The Michelin Test At Mugello - Improved Tires And Mysterious Front End Crashes

On the day after the Italian Grand Prix, the MotoGP riders were back testing at Mugello. This time, however, it was only the factory riders who remained, to give the Michelin tires another run out. The last time they took to the track on the Michelins was at Sepang, and Michelin had brought the latest iteration of their tires to test.

Due to the commercial sensitivities involved, there was no official timing, and the riders were not allowed to speak to the media about the test. Unsurprisingly: Bridgestone hold the single tire contract for the 2015 season, having spent a lot of money for the privilege, so they do not want Michelin stealing their PR thunder. Nor do Michelin really want to be subject the intense scrutiny which official timing would impose while they are still in the middle of their development program.

That does not mean that the small band of journalists who stayed at the test did not learn anything, however. Michelin had brought four front tires to the test, and the factory men spent the morning and the early afternoon selecting their favorite from the four. The plan was for the riders to then try that tire in a full race simulation, to see how the tire stood up to a race distance of 23 laps.

That plan was quickly canceled. There had been no falls during the morning and early afternoon, but on the first laps of his long run, Jorge Lorenzo crashed out at Materassi. Once the track was cleared, it was the turn of Marc Márquez to go out, but on the second lap of his run, he too crashed, this time at Arrabbiata 1. With the debris of the Repsol Honda out of the way, Valentino Rossi followed, the Italian falling at Correntaio. At that point, the plan was abandoned.

All three crashes appear to follow the same pattern, and a similar pattern to the crashes at Sepang. When the riders start pushing hard, the extra drive and grip from the Michelin rear causes the front to wash out, dumping them on the floor. The Michelins seem to have retained some fundamental characteristics, despite being radically different from the tires which Michelin raced back in 2008. Though riders and teams are forbidden from speaking, some sources suggest off the record that the Michelin rear is fantastic, with a lot more grip than the Bridgestone, while the front is not quite where the Bridgestone front is. The new spec front is believed to be better, to give more support and have more edge grip, but clearly, it is not quite ready for prime time.

The picture is complicated by the fact that the bikes are set up for an entirely different tire. The Michelins are all 17-inch tires, though the tire outer circumference is rather similar to the Bridgestone 16.5-inch rubber. The 2015 bikes are all designed based on years of data with the Bridgestones, and so suspension settings and chassis geometry and stiffness are not quite right for the Michelins. There is a lot of work to do with both the tires and the bikes ahead of 2016.

That is also apparent from the feedback. A member of one team told me that a rider from another team – pinch of salt required – was far less happy with the Michelins at Mugello than he had been at Sepang. In Malaysia, he was faster on the Michelins than the Bridgestones. At Mugello, it was the other way round. There is no doubt that in terms of overall performance, the Michelins are already very close. One insider told me they expected lap records to fall at some tracks, but to be slower at others. It makes for an interesting prospect.

It may have been a factory rider test, but not all factory riders were present. Suzuki were absent altogether, as Aleix Espargaro still has the thumb injury, and as a rookie, Maverick Viñales does not have the experience of the tires to provide useful insight. Andrea Iannone was missing from the Ducati garage, the Italian back at home, and scheduled to have a check up on Wednesday on his injured shoulder. The real mystery, though, was the absence of Marco Melandri. The Italian was missing from the Aprilia garage, and rumors circulating suggested this could be Melandri's last race. According to GPOne.com, Melandri is due to have a meeting with Aprilia staff later this week to discuss his future. Given Melandri's miserable results so far this year, a split looks like the better option. Who would replace him in that case is as yet undecided. Alex De Angelis may move over from the cash-strapped IODA team, or they could bring in a test rider. That decision will only come once Melandri's future has been decided.

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Comments

It's really sad to see Melandri struggling so much. This weekend it seemed to be even worse instead of improving, being last again and now in qualifying he was even 2,2 seconds slower than Alex De Angelis in front of him - with De Angelis being 2,5 seconds off pole. That is ridiculous. And that for the man who was so very strong in the second half of last year's Superbike season, on a relatively similar bike for that matter. Can it be that riding on Pirellis for several years resets your brain too much for riding on Bridgestones? Or is it something more? It must be, right..?
I thought at some point he would make a click or at least he would set his mind on next year with the Michelins. But now that he did not participate in this Michelin test, all hope seems lost. I really wonder where he will go, and if he keeps on racing at all.

