News 5 Apr 2016

Rider safety paramount for Michelin in MotoGP debacle

Race winner Marquez stands by new control tyre supplier.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Michelin has addressed its rear tyre issues from last weekend’s second round of the MotoGP World Championship at Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina, with a post-race statement made by the new control tyre supplier.

Following a failure of Scott Redding’s rear tyre during Saturday and the subsequent decision to withdraw both rear tyres from the weekend’s proceedings, heavy overnight rain meant the riders couldn’t test the extra tyre that was to be introduced.

A further decision between Michelin, Dorna and IRTA was then taken to make the race a two stage event on safety grounds. