely interesting, that’s why we come and that's why comment. BeePee is a site supported, hard to find a more engaged reader. I actually stopped being a site supporter because I felt the etiquette rules were too strict for my taste, but I understood your reasons and respect them. Your house your rules.

Relax. Bickering, porn and pictures of cats are part of what makes the Internet so great, the price of freedom you see.

Total votes: 123

.... but you are so right David, it is your content that makes your site my no. 1 go to page on the interweb.

so i am going to ignore spelling and enjoy the world's best english language (us or uk!) motoGP source of news and insight ....... by becoming a supporter!

Total votes: 128

How odd, Mr. Emmett is removing my posts! Blatant censorship, and not a swear word in sight. I didn't imagine that some perfectly legitimate and well reasoned arguments about his spelling of the word tyre (he uses the minority North American spelling 'tire', very tiresome) and observations about his incorrect use of apostraphes ("its flexibility, it's ability to adapt" - oops!) would merit such a drastic response. I seem to have hit a nerve.

It gets worse in David's irritable riposte above. Not just ignorance of apostraphes and dissing his country of birth, but this: "I haven't lived their for over 25 years" Oh dear....!!! I think you meant 'there', didn't you David?

He who lives by the word, dies by the word.

Total votes: 165

Pointless posts are removed. I try to create interesting and thoughtful articles containing new information and a different perspective on the subject of motorcycle racing. I would like to think that the most important part of my articles is the content, rather than the spelling. I welcome criticism of the content, criticism of spelling is tedious and adds nothing to the conversation.

Sometimes, when I comment, I type too quickly and post without checking. This means I make mistakes, especially when I am commenting on my phone. I know the difference between it's and its, their and there, but I type without checking.

You will be getting your money back.

Total votes: 131

Why do you look for excuses David?? It's your site, they are your own writen and beautiful writen pieces of work!! Why defend yourself?? If anyone gets upset by the way you spell your laungage then I'm wondering what they do when they read my small comments!! No need to David, carry on!!

Total votes: 132

My only useful contribution to this would be to say "don't feed the trolls". Taken in isolation the original comment *seemed* like a tongue in cheek faux outrage. Left alone it would have sat as a humorous post in middle of more meaningful conversation.

I think we're all better than this.

Total votes: 109

2-strokes being laid to rest.... :(

Has the tire thing been beaten to death already?

Really, it's up to the rider to make the most of the tires available whether they're edge treated, not edge treated or Cheng Shins..........

The tires these guys get are (dare I say) A LOT better than what any of us racers could ever get.

Total votes: 144

Lorenzo should have no problem at all adapting to a tyre that doesn't give him and him only a clear advantage in performances...
Quoting Massimo Meregalli after Sepang 2:
"At the end Valentino was able to make the fastest lap of the day.

"Jorge continued to have some difficulties, especially because of his riding style.

It's clearly a case of one rider who never came to grip with the bike sliding, got the Yamaha chassis developed for his 250 style which he did find more comfortable (rather than high siding it on the gas) and have (or not) an advantage with tyres that only his style can take advantage of.
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112660

Wilco Zeelenberg: " Hopefully we’ve found our way back from the test to an improved setting so Jorge can go back to his old riding style of fast corner entry which he was missing a little for the first three races. "
http://www.thebikeinsurer.co.uk/yamaha-factory-racing-riders-prepare-for...

"Old style" means the corner speed based "250" style that according to Kenny Roberts himself (back in the 80) doesn't work in low grip condition (rain or in this case Bridgestone 2014).
“That 250 style can get you on the pole, but when the tires are worn, you are f____d.”
http://www.cycleworld.com/2014/01/10/dirt-track-training-with-kenny-robe...

I think some might find interesting to know that Lorenzo already had an issue at this level back in 2007, so it's not ONLY a question of preference, it is a question of level of performances vs riding capabilities.
As one comment pointed out, put the whole MotoGP on 500 with the tyres of the time, you got a totally different picture, some guys would never make it to the podium.
http://superbikeplanet.com/2011/Jan/110117krlorenzo.htm

Total votes: 140

These guys are the best at what they do. In the world. Bridgestone is the tire maker. It's up to the racer to adapt to the tire, the bike, the track conditions.