Total votes: 135

I remember interviews prior to preseason testing with MM33 stating that he had to change his mentality from pushing for a win to gathering track & bike data for next year’s bike. Translated, he is there to develop the Aprilia, not race it or so I thought. That said, I wished he would return to WSBK as he was my favorite rider on that grid.

Total votes: 158

I, too, thought he was there as a development rider, and particularly there as someone with experience in motogp with Michelin tyres. That he was missing from the motogp Michelin tyre test implies that he's not even developing now.

Total votes: 143

It suggests the front Michelin has a much lower profile. Ballooning it up a little should be easy enough. As a layman, I guess the front is being squashed too hard under braking on the tilt causing it want to separate from the rim, hence the washouts.
A word on Marco. He did not want to be here in the first place. I hope the bloke can get a decent seat in SBK.

Total votes: 150

If the front is washing out due to the grippy rear pushing it I doubt that braking has anything to do with it.

Total votes: 176

I was thinking in the same direction. If the outer diameter is the same, the tyre must be lower in height from the rim. So there is less room for flexing/flattening of the tread and therefore a smaller contact patch, which means less grip. Unless they make the tread running much further towards the rim, in which case the sidewall becomes very small and stiffer. Which again causes problems when pushed towards maximum lean angle.

That there's no problem with the rear is probably because it is much wider and larger and therefore has a more compliant carcass and tread. Also front tyres have a much steeper shape anyway, so that makes the sidewall already quite short.

It seems to me the step from 16,5 to 17 inch is technically not a good one, apart from the easier transfer of MotoGP tech to road tyres. Best thing would be to put road bikes on 16,5 inch too, but I've heard that there is something legal that prevents that, 16,5 inch being reserved for truck tyres or something like that.
I guess they need to make the front tyre bigger in diameter to get more room to play with flexibility and grip, but that will need an even bigger set-up change... Not an easy task for Michelin to be testing with bikes designed and set up for 16,5-inch Bridgestones.

Total votes: 159

With so many top riders going down during testing the Michelin tyres, begs the question, who picks up the tab for the wrecked bikes and medical costs for injured riders?

Total votes: 151

I'm quite interested in knowing the response to this? I suppose DORNA picks the tab on this since they control the purse strings?

Total votes: 153

i doubt its because of the rear tyre. its not like vr jl mm are trying to push to the max and i doubt the riders falling because of a click here and there as the didnt push it. so if they didnt go max and just try to get a feel and th tyre still fails it means its a bad tyre. and it seems no progress is made for the front. i really hope michelin get it right because this is just dangerous

Total votes: 182

Tidbits David? Are they trying to work the setups around the Michelins with any seriousness? Seems like an uphill battle to me at this stage whilst they are competing on what is such a narrow focused tyre.

And any hint as to which rider was less impressed this time around?

Total votes: 163

I can't remember feeling so sympathetic for an under performing rider before. Poor Marco deserves a top notch WSBK seat and I hope he gets it. There is irony here if he is plucked out as the Michelins come in as it would undo his primary woe.

Best of luck 33!

Total votes: 151

is already there for this whole tire debacle. It's called competition. This is exactly why I despise the ignorance that is spec racing. Amazing to have to design a motorcycle around a tire so $$s can be saved. Tell me again how well that works, it's about as clear as mud to me. Quit spending millions to save hundreds, let everyone compete from the motorcycle manufacturer to the tire manufacturer to the sprocket manufacturer. Anyone that's ever built anything knows that the better selection and quality of parts you have. The better product you end up with. It's not rocket science, that's the last step when you try to make it really fast. Limit yourself to one choice in too many areas and suddenly the product either doesn't or can't work together as intended or needed.

Total votes: 202

Yeah, and we'll bring back tobacco advertising to help pay for the tire wars! That should make it affordable.

Hahaha.

Total votes: 145

So you are suggesting that under the current situation in a tyre war that instead of Honda building a gazillion frames and swingarms they would not, they would instead turn to Monsieur Michelin or Mr Dunlop and say "Please fix it for us!". Somehow I just can't see it.

