2017 Jerez MotoGP Sunday Round Up: Grip, Tires, And An Imperious Pedrosa

Jerez, the Spanish round of MotoGP, and the first event back on European soil, would in the end come down to a trial of grip. The riders and teams who understood the circumstances best, exploited their strengths, and disguised their weaknesses would come out on top. In all three races on Sunday, the cream rose to the top. Despite rising temperatures and falling grip levels, the smart riders and teams triumphed in all three classes.

In Moto3, KTM made a welcome return to the front, with the Austrian bikes back to challenge the hegemony of Honda in the smallest of the three classes. That race would be won in a brilliant last-corner move when the two riders battling for the lead opened the door for the bike in third. In Moto2, a tense duel would be settled by a mistake, leaving the last man standing to deal with staying concentrated for the second half of the race. And in MotoGP, a thoroughly imperious display saw one rider conquer Jerez, leaving a bloodbath in his wake. Jerez saw three deserving winners emerge.

Grip was already poor for Moto3, but the lighter bikes and their smaller tires are the least affected of the three classes. Things got a lot worse for Moto2, riders struggling for grip, and the race decided by one of the two men battling for victory crashed out a third of the way into the race. The burning Andalusian sun raised track temperatures even higher for MotoGP, and that would prove decisive in the race. Those capable of handling the poor grip triumphed, those who had counted on their good form from the morning warm up transferring to the race came away bitterly disappointed.

Not-so-Safety-Car

The first sign of trouble came when the safety car crashed in the break between the Moto2 and MotoGP races. FIM Safety Officer Franco Uncini and his passenger were taken to hospital with broken ribs for the pair of them, and a broken arm for the passenger after Uncini lost control of the BMW Safety Car on the exit of Turn 5, the car slamming into the tire wall at high speed. Though Uncini was traveling fast, spectators observed that the crash had been a strange one, the vehicle making an unexpected movement before it left the track. Grip was clearly an issue, even for a fast BMW with four fat tires to keep it stuck to the ground.

The most likely culprit is the combination of an ancient surface – the track has not been resurfaced since 2003, the top layer now 14 years old and very smooth and greasy – and the very high track temperatures. The track's saving grace is the fact that Formula One does not race there, meaning that the track is not particularly bumpy. If there were bumps at the track too, the riders would long ago have refused to race at the track due to the surface.

Low grip, on the other hand, is something the riders are resigned to just having to deal with. Which bikes and which riders do that tends to change around from year to year, as bikes evolve, and tires are modified to handle the changing conditions. And some riders are just better at it at others, finding grip where others struggle, and getting the most from what is available.

Perfect Pedrosa

At Jerez, that was Dani Pedrosa. The Repsol Honda rider was sublime throughout the weekend, topping every session of practice bar FP4 on Saturday and Sunday morning warm up. He took a superb pole, setting a fast lap in front of his teammate, daring Marc Márquez to try to go faster than him despite having a tow. He had described it as a challenge to his teammate on Saturday, and on Sunday he doubled down on that challenge. Pedrosa led from the flag, and whenever Márquez closed in on him, Pedrosa upped the pace to open the gap again.

In the end, Pedrosa went unchallenged for the win, the thirtieth of his MotoGP career. It would be unfair to say he cruised to victory, as the Repsol Honda rider pushed close to the limit every lap of the race, even after opening a sizable gap to his teammate and having the win in the bag. It was the consistency of his pace which was the decisive factor, only twice slipping into the 1'41s, once on lap 21 after a mistake, and then on the final lap once he was assured of victory.

With victory at Jerez, Pedrosa took a truly remarkable record. He became the first rider in history to win at least one race every year for at least sixteen consecutive seasons. That prompted one journalist to ask if Pedrosa saw himself as having gone from favorite when he entered the class in 2006, to outsider in 2017. Pedrosa was dismissive at first, replying, "You guys change so much the opinion that it’s difficult to say."