Some riders are gifted with the ability to do this, others don't do it quite as well. It's what they are paid to do and why we are not paid to do it. At the end of the day, the best riders are paid to make a difference.....

Unless Honda is your employer of course!

Total votes: 141

Many other comments in the past including a lot of ex racers, 500cc winners and FIM world champions agree that if the whole field was on 2 strokes the same group of riders would be at the front.
I choose to listen to them

Total votes: 135

It reminded me to become a Site Supporter. I don't always agree with your opinion, but I enjoy each and every article. Keep up the good work and thanks!

Total votes: 126

"Close championships are always fascinating, but this one has an extra edge to it". :)
A great analysis as ever man.

Total votes: 127

I Missed that one... An extra softer edge perhaps.

Total votes: 133

This is the first site I go to for Motogp news. Not because it's the first to have results or has 100s of different people writing for it. I come here because the articles are very informative and give a great look at the motogp paddock with inside info that other sites either over look or are afraid to write. Is David bias at times? Sure. Who the F&*K isn't? But he always puts forth both sides. I have NEVER been put off by it. Thank you for that David.

To all the people who can't see the forest for the trees.......grow up. Stop jumping at every chance to desperately try to chop someone down. Not only is it annoying but it over powers any point you might have had in your comment. It's pointless. Criticism is cool, disagreeing is fine. But keep the gloves up, we are all adults.

And can we put the "2 strokes would show who's the real rider" arguement to rest? I loved that era and we all agree they are insane to ride, BUT even if the bikes were still 2 strokes now they would have just as sophisticated electronics and cost just as much as the 4 strokes do. The real problem is electronics.

Total votes: 152

A 4 stroke has twice as less engine strokes and twice more mechanical inertia than a 2 stroke and will always be easier to ride, regardless of the amount of electronic you cram in them both.
2 strokes are much more efficient power units but have different power delivery simply because they have more than twice less moving parts, have less mechanical torque for this reason and no separate stroke for their cycles, they combine two in one, electronics cannot compensate for that.
The cost of electronics doesn't make engine response, there was a lot of it in the last 2 strokes btw, and the solution was the big bang engine.
Once that said, since the event of back-wheel steering, riders who mastered the art of sliding a bike have dominated the GP scene, bar a catastrophic season due to bike design and development (like Roberts in his 81 and 82 seasons or Marquez this year) or tyre issues like the Honda in 2012 (chatter front and rear all season).
You can't just expect the same result riding a bike of this weight and power like a 250 (if you rode a TZ you'd know what i mean) in all conditions at every tracks, and a guy like Roberts was right in 88 like he is right today.
If everyone can benefit from the tyres provided in the same way, a guy like Marquez or even Rossi will always be faster over the length of a season if the tyres are not an issue for them, riding technique matters and one is faster than the other for this category of bike, simple question of physics.
So this season, fact remain that even if Bridgestone did not develop those tyres for Lorenzo, they are more suited to his style than any other riders, and then we did not tackle the issue of the tyre deformation under heavy braking while we know (at least some of us) that it have been an issue for the pilots who are used to brake the latest.
Grip does not alone make a tyre or electronics an engine...
For those who have been trying to figure it out, here is an interview of Rossi on the subject dated from 25 June...

Quote:
About tires, Lorenzo protested about those brought here by Bridgestone.
" They have a stiffer construction on the shoulder, a feature that I like more, to him less. I have a small advantage, but he has had in the last races when it was softer . "
http://www.gpone.com/en/2015062517346/Valentino-Rossi-la-partenza-che-sp...

Total votes: 135

I completely agree on the foolishness of trying to call out every little thing David writes. The spelling thing is just way overboard, not to mention the arrogance it portrays in another way. Like you, I look forward to every write up here about my favorite sport. It's the one place I can always find relevant and thought provoking information on the sport.