I think you've got the design process bassakwards. It doesn't matter if there is a tyre war or not, the bike designers and engineers work around the tyre specs they are given by the tyre manufacturer. Whoever the bike manufacturer is working with, the tyre manufacturer decides how to make the absolute best tyre they can possibly make, not the other way around. So if they are working for Dunlop they have to make a bike that works with a stiff carcass and "chemical" adhesion, if it's Pirelli it will have a much softer carcass with "mechanical" grip. Expecting Dunlop to make a fundamental change to suit the bike and starting producing a brilliant Pirelli-like tyre just isn't going to happen.

Calling spec racing ignorant is ignorant in itself. How do you make development more expensive? Add more variables. By removing one of the variables, they have removed another avenue for expenditure. You're exactly right, it's not rocket science.

There isn't a motorcycle built that has had a fundamental design flaw fixed by simply changing the tyres. Ducati D16 you say? Nup, a sheer grip advantage saw the problem masked, but as soon as grip parity was restored when everyone else jumped on the 'Stones, the problem with the D16 was laid bare.

The last thing I want to see is a championship decided by a tyre manufacturer.....again. Read Stoner's book, his commentary on the tyre shenanigans in the near past is quite illuminating...and also quite depressing. If I ever see a tyre war situation again where riders have to be on a certain brand to have a shot at winning, I won't be watching.

Total votes: 175

Actually, I believe it's you who has the design process bassackwards. You're going to try and convince me that there's much more involved in designing a tire than a motorcycle? Really? I'm all ears (or should I say eyes) to hear about this. You state the bike designers and engineers work around the tire specs. That's where the ignorance of this comes into play. The cost of R&D, etc. for making motorcycles is much higher than the cost of doing a new compound of tire. Besides, with competition among several tire manufacturers, they don't have to, nor would they, build for all the manufacturers. Maybe Yamaha & Ducati like the way the Dunlop works, while Honda & Suzuki like the characteristics of the Pirelli but the Aprilia, BMW and MV Augusta all seem to work best with Michelin.

You seem to think that the less things that you can adjust or set for racing means you have more control. That's absolutely not true, you have less control because there's less adjustments or fine tuning you can do. If your thinking prevailed then everyone on the grid should use one brand of shocks and they should not be adjustable in any manner. Let the rider & team figure out how to take it from there. It'll save lots of money for the shock manufacturer and that's what counts, right? Who cares what the riders and teams need or want?

It also seems that you think spec racing is the answer. Great, let's just NASCARdize the MotoGP series. You can have a different brand logo on your bike but other than that, everything will be the same. That should create some real innovative ideas & concepts in the future. Not!! If this is what folks want then they should decide on one engine, chassis, brake, chain, sprocket, muffler, suspension, ECU, etc. and let's go round the track and claim there's true competition in what is being done. At that point, I'll be well past done with watching.

I don't want a championship decided simply by a tire manufacturer either but with a single tire supplier, that's exactly what could happen this year. Honda missed the mark with matching their bike to the BS tires. BS isn't going to change and there's little Honda can do to make any major changes so they are stuck with things till next year when everyone will be trying to guess what to do with a new tire supplier. Yes, they can try some simple setup changes but with the issues that most of the Honda riders are having, it's not going to be a simple fix, that's obvious.

I would rather not see Saturday Night Specials come back where they fly in tires built Saturday for Sundays race. That's expensive and unnecessary. However, stifling competition by constricting manufacturers and teams to one single manufacturer of any part on the bikes doesn't help competition in any manner, it simply stifles it.

As for the costs, it's simple. DORNA needs to stop requiring payment from the tire manufacturer for the year. That's simply greed. They then just make it where the tire manufacturers must supply tires to any teams that want them, with some notice of course, at no cost like they do now. All tires of a particular compound go into a group and are randomly assigned to the teams that want them, be they factory, satellite or independent team. Anyone that thinks that couldn't work simply needs to realize how well bragging rights about supplying 80% of the grid with XYZ tires in advertising could look if XYZ makes the dominant tire. At worst you could have a situation like now where one manufacturer is involved. At best, you'll give all the manufacturers the opportunity to have a choice in what tire works best for their bike, rider, etc.

David, I'm guessing that you mean the costs are most easily borne for the manufacturers due to the fact that they have to design their bike for the tires? Other than that, I don't see where they bear any costs when it comes to tires currently.