The philosopher king

But in typical Pedrosa form, he then offered a thoughtful and fascinating insight into the mind of a rider. "I would say that I’m happy because I’m much more conscious now," he told the press conference. When I was younger things came a lot more natural and from your unconscious part. You don’t know why is happening and why suddenly you are so fast or so good or why so many people is behind you. But as you get older you have to be more conscious of what is happening. You have to make it happen more. It doesn’t come that easy. You have to work more on your conscious side. It’s more difficult to make things happen unconscious.

"It’s much more fun now when things are happening. Outsider, favorite, it really doesn’t matter because you are focused on your goal. It’s not happening because the people are saying something about it, it’s just happening because you are making it happen. Like today, it’s an amazing feeling because of that."

Márquez rode home to second, clear of any challenge from behind, but unable to put up any fight to his teammate. If he felt any disappointment, he was careful to hide it, pointing to the progress made in the championship. He had cut his deficit to leader Valentino Rossi from 18 points to just 4 points. After a difficult start to the season, Márquez was willing to settle for that.

Up and down

"I start the season quite good, but Qatar with the front tire didn’t feel right and then I struggled a lot in the race," Márquez told the press conference. "Then in Argentina, maybe the confidence was too high and I did a mistake. Then I say, okay, we must change something. Austin was a great weekend. Here I know that for me was one of the most important weekends of the year, and we did really good. I’m proud of my team, of my level in this circuit. But of course today the mentality was push but inside the limit, not more."

Where has this Honda renaissance come from, after such a tough start to the 2017 season? "I would say we are learning more about the bike and getting closer to where the bike is looking stronger," Pedrosa opined. "Also setup-wise and electronics, all that goes into the setting of the bike. Also, you are getting more used to the riding style of the bike and learning of our mistakes or maybe our not good points. We are able to stay more in the good area."

But Pedrosa also pointed out that the success of the Hondas was also down to the weakness of their rivals, especially the Yamaha, at a track they are traditionally strong. "You have to add that for some reason Yamaha was not strong this year here when normally they are. What we can do is try to step up little by little. Since the last race we are improving and hopefully we can keep improving in the same line."

Lorenzoland is nigh

If the Yamahas were not a fixture at Jerez, regular podium goer Jorge Lorenzo certainly was. Lorenzo had arrived at Jerez with doubt still surrounding him. Winter testing had been far from promising, and the results of the first three races were looking decidedly worrying. A dismal opening race, then a first corner crash in Argentina were pretty terrible. Things were a little better in Austin, though ninth place was hardly convincing.

Lorenzo insisted that reverting to the original higher seat had made a big difference, and that he was making more progress than was apparent. Fans and media remained skeptical, mindful of the experience of Valentino Rossi when he came to the Italian factory, and needed to see actual proof in the form of results. An occasional quick session of practice did not count. Podiums were what was needed. And preferably wins.

A podium was what Lorenzo achieved at Jerez, and one he celebrated like a win. The release of tension and celebration at the end of the race was a sign of just how much pressure Lorenzo had been under, and how much he had put on himself. "Best birthday present ever," is how he described it. "It’s more than a victory with the Yamaha because everybody knows the difficulties at this moment to be competitive in the dry with a special bike that we have now with the Ducati and in a difficult track for us like has been Jerez in the last years."

Where had the victory come from? Lorenzo explained once again that it was a combination of things. More time on the bike meant that he was slowly starting to adapt his style to what the Ducati demands of its riders. The changes to his style were starting to come more naturally. Riding the bike at a track he knows well and loves made it easier to work on his riding. Finding his rhythm was easier, and the more naturally he rode, the faster he went.

Answering back

The podium gave Lorenzo a big confidence boost, and an answer to his critics. "You don’t have to doubt about my riding, my mentality," Lorenzo told the press conference. "Some people did. They speak too early and finally they have to take their words in their mouth, because you cannot doubt about any rider in the championship. Because all the riders that come into the world championship are very good and can be in the front, but especially a rider who win many races and titles."