However, I seriously do not believe that 4 stroke racing is cheaper than 2 stroke racing. Electronics, as you mention, would likely be the same across the board, but 2 stroke motors involve fewer moving parts, are easier to maintain and thus cost less to operate. I'd go as far as to say that there is an extra cost in those extra moving parts as a lot of them are made from really expensive materials.

I couldn't tell you how many times I've been at meets where a diesel lets go and costs me time on the track, not to mention the cost (and time)for that guy to make a complete motor swap. I don't envy diesel racers at all.

Total votes: 144

I'm not going to get into semantics, my point is that people act like if they had stayed with 2 stroke engines, the technology would have stood still, engines would be cheap and easy to maintain and it would be TZ750 smiles and high fives......(obviously I'm using exaggeration and sarcasm). I fully understand the difference between the two engine types. My point is that the change to 4 strokes also coincided with technology advances that became much more expensive but also advanced much faster then in the past. Saying that the current electronics couldn't tame the 2 strokes is wrong in my opinion.

Total votes: 127

But, you also did write that 2 strokes would be just as expensive to build as fours. Maybe you just miswrote what you meant. I get what you're saying now.

As far as what the electronics could tame, that's anybody's guess at this point and doesn't really matter unfortunately........thanks a lot Honda.

Total votes: 138

about development and advertising for the manufacturers. No one makes big 2 strokes anymore so there is no point racing them (though there are many who say that a new breed of two stroke engines could be more or less pollution free), so arguing the toss about what Vale or Jorge would do on a two stroke is as useful as saying Craven A is good for your throat. Everyone make 4 strokes so that's what they will race. Regarding tyres, Dunlop aren't interested in Motogp, but are in Moto2, do you think that is because there is a hell of a lot more relevance to what road bikes need, so there is a more logical path for their R&D?

Total votes: 144

But the 2 stroke topic started as comparison between riders abilities and it is true that they were a lot more difficult to ride than any 4 stroke you can compare them with, electronics or not.
This has to do with the rider skills and the ability to control slides on the gas, which is not everyone cup of tea, and in my humble opinion, there are people in Moto GP who wouldn't have won a title on a 2 stroke for this very reason.
Remember guys like Kosinski, a genius on the RC45 even in the wet, not scoring more than two wins against Rainey and one on the Cagiva over several seasons in GP500.
There is no point comparing Jorge and Vale as you point out, Jorge already said himself he couldn't ride like Rossi, let alone Marquez or Stoner:
""At the moment, I don't know how to ride when I have spinning, I can't ride like Valentino does. He rode an incredible race."
Submitted by David Emmett on Mon, 2015-04-20 22:43
https://motomatters.com/analysis/2015/04/20/2015_argentina_motogp_post_r...

In comparison: Vale has won on Doohan NSR 500 in his first season, signed 3 poles, two vistories and finished second in the championship, better than any of Rainey's team mates ever including Eddie Lawson in 1990, then he went on to take the title the following season.
No need for photo finish here, this is not bashing, this is reality.

"as useful as saying Craven A is good for your throat", only in this case it is not so good not to be able to control a bike that slides, when they are of this weight and power, and since 1978, the fastest way around a track have been sliding them in 80% of the cases. Can't argue with that.

Total votes: 131

Don't make me laugh!! When was the first time when you saw a four stroke with pneumatic valves for street use?? All the electronic aids as ABS or launch control would have been there there was no need to go racing for that. Also I've never seen a streetbike with GPS on it so it knows where it is to adjust power output or something like that!! So where is the need to ban two strokes?? When they did ban the wto strokes they had to give the four strokes such an advantage that it was never a real fight between the two engines like in the old days when the two stroke beat the four stroke fair and square. This R&D talk is to me a typical manager ......sh*t

Total votes: 123

As I understand the new Aprilia RSV4RF has he ability to adjust TC when the GPS on the connected smartphone recognize the track you are on.

Only read it in scandinavian magazine so .....