Simply said, I want true competition, not contrived competition by limiting certain aspects of the equipment allowed. Get a set of rules done, leave the rules as is for several years (not 2 or 3) to help control costs. Set a limit of 30 bikes, not 24 and that would allow for more manufacturers to enter. 30 bikes on the current tracks used is not going to cause any major problems.

Total votes: 160

Whether a spec tire is cheaper or more expensive depends on the perspective you look at it from. From the perspective of the factories, it's a little more expensive, as they are having to spend money to design a bike around the tires. That is money they would have spent anyway, as they still have to design a bike around custom-made tires, but they can develop more quickly as they can solve some behaviors by asking the tire company to modify a tire in a particular way.

From the perspective of the tire companies, I suspect that the costs are similar. They save on R&D, as they are developing a single set of tires, rather than several very different tires to suit particular bikes, and the development process is more generalized. I believe that this is actually more productive for tire makers, as they learn about producing tires which work very well for a wider range of designs. But they also spend more money, paying Dorna for the rights to be the single supplier.

From the perspective of private teams, this is a total no-brainer. Instead of paying €30,000 a race weekend on tires, and being given the generalized tires, rather than the factory specials, they get the same tires as the factories for free. That's a saving of maybe half a million euros a season, per rider. With budgets of 6-8 million a season for a one-rider team, that half a million makes a massive difference.

I suspect that the total costs for all parties of a spec tire and a tire war are roughly similar. The difference is in who pays for it. Having multiple suppliers would certainly make for a more interesting championship. But a spec tire puts the costs where they are most easily borne: with the bike manufacturers, and with the tire manufacturers. 

Total votes: 183

I tend to agree about the importance of tire war or a wide variety of tires available at every meeting.

My preferred arrangement would be an open tire war. Allow the manufacturers to homologate a certain number of designs for front and rear, based upon the amount of wins/championships in previous seasons. Teams place their orders a few weeks ahead of time (gambling on conditions). They can order from whatever manufacturer they want. The only rule is that you can't mix tires from different manufacturers. No Michelin rear with Bridgestone front because it muddles the marketing landscape for the manufacturers.

Some manufacturers will specialize in qualifiers. Some will work hard on rain tires. Some will work on specialized asymmetric designs to win at particular high profile circuits. The championship-seeking manufacturers will probably build solid all-around performers. Bike manufacturers can build around a particular tire or experiment with various tires or work with a tire manufacturer to make something they like.

I don't want price regulations, which actually only control the price to the teams, not the actual cost, but without some sort of performance indexing, they would be necessary to maintain parity between bigger and smaller teams.

No idea how to administrate it or choose the number of homologation quantities that would keep performance under control, but it would be crazy to watch. Even if one manufacturer dominated, it wouldn't be any less dynamic than the current situation, and manufacturers would always be trying to break back into the series. Tire testing would actually mean something.

Total votes: 146

Sounds a bit like the issue Honda is already experiencing - too much rear grip overwhelming the front. And it highlights how closely the chassis are tuned to the tires. Its going to be "interesting" indeed. I wonder what it cost to throw those bikes down the track...

Total votes: 148

Didnt Marquez complain that they had to little rear grip so he had to ride with the front ?
BS has always had an incredible front tyre. Not so good in feedback but with grip way better than the Michelin .
Rossi once said: " Give me Stoners front tyre "

Total votes: 136

BTW - the front end wash out crashes seem anything but mystery. Predicted behavior for the Michelins relative to the Bstones. Having the bikes set up for the Bstones and circulating on the Michelins can't work out well. It is less about the size of the tire and more about the compounds and construction. The poor riders are all up to speed from a race weekend and then thrust upon these tires...what a nightmare. No need to generalize all sorts of greater considerations, but there is a need to create a preferable testing plan to keep to much kit and rider from getting banged up.

It is exactly what was predicted a good while back isn't it?

Total votes: 158

Couldn't it be a simple answer and were complicating it?

Maybe they're just used to the Bridgestones (the pilots) and maybe they need to change style a little bit again. Looks to me that a crash on their first flying laps means they're attacking the corner in the same way they've been doing the whole weekend and that could be the problem. They need more time to setup and get used to the tires. Let's see who's the fastest to adapt. Maybe they need go back to the butt-out style and less elbow dragging, who knows?

Total votes: 150

If it's an adaptation problem, I have a guess on who will be the first to adapt.
Maybe it's the guy that has raced 500 2-strokes, 990's, 800's and 1000's and won on them all. :)

Total votes: 164

The guy who never adapted to the Ducati, and took a year to adapt to the Yamaha again - and had to deliberately copy someone else's style to do that?