Despite Lorenzo's first podium, there is still cause for concern. When I congratulated Ducati sporting director Davide Tardozzi on Lorenzo's podium, he pointed to the fact that the Spaniard had finished nearly fifteen seconds behind the winner. This is actually a big improvement: since 2010, the gap has never been closer than 25 seconds. Even Andrea Dovizioso, who crossed the line in fifth, had his best race at Ducati's bogey track since he jumped off the Tech 3 Yamaha in 2013. His gap to the winner was just under 23 seconds, despite starting from fourteenth on the grid and having to fight his way forward.

The Flying Frenchman

First satellite rider was – unsurprisingly – Johann Zarco, but it was the way Zarco achieved his best result in MotoGP which was the real shocker. Zarco once again showed himself to be no respecter of fame or reputation, flying into battle with anyone who got in his way. He disposed of the factory Movistar Yamahas in the opening laps. He barged past the rest to take on Marc Márquez, the fought his way past the Repsol Honda rider, before having to concede defeat to the reigning world champion. It was a valiant effort, which ultimately went unrewarded, especially once he slipped from third to fourth when Jorge Lorenzo got back past him.

What impressed most once again was the way that Zarco looked like he had been racing MotoGP for the past three or four seasons. The Frenchman looked at home on the bike, and set himself no limits. Once he got past Márquez, he had already set his sights on Pedrosa ahead, Zarco said, but after a couple of warnings from the tires, Zarco let Pedrosa go, and then Márquez and Lorenzo as well.

Zarco had made an impression on the two men who got past him to put him off the podium. "Zarco already was really impressive in Qatar," Marc Márquez told the press conference. "He start and he go. Today I fight with him two or three laps because still my rear tire was not good enough and then he was pushing a lot. He reminded me a little bit of me when I arrive in MotoGP. Really aggressive, pushing on the limit, warnings and nearly crashing. But in the end is the way to learn. If he want to learn, he need to be like this. He need to push from the beginning and try to arrive where he can. I think he’s in a good way. Today he’s the first Yamaha, so not so bad."

Lorenzo admired Zarco just as much, though he was less enamored of the Tech 3 rider's aggression. "I like a lot the attitude of Johan because he just think about racing," Lorenzo said. "He’s very determined on the bike. If he’s won world champion two times in Moto2 it's because he’s very good." Having the easy-to-ride Yamaha made it quicker to build speed and determination. "Sometimes a little bit too determined, especially when he’s fighting with another rider," Lorenzo half joked. "He needs to be a little more careful because these bikes are bigger and they have more energy than the Moto2 bikes. But apart from that, I like a lot the attitude of him. He’s a really, really good rider. "

Good, but outclassed

That aggression early on is what separates him from his teammate Jonas Folger, the German told us. Where Folger was struggling with a full tank and new tires, Zarco was able to push right from the start, which put him in the front group and immediately in contention for the podium. Folger also noted that when he caught Valentino Rossi, he had taken extra care in passing him. Zarco, by contrast, treated Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo with exactly the same contempt he has for any other rider.

Zarco's fourth place made him the first Yamaha home at Jerez. The combination of the 2016 chassis, Zarco's riding style, and his choice of the medium front tire seemed to give him an edge over the others. It was notable that the medium front appeared to be the better of the three front tires available. Four riders chose to run the medium front during the race, two of whom finished third and fourth, the third of whom crossed the line in eighth.

The strength of the Tech 3 results are in stark contrast to the factory Yamahas. After a very strong showing in the morning warm up, Maverick Viñales had already quietly started thinking about the victory, he confided in us. Yet once the race started, he quickly understood that no such thing was possible. Where he had suffered with the rear tire spinning too much through left handers on Saturday, the set up change they effected for warm up and the race saw Viñales struggle for grip in the front on Sunday afternoon.