Total votes: 119

My point is and was that this aid would have reached the motorcycle or car without any input from racing on tracks, the manufacturers have enough possibilitys to develope this without being on a track. As far as I'm concerned, but I gues I'm also one of the "old school", I don't need or want these things on my car or motorcycle, to me it removes my ability to make my own decision what to do.

Total votes: 119

Same here, if i was offered a 2015 Yamaha R1 i'd chose the one without all the gizmos.
I also agree about the advantage MotoGP chose to give the 4 strokes, there is no comparison in terms of efficiency between the two engines, but also, a TZ will always be harder to ride and demand more skills to get 100% than an M1 even so the unrestricted ones can be twice as powerful.
I never considered seriously going back to track activities when 4 strokes started to grow 20 valves and the rest of it, a TZ or RDLC engine i could strip down on my own ready to run and set up for the following morning, try this with a modern four stroke. OH yeah, i nearly forgot the cost of special tools too...
4 strokes were partly responsible for the huge increase in budget we've seen in recent GP history but let's not forget, that a 1993 OW500 had already as much technology and set up option as most superbikes today if not more in their vast majority.
End of the 80s, privateers were a thing of the past...
I'd ride a classic any time with more pleasure than today's bikes, that's for sure...

Total votes: 106

Electronics as they are used today would do little to tame an engine which loses traction because there is no gap between strokes and tyres cannot recover it when it starts sliding, reason why i did describe it in their respective principles and mentioned the big bang engines which were the solution to this problem.
As traction control AND big bang technology or its derivatives are used on 4 strokes Moto GP bikes, they still manage to high side them, especially in the wet.
A two stroke still would get in rev three times faster when traction is lost for the reason i explained, so clearly, there is a limit to electronics and we can see it at every GP, didn't Lorenzo loose the rear on the gas in Germany last season despite all these?
I can't start to imagine what it would have been like on a 130kg/200 hp NSR500...
There is also a very good reason for guys like Lawson or Rainey to say that the best traction control is in the right wrist, ultimately the pilot have to stay in control and it is his skill that makes the difference, some guys have it, some guys doesnt, we saw that last W-E too, that's why guys like Marquez and Rossi spend their free time doing dirt track, traction control or not.
On the issue of cost, what is the added cost of pneumatic valves and all extra internals conceived to increase 4 stroke engines power and usability?
I'm curious to know what would be needed to make a two stroke half as expensive to run and maintain with less than half the number of mobile parts, there is no logic in that, this is not acting, this is mechanical logic added to a bit of experience.
I am not sure you fully comprehend the difference between a 250 and a 500.
Roberts introduced a new riding technique back in the time where every 500 were designed like large 250, this includes chassis weight distribution and geometry as well as engines which in the case of the Yamaha were only two 250 put together.
His riding technique changed all of that, you can't just ride a 250 sliding it on the gas or brakes, it has too much weight on the rear wheel and too little steering authority for this reason and ultimately if you could only stay on top of it trying, it wouldn't work as well as looking for higher corner speed.
This means braking earlier and more moderately to achieve just that, and you need the proper weight distribution and geometry, not mentioning settings.
The only reason why Yamaha did change that and departed from the balanced chassis Rossi managed to develop with Masao Furusawa is that Lorenzo never was one guy to master the gas the way Rossi or Stoner could and decided back in 2011 to go back to his 250 style which he felt more comfortable with. He hates it when the bike slides, he doesn't feel safe.
Unfortunately, it also meant that logically, they lost the balance all good Yamaha chassis had, the M1 could no longer brake or turn properly, they spent a good part of last season addressing these issues, with the whole of Yamaha bikes working on rear braking and engine braking after the 2014 chassis saw a change in design, Rossi also used a different chassis from Le Mans.
The point being, a 110kg 70 hp bike cannot be ridden like a 130 kg one developing twice the power and ultimately one will always be better ridden on corner speed and the other on gas and brakes.
When Marquez has the bike and tyres working under him, he demonstrates these points every week ends as did Stoner before him, so the old man Roberts is still right after all this time to say “That 250 style can get you on the pole, but when the tires are worn, you are f____d.”
Back to square one; this season, the only rider who can benefit fully from these tyres is Lorenzo.