Sure he's proven he *can* adapt, but I don't think he's shown that he adapts quickly.

Total votes: 178

I cannot find anything really detailing what was seen in the Michelin Tests other than what David has reported. Judging from this report, the Michelins do not have the front end grip of the Bridgestones which was discovered in the first test. Michelin will need to find a solution, but I doubt they will be able to get those grip levels in the front to be the same as Bridgestone. The bikes will have to be setup for the Michelin just like back when Bridgestone and Michelin were battling with each other. When Rossi moved from Michelin to Bridgestone they had to make changes to the bike designed around Michelin to get the most out of the Bridgestone tire. It worked, but there were I am sure a massive amount of setup changes to make it work.

Now on the tire war. I personally like it the way it is. The reason why Rossi switched to Bridgestone is when Michelin lost the right to let people test on Friday, then overnight freshly made tires for Saturday custom made for whatever track and condition, they started to show just how off they were. Rossi chunked the front tire in China....THE FRONT TIRE! Before then Michelin were beating Bridgestone on a regular. At Laguna Seca one year, Michelin got it so wrong, Racers were riding around on intermediates on a dry track just to get in practice runs because they did not want to use up their allocation of tires. That is not kool. Some tracks Bridgestone would dominate. Other tracks Michelin would dominate. Racers losing with the opposite brand would say it was the tires that helped the winner. Now they all are stuck on a good or bad tire together. No longer can they blame the tires. It is more down to the riders now as it should be.

Spec Tires just seems take away one more reason for someone to say it was this or that that stopped me from winning. And it does level the field in alot of ways. Everyone has the same tire issues, no Factories getting the preferred tire, (Casey Stoner said that all the time when at LCR), no more one manufacturer getting the tires right on one day while the other gets it wrong...etc.

Total votes: 135

Wasn't it Istanbul where he nearly killed himself by running wide at Faux Rogue? Then he chunked the front tire, and got duffed by Elias, who was on a Bridgestone-shod Gresini.

Total votes: 145

Rubbish, sorry I can't disagree more with everything you've said here.

Firstly, in the interests of competition, Michelin were able to provide overnight specials to the best riders and teams who knew how to order them, and they were unbeatable. Then the supply reg came in which basically removed michelins entire strategy and competitive supply. Handing Bridgestone a massive advantage. The year a Laguna your referencing was certainly not so black and white, Bridgestone did extensive testing there pre race when the track was re-surfaced that year at enormous cost no doubt, and Michelin were caught out massively with the supply restriction. The flip flop nature of 2007 was due to the supply restriction -not because of the war. If the restriction wasn't in place I firmly Believe Rossi and Michelin would have won that year.
overnight specials were the ultimate example of prototype racing for me, Bridgestone could have adapted and utilized a European factory to do the same, however I feel they still would have lost because my personal feeling is the French company has a much better feel for the sport.
The last three rounds have highlighted how unfair the sole supplier reg with Bridgestone supplying can be, with only ONE option possible for the weekend which gives extrodinary advantage to one rider-this can hardly be considered fair in a sport such as Motogp with all of its variables. More tyres, more choices in construction and compound needed-the only way to really achieve it is with war. However I believe Michelin will do a better job than Bridgestone, as a sole supplier.

Total votes: 189

Hey Sttrain,

You're wrong on a few counts. First of all, for some years leading up to 2007 all tire manufacturers agreed to reduce the amount of specs available to try and save costs. Even at that stage Dorna could see things were getting out of hand cost wise. When Michelin got beaten to the championship in 2007, for 2008 they made a request to increase the number of tires available again. The other suppliers (BS, DU) agreed, but Bridgestone still won the championship with Rossi.

The reason they could do this was because their tires worked over a much WIDER range of conditions, as they do now. The last three rounds all riders have used the same rear tire, because they have good overlap between specs. MotoGP.com feed from last race said that both Repsol and Tech 3 guys liked hard rear, but used medium as it wasn't so hot as it's been in the past. It is Michelin who have always had the narrow performance window - Laguna Seca problems were because their tires couldn't warm up - nothing to do with Bridgestone's prior testing as you've implied.