Under the Michelin bus

The problem was even visible to the riders he was racing against. "With Maverick, I saw that his feeling on the front was very very bad, so he couldn't ride in a normal way," Andrea Dovizioso explained to us. Viñales himself put his issues down to a problem with the tires, though he was careful not to come out and say it directly. After beating around the bush for a while, Viñales finally gave some kind of answer. "I cannot tell the truth," Viñales sighed. "Finally … it's difficult. I cannot say anything. In the end, if you say something, you get an email. So you cannot say something about this."

Speaking to the Spanish and Catalan press, he was even more adamant. His team had done a brilliant job all weekend, he said, and he didn't want to blame his team for the issues. The only logical explanation in Viñales' mind was that the front tire he had been given was not performing the way it should.

When asked if the setup changes his team had made on Sunday, changing the balance of the bike to put a little more weight on the front, could have caused the issue, Viñales was once again outspoken. "No," he replied, "because this morning was really good on the front. I was feeling quite impressive, because where we improved a little bit more was to make more corner speed, and to close the corner with the front tire. That's why I'm so disappointed, because this morning the front tire was working really good. I didn't use so much the rear. That's why I'm really disappointed, because we don't understand why the bike changed so much in just four hours."

It ain't half hotter

The most obvious thing that changed in just four hours was the track temperature. In the morning track temp was in the very low 20s. In the afternoon, it was over 20°C hotter. That would have a massive effect on tires and tire wear, especially on a track as greasy and lacking grip as Jerez.

Viñales' teammate fared even worse than the Spaniard. Valentino Rossi came to Spain hoping to at least defend, and preferably extend his lead in the championship. At a track he loves, where he had a massive win last year, on a bike that is supposed to suit the circuit, Rossi was hoping for at least a podium.

Once he got to Jerez, those hopes were shattered. The front end problems he had throughout winter testing were back once again, the tire giving him a lack of feedback. The team gambled on a setup change for morning warm up on Sunday, but that simply didn't work. They then gambled on another change for the race, and that didn't work either. "We risked, but as always we had to try because in the warm-up I was ninth," Rossi lamented.

After putting up a stiff fight early on, Rossi was quickly left to fall down through the field during the race. His initial problems had been setup, as Dovizioso noted when he passed him. "With Valentino it was very difficult to understand, because he was just not too fast. But I didn't see anything strange," the Ducati rider said.

Definitely a tire

Adding insult to injury, later in the race, Rossi started to get a severe vibration on the tire which forced him to slow down. "In the end, during the last six or seven laps, especially on the left, I start to have a very high vibration and I start to slow down three seconds per lap. At the end I was lucky to arrive."

Rossi crossed the line in tenth, salvaging six points in the championship. He now leads by just two points from his teammate, who is another two points ahead of Marc Márquez. Ten points behind Rossi sits Dani Pedrosa, meaning the whole field is extremely tight. With 14 races left, and 350 potential points to be had, the championship is wide open. Anything can happen.

And it usually does. Andrea Dovizioso gave a possible explanation for the wild variation in fortunes between the Hondas and Yamahas – and indeed the Ducatis – at each round. The Yamahas dominated at Qatar and Argentina, while Honda was clearly superior at Austin and here in Jerez. According to Dovi, the problem may be that the tires vary subtly from race to race, making it hard to get some consistency from them. "With Michelin still, it's not so easy to manage every weekend. The situation is never stable, so you have to be smart to manage the situation. Every weekend is different, and something different happened this weekend to the last weekend," Dovizioso said. "Every weekend, you have to adapt and understand exactly what's going on. It's not so easy, but it's the same for everybody. This is the championship."


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Total votes: 142
Total votes: 183

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Comments

I don't understand the situation with some of these tracks and their pavement. I'm sure there are complications, budgetary and otherwise, of which I'm unaware....but that said, isn't providing a good riding surface a critical part of what a racetrack is supposed to do? This is Jerez, not some podunk circuit in the middle of nowhwere. It's incredible to me that a MotoGP/WSBK track would go 14 years without resurfacing.