Total votes: 139

I have never seen Rossi as a rider that believed a bike is fastest when it is loose and sliding nor one that has a style heavily formed by his 500 experience.
His corner entry has always impressed me (except on the Ducati!), not his sliding the bike on the drive out of a corner, though he has a great ability to gain on the brakes without losing on the exit.

The 500s Rossi rode were the result of careful development (seeming almost to stagnation) by Doohan and Burgess. They were not the beasts of the earlier machine and didn't require the same square it off and fire it out style as their predecessors. It was much easier for a 250 rider to step on board and have immediate impact rather than acquaintance with air time through high sides. In Rossi's case this was especially the case as he had Doohan's crew to mentor him and to help with bike development.

The 800s and the race long durable Bridgestones continued the increasing focus on mid corner speed that the late 500s started, the area where Lorenzo excels.

Total votes: 141

With Direct injection and a ECU similar to those of todays four strokes the two stroke 500s could have ended up being easier to ride than any of the current GP bikes.

Total votes: 134

Your break down of the tires from Surface to Carcass was brilliant. I now understand the tire design better as the whole heat treatment and edge treatment was a bit of a mystery to me until now. Also the different riders opinions was a nice icing on the cake to cement the write up. Brilliant work David. Thanks for putting this one up.

Total votes: 138

I loved this article, and thought it had very interesting content.... I don't know where we would get this kind of information if it weren't for David's fine work!

Total votes: 139

I was compelled to become a site supporter because of the timing of this particular research article and also the Silverstone results.

Not only do I appreciate David's good work, but the quality of the dialogue that he generates tends to be very informative for the most part.

I think there is a past article with intrigue on tires that went missing years past that is also fascinating.

Despite all the science, tires apparently are still part art at the MotoGP level, just an element in the greater art of racing at the highest level.

Total votes: 125

Thank you for doing such great research and sharing it in a way that most of us can understand. It adds to the richness of my experiences as a rider and a fan.

It also whets my appetite for the remaining races and also for the next season in terms of who gets which tire options. That'll be very interesting along with Michelin being the new spec tire supplier next year. I'm sure that their team will approach tire development differently than Bridgestone and that the Michelin team will need to develop new relationships/models/feedback/judgement criteria for all of the teams and that this will affect race outcomes next season.

Total votes: 137

David could you comment on Carcass stiffness vs rubber softness.
Commentators seems to mix up those two now and then and the carcass seems to play an important role.
To me it looks like the soft rubber often have a softer carcass. Is there any general rule here or ...?

Total votes: 127

The 40-something bit of me wants the "old man" to win.
The "anorak" bit of me wants "the youngster" to win.

Please Please Please let it be fair.

Total votes: 112

Somewhere in the above post's I read that Lorenzo doesn't or can't ride when the bike is sliding and spinning the rear............I don't think I could disagree more. Watching him at the island last year and on the Dorna feed shows him riding some beautiful drifts, granted he almost never gets the bike out of shape and as loose as some others........... (and maybe that's where he struggles). Really I don't think you get to Motogp without that ability and his skill is as sublime as Marquez's skill is scintillating.
Shame to see the new found interest in pedantry is becoming more prevalent.
Keep up the excellent work David.

Total votes: 129

It was Lorenzo himself who stated that he could not ride the bike like Rossi ( on the hard tyre/tire ) when it starte spinning. You can argue with him :)

Total votes: 108

You are mistaking drift due to bike weight and G forces with back wheel steering.
You might disagree but you don't understand what drifting is in comparison to steering the bike on the gas and in any case if you had been observant enough you would have noticed that in one case the two wheels are aligned and the other the bike is "sideways" in relation to the front wheel.
You might not know, or perhaps never have been fast enough to experience it but every bike is drifting to an extend especially in slippery condition.
Then steering the bike on the gas (and stay in control) requires different setting and riding technique to what Lorenzo is used to.

Total votes: 128