This year we've had all 4 manufacturers (Duc/Hon/Suz/Yam) showing great pace on the same family of tires, no riders complaining and lap records being set. Isn't that good? Not sure where your anti-Bridgestone stance is coming from.

And there is absolutely no way Rossi and Michelin would have won in 2007 with our without tyre restrictions. The Stoner/Ducati/Bridgestone combination in that year was just too strong, putting it all down to tires is a bit demeaning to Stoner and Ducati isnt it? You're obviously a Michelin fan, no problem with that but you're argument is way off. Bridgestone never played favourites since it entered MotoGP and once they got Ducati on side in 2005 to help with their development it was only a matter of time before they became number 1. It happened in F1 and it was bound to happen in MotoGP.

Personally, I like the job that Bridgestone did and think Michelin will get there too. But don't go changing history to suit your argument. What Bridgestone did from 2002 to then topple Michelin in 2007 should always be regarded as an amazing feat. I'm sure Michelin are still reeling from it.

Total votes: 138

Right?

Where is your proof that things were getting out of control with specs available? And from my understanding the tyre supply reg remained unchanged between 07-08.

And how can you say that a highly expensive private test on a re-surfaced track didn't massively benefit Bridgestone at Laguna in 2007? Yes credit to Stoner and Ducati, but the following season Rossi gets those tyres under the same regs and hey presto.

How can you possible state that Rossi could not have won in 2007 without the tyre supply regulation? Michelin had won the previous 14 years with 5 of those to Rossi?
You have a very weak arguement to support Bridgestone and let's face it, without the supply reg they would have been beaten many more times. And now they've pulled out of the sport completely.

And when has the Suzuki looked like challenging a race this season? Hondas form has been extremely dynamic, and the factory Yamahas have been night and day between the two riders depending on which compound is brought to a round.

Total votes: 156

Why would you think i'm kidding? I don't think my argument is weak as I've presented facts, but to clarify please see below.

In regards to point 1;
"In the few years leading up to 2008, the number of tires each supplier could provide to a rider had been reduced year-on-year, but in 2008 following a request from Michelin, there was an increase in the number of tires given to each rider. In 2007, each rider could get 31 slick tires, and this number was increased to 40 slicks per rider for the 2008 season. "
source http://www.moderntiredealer.com/news/story/2015/05/mtd-exclusive-an-inte...

In regards to point 2:
All tire manufacturers did private testing when there was a war going on, the fact that Michelin got caught out due to the conditions has nothing to do with Bridgestone testing. It was the weather/track conditions that caught them out, hence why as another rider posted, they went out on intermediate as they couldn't get heat into their slick tires. You can't put Michelin's poor performance in cold conditions down to a Bridgestone test. Bridgestone don't control the weather as far as I know.

Also, Michelin's dependence on overnight specials means they probably didn't create rubber compounds that worked over a wide range of conditions. Bridgestone didn't have that luxury so probably focused on wide spectrum compounds. Makes sense.

In regards to point 3:
Yes Michelin had won the previous 14 seasons, with pretty much no opposition. Bridgestone entered in 2002 but only really got going in 2005, after a first win in 2004. In 2006 Capirossi already showed the Ducati/Bridgestone combination was a potential championship winner - Capirex had 3 wins and 8 podiums that year. Your statement 'the supply reg they would have been beaten many more times' is spurious. They couldn't be expected to challenge Michelin straight away, but as it was it took them just 5 years to catch up and surpass their main competitor.

In regards to point 4:
Suzuki have had a good first year back, not challenging for wins but the tires lets them play to their strength, i.e. corner speed. Hondas still have good pace but they are suffering over race distance (more below). The Yamahas and Ducatis have made progress but again, the tires don't seem to suit one bike more than the other.

Look at the best race lap from each manufacturer this year and see how close they all are - at Mugello the gap was 0.183s between Marquez, Lorenzo & Iannone.

As per Honda's current predicament, as our own Mr Emmett points out "As rear grip dropped off, and the rear tire started sliding uncontrollably, Márquez was having to use the front end more and more to turn the bike. The front wheel became a pivot, and despite fitting the hard front tire, eventually the front started to lose grip until at last it let go."

This is a bike balance problem, not a tire problem. In the past I remember Yamaha having the opposite problem at some tracks; bad performance at start of race (front end pushing on full tank) then as fuel goes down and rear grip as well, they could lap quickly in second half of the race. Not a tire issue, a balance/setup issue.