Anyway, impressive race by Dani. Really pleased to see him on the top step. This is shaping up to be a fantastic year.

Re: VR's setup issues, when I sent him the article on the topic from another site, my buddy quipped that the headline should have been "Doctor Nurses Bike to Finish." 

Total votes: 138

Make that +1. Spain is the so-called home of MotoGP (not that I agree but thats a different discussion alltogether) and having such poor track is an insult to the riders and MotoGP racing. If you can't host a decent track to ride on scrap it from the calendar and race at (for example) Laguna Seca, a track every rider (and fans for that matter) love to bits and still you have 2 Spanish races on the calendar.

It's rather ironic that a safety marshall gets caught up in an accident as such and no one questions the safety for riders to follow on a higher speed on two wheels only. Needless to say, i do wish for a speedy recovery.

Total votes: 93

For most of the last decade, maybe longer, the Jerez track has been on the brink of shutting down because they couldn't service their debt.  They have managed to keep things going, but the reason the track surface hasn't been touched is the lack o f resources to do so.  Given the downturn in the world economy and the collapse of the Spanish real estate market and to an extent the banks, no one was willing or could extend credit, to an already overextended track for upgrades.

Total votes: 114

Lorenzo podium at Jerez
(And Rossi 10th?)
Fortunate for me you didn't want to bet on Qatar!

David Sangster
8112 N. Clarendon Ave
Portland, OR 97203

Cheers!
:)

Total votes: 127

Ah! Did we bet on podium or victory? I don't remember.... still this serves me as a lesson: I should never make these bets I simply jinxed it! :)
Ok will take care of it
Cheers

Total votes: 121

I had proffered for a win at Qatar, you countered w a podium here.

Back to our regular programming

Total votes: 88

If you are a wine connaisseur- and I presume so given your taste for amarone- I think it's best not to have it travel ....
How about I give you the money? I hate the idea of spending a fortune in delivery without being able to control transport quality....
I know I know... I was so certain of winning that I did not bother to tell you in advance that it's a bad idea to send wine around the world. At least I learnt a lesson about betting :)
Think about it and let me know
Cheers

Total votes: 119

We may be affecting the quality of the comments section here even more than wine in shipping.
;)
I am not attached. Don't worry about it. You weren't going to get a super nice bottle from me.
If I see an opportunity to make light of it in the future though be ready MGM!

Total votes: 119

Felt a little 800cc era big gaps etc, still well done Dani not his biggest fan but you have to give credit, the trick is doing again and again.

Still Zarco is determined to entertain which livened things up.

As for Jorge it's the old adage "Form is temporary class is permanent "

Total votes: 115

Not a classic perhaps but I found the race quite good.  There was plenty happening in the minor placings but simply watching the front gap rise and fall with the extra pushing and gap management provided plenty of interest for me.

 

I like Pedrosa a lot, and although it's unlikely to happen, my preferred to win the championship this year would be him.  I think it would be a just reward for his talent and effort over the years.

Total votes: 101

I thought Jorge's performance was extremely impressive and couldn't understand why there wasn't a little more interest from the TV commentary team. 

Youve provided at least a little more insight thanks David but I'd be curious to hear a little more in depth analysis and whether this is a bit of a one off or is Jorge really getting to grips with the Duc.

Total votes: 115

I am curious as well, especially about the rear brake.

I have heard Lorenzo say before that he uses very little brake, but it sounds as if when on the Yamaha, he never touched the rear brake.  Now he says he has to 'use the rear brake' on the Yamaha.  We know that Marquez is all over the rear brake because we can see the bike and people say he uses more than anyone else.  We know Rossi uses it because others who have seen his data are amazed.  We know Dovi uses it because we can see his thumb.  I presume all expert riders use their rear brake to a much greater extent than the average punter on the track.

Did Lorenzo never use his rear brake before?  How does he use it and what is actually happening dynamically that makes the bike work better?

Total votes: 124

http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/motogp/how-motogp-engine-braki...

Mat Oxley makes some good points about the new unified software engine braking and Marquez and Lorenzo.  If the back brake is used to level the bike out as you enter the corner as engine braking used to do very effectively and now doesn't as effectively a guy like Marquez who rode 4 strokes (Moto 2) with no software for engine braking is used to using lots of back brake.  A guy like Lorenzo who rode 250 2 strokes likes the freewheeling method of cornering with little engine braking and no back brake.

Just my 2 cents, I've ridden 2 stroke road racers, there is NO engine braking and you keep all the momentum possible thru a corner with just a short quick squeeze of the front brake and you're rolling the gas on.  When I started riding  4 strokes I was always out of shape in the corners and never quite learned to settle the bike in the braking zone during tip in with the rear brake.

Total votes: 125

The disparity in performance between Yamaha and Honda was enormous, the likes we haven't seen for quite a while. Very much an asterix race.

Once again highlights the compounding problems of a sole tyre supplier, bring back the war.

Yamaha's 2017 M1 does not appear like its anything near as good as last year bike, Rossi's struggles on it from day 1 appear to have been shurrged aside as MV topped the timesheets early on-I think larger alarm bells should have been ringing a while back. But both of those bikes looked like they were riding in the wet yesterday. 

Thank goodness Tardozzi at least put JL result into perspective, he improved 5 seconds on the deficit in Qatar, only this time the competition in between faultered massively-not enough to prove much at all.  

Total votes: 112

Thouroughly enjoyed the rider insights you included with your own David. Cheers :)

Pssst? Dont keep secrets.

Who was 4th rider on Medium Front? I got  Jorge, Johan and Jonas. Michelin site does not have the race tyre choices. I have checked.

Great to see Dani and Jorge up front again after all their issues. Zarco is just amazing, Folger is impressing as well. Herve has won the Lotto this year :) Happy Tech 3 team.

Total votes: 113

"contempt", David?  It's an oft-used phrase, but it's best used wisely.  In this case I don't think it applies.  Contempt implies disrespect.  Is that what you are saying?

IMHO, I suspect he just treats them the same.  Another rider to pass.  No deference.  No institutionalised forelock tugging.

He just gets on with making the pass.

And in doing so, made a mainly processional race a load more interesting.

More power to him, and perhaps a smidgin more traction, too........

Total votes: 127

Good race by Dani and Zarco,

Will Jerez owners hand be forced Re: resurfacing? Moto GPs safety officer loast control due to poor surface and could have been seriously injured! How can they hold a race on that surface next year and deem it to be safe after that safety car incident?

Total votes: 101

Glad to see Lorenzo do well. Was he huffing and puffing during the interview in Parc Ferme? Zarco, what can you say... Love it. IIRC, the Bridgestones didn't vary much between medium and hard or soft and medium. It seems they overlapped a bit. With the Michelins, it almost seems they have huge gaps between the soft/hard and medium. With gaps large enough, that your bike might just fall between the two (read: Yamaha). It also appears that their temp ranges are narrow enough, that the hard may not be hard enough (read: Honda).

 

Total votes: 84

Taking nothing away from Lorenzo and i know its all ifs & buts BUT if yamaha had performed as "normal" and CC had stayed on his bike then JL would of finshed 6th and still 15 seconds off the leader.

Granted its an improvement on the 21 seconds from last year but that's still a hell of a distance from the winner.

Strange race with so many big gaps, cant help but feel DP is going to cause MM problems this year.