In the interview referenced above with Yamada, Bridgestone say they're pulling out as they have achieved all their goals in MotoGP. Fair enough, they did the same in F1.

Happy to hear your counter arguments to any of the above. But I believe I'm pretty spot on.

Total votes: 176

Corrected on the 2008 supply change, however now when I look at it again I remember why I believed there was no change as it equated to an extra 1.5 tyres per session (f#*k all) and no change to supplying during the weekend which of course still retained the advantage to Bridgestone.

Michelins dependence on overnight specials was completely understandable, they had won over a decades worth of championships with them!!! That's my point, Bridgestone didn't have that luxury? Why is it a luxury? They could have implemented into there enormous European supply chain but no they lobbied to get the rules changed to suit their construction methods, knowing probably they couldn't compete with Michelin with overnight specials. Once again-Rule change advantage Bridgestone. Makes sense.

I wasn't referencing Suzukis performance on one off laps, as they don't get points for those, the last time I checked its the race that matters and they are still miles off despite regulation based advantages in engines and fuel, an advantage that Ducati also enjoys. Somewhat clouding your arguement here.

It's no coincidence that the medium has been the only option for the last three rounds and Marc has somewhat struggled whilst Jorge has risen from the ashes. And Jorge's problems last season were almost directly attributed to the change in rubber. Ducatis woes during the Rossi tenure were mainly due to building a bike around very specific rubber, Marco Melandri cannot make the Bridgestones work. Tony Elias could not make the Bridgestones work, many a rider has always referenced the biggest learning curve in Motogp is adapting to the Bridgestones, usually citing a huge lack of feel.
In 2011 I remember a run of broken collarbones due to heat issues, forcing a change in supply
And I choose not to believe every word of massive multi national companies press releases.
I'm glad you believe your right, doesn't mean we all have to believe it too.

Total votes: 138

"1.5 extra tyres per session is f%*k all"

Do you know anything about racing? That's a huge boost! Most importantly it means that at least a couple of extra compound types of tire can be brought by each supplier every weekend.

"Marco Melandri cannot make the Bridgestones work"

Hello? He had a podium (nearly got a couple) with Hayate in 2009 and a few top 5's in 2009/2010 on BRIDGESTONE TIRES. His current woes are down to a lack of motivation as he stated that he wanted to stay in WSBK (again, common knowledge online) and God knows what else. You're blaming the tires? Seriously?

Toni Elias, yes he struggled somewhat but to be honest, he didn't do that well on Michelin's either apart from a few races. Have a look online to see the number of recent riders who say that adapting to the Bridgestone's isn't that big a deal as people say it is. Look at the Laverty brothers, Leon Camier, Pol Espargaro to name a few.

"Ducati woes during Rossi era down to tires" blah blah. Please provide some proof to back up this ludicrous statement.

In fact, everything you've said so far has been pure conjecture, I've backed up my statements with facts from cited sources.

Anyway, nothing else to say, it happened the way I said it has, you're way off. I don't think I've ever seen such a blinkered Michelin fan that needs to change what happened in the past to fit your point of view. I suggest you set your alarm clock for March next year so you don't have to witness the trauma of Bridgestone's final year in MotoGP.

Total votes: 158

that it has been reported about having issues with Bridgestone tires, it's Marco Melandri. Many times, in many articles, by many motorcycle scribes on many sites & in many magazines.

Total votes: 165

"Michelin were able to provide overnight specials to the best riders and teams who knew how to order them, and they were unbeatable."

Yes, they were unbeatable when Michelin got it right. But when they did not, especially 2007 on, it was horrendous. I personally usually only by Michelins for my own bike. When Rossi moved from Michelin to Bridgestone, everyone doubted him. But it turned out to be a masterstroke. So much so that in 2008 Dani Pedrosa made a move that no one saw coming. He moved in RACE SEASON to Bridgestone.

http://www.motogp.com/en/news/2008/08/31/pedrosa-switches-to-bridgestone...

That is how bad Michelin had gotten at that point. It was a tire war, but when one tire manufacturer starts to work better than the other at most circuits, then everything starts to go sideways and is no longer a focus on the championship. It starts to be about why someone as good as Pedrosa cannot win the championship, tires. With one tire manufacturer there is no room for that. There are no favorites. If the tires are falling off then they fall off for everyone. There is no preferential treatment. Tires being such a big factor causes alot of issues when they are working really well or not well at all.

Michelin and Bridgestone had the same amount of time to adjust to that new rule that cutoff the overnights from Michelin. Even though it is easier said than done they had time to make tires that worked over a wider spread of temperatures, but they were not able to during that time. Bridgestone was able to. Like Leanlikeme said Michelin worked within a smaller window of temperatures. There was probably a bunch of stuff going in the background to determine that. But in the end, Michelin shod teams were frustrated.

That is the only reason why I like it the way it is. There are no more reports of someone getting better tires than them because they are on the factory team and the one complaining is on a satellite team. Usually when one person has a problem a good deal of other racers have the same issue. It does even out the field as far as tires. That was it.

Total votes: 164

Your tyre arguement different than a bike or component argument? If someone is on a Factory Bike then that in the last 9 years has equated to the only chance of victory, not surprisingly the last time a satellite bike won it was during the tyre war without supply restrictions.

A purest would have all of the riders on the same bike with the same tyres, Brakes, electronics and even the same settings. But this is boring, the idea of this type of competition is the best of the best competing on the best equipment available, this should take place under a simple set of regulations freeing up innovation-which is for me better than large amounts of restriction designed to reduce cost whilst proving the opposite in reality.

Rossi jumped to Bridgestone because they were providing a much better tyre under the supply restriction, proving in 2008 that the rubber makes a very large difference, this argument is in no way is any different to today only its exacerbated with massive restriction on engine, fuel and chassis. For me 2015 has been so far decided by whether the hard, extra hard or medium options have worked or not for a particular rider, with no option available for the riders that don't gel. For me this seems far less fair than the days of overnight specials, at least back then the top teams had a choice....

Total votes: 159

is what I consider myself when it comes to racing of any form and as I've made clear. I'm not one for spec racing where only one brand of part(s) is used to construct the racing bike/vehicle. It's one of the main reasons I don't like NASCAR. Too damn many restrictions. I don't watch racing just to see who is simply the best racer. I watch to see who can build the best bike to fit their rider(s) and allow him to be his best. One spec part can make thatt very difficult. By stifling the amount of choices that can be made by using spec parts, you simple inhibit innovation, creativity and invention. I'm hopeful that in time, the control of the rules in MotoGP will continue to be taken from the manufacturers who simple make sure that the competition isn't complete so they can always dominate. Don't think that's a fact, as someone commented earlier on this article, when was the last time a non-factory bike didn't win. Rain or shine? Enough said.

The race fan in me would love to see the rules opened up to be nearly a run what ya brung series. However, the corner marshal/race control side of me knows that can't happen without bedlam occurring so there is a real need for some rules to keep the riders safe.

Total votes: 154

First off, it is not an argument. A statement of why I like the tire rules as is using facts from the past. I just got sick of hearing people say they cannot win because Michelin is better or Bridgestone is better. Now that everyone has the same tire that is no longer an issue. That is a fact barring tires that are defective or someone making a wrong decision on tire. I am entitled to like what I like. Not trying to get you to agree, in fact did not know it would even lead to all this. I am not a purist, never have been. Just a fan that enjoys the sport. So far this year has been entertaining under these rules IMHO.

Total votes: 138

https://scontent-cdg2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/t31.0-8/10465535_10153...

That image is a stack of tyres for the Nissan LMP1 car. It's front wheel drive so the small tyres are actually the rears. Now. Michelin supplies tyres to all four LMP1 manufacturers. And all cars want different tyres. Why is this not possible in MotoGP? Why must the tyre manufacturer decide what bikes the bike manufacturers have to build?

The amount of tyres that Michelin makes for these cars is so much more greater than the amount of tyres the bikes are gonna need. Especially because they hardly ever test. And yet they seem to have no problem at all designing specific tyres for specific cars.

A spec tyre is bad, tyre wars are even worse. Bespoke tyres are the best solution.

Total votes: 146

There is more return on investment with car racing, and significantly more car tire sales than motorcycle tire sales.

Total votes: 148

Be that as it may I still find it the best solution. I just want to get over the constant talking about tyres. I want to talk about bikes and riders.

Total votes: 145

this is a tyre topic. That's why people are discussing tyres.

Total votes: 144