 

Total votes: 112

I agree with pdcs46 above. Dani should be his best threat for the title this year that he's had in a long while. He just has to stay healthy. He's certainly fast and smart enough to finally take the Championship. As complimentary as the top riders have been about Zarco, I am sure that will change to something more like Simoncelli experienced... Meanwhile, it looks like Lorenzo is gaining on that red machine and despite the critical opinions from the likes of Cal Crutchlow, Jorge is not going to require some hairball riding style to make the bike work. He's going to be successful being himself, and Ducati is going to make the subtle changes to help him exploit his unique skills. Glad to read here that Rossi had a particular technical problem with his rear wheel or tire. Watching his lap time ballon like that was hard to take! 

Total votes: 128

Isn't it?

Unified software, tires, a spreading of top talent across several manufacturers/teams, etc.  9 different winners last season.  We saw this coming, right?  Yet, when our man doesn't win or places poorly, a bevy of excuses come like a herd of horses down the straight at Churchill Downs.

Speaking of #5, Zarco's Always Dreaming of that podium.  Perhaps he channeled the "unbridled" spirit of that horse which led him to cut up the field as if a hot knife through butter.  THAT was fun to watch.  Enough horse puns...

Really happy for Pedrosa.  I absolutely love seeing him do well.  Big congrats to Lorenzo, also - naysayers will keep on.  He'll probably struggle again many more times before he's consistently good, but how ironic that a rider accused of needing "perfect" conditions to race at his peak happens to pull out his first podium on the Ducati at a slick track with riders all around him suffering?

 

Total votes: 108

... we wouldn't tune in every 3rd Sunday.

That said it does sound like Michelin needs to get it together. It's a shame that the riders are being gagged.... sounds like there's a legit quality control problem as opposed to riders just looking for a scapegoat for lack of performance. At the same time though Michelin is still very new... I think they will get it together. I like my PR4s :)

Total votes: 96

Another strange race. More puzzling than outright thrilling. Nevertheless I'm ever so glad that Dani won. I don't know if he'll ever win a WC but boy am I glad he took the 3000 milestone win! With all the bad luck and injuries he had to overcome this seems just fair. And I must say that the way he handled quali and the way he assertevely took MM challenge was great. Very promising. Could this be HIS year?
Isn't it fun to have 4 riders within 10 points? Wouldn't it be fun to see this continue until Sunday 2pm in Valencia?
I'm impressed by JL podium - I never expected it, not in Jerez - (and it's costing me a bottle of Amarone !) But then again this race was against all logic.... I need to see more races before I'm convinced by JL newfound mojo with Ducati....
I'm still in shock after the official Yamaha performance.... I don't think that both MV and VR unlearnt how to ride overnight... how far were they from Dani? 26 and 38 seconds? This is ridiculous! I think this happened to VR only in his darkest moments in Ducati.... I think there is something really not right with the new M1 and I would have loved to be a fly in that garage last night. MV is blaming a defect tire but I think the pbm runs deeper and it's more structural.
It seems that today most riders are deciding in favour of the "old new" Michelin, the harder carcass... will it be enough to bring some peace of mind and some speed to the doctor? Not sure. But maybe it's time we changed the narrative of the shi**y Honda versus the perfect Yamaha.... the Honda is getting better by the day, the Yam going backwards. The irony is that yesterday the "old" M1 proved to be more effective and reliable than the new one. This based on MV performance, not Rossi's.
David will you give us some more technical inside on what happened to Yamaha?

Total votes: 113

First, Michelins are inconsistent?

Second, M1 (2017) isn't the best bike on the grid. Which one is hard to say. COTA and Jerez showed that the RCV is quite right up there with competition and in Argentina MM simply fell off. That wasn't really the bike's fault.

Total votes: 94

What's changed at Yamaha?

They lost the rider setups from the Ducati rider that came third...

David can correct me if I'm wrong, however each tyre maker has their own 'method' of manufacture;

- Bridgestone make a long tube of rubber, slicing off a ring that is molded to the carcass

- Michelin use a rectangle that has an overlap

- Dunlop build up the tyre with rubber like a long rope

 

Total votes: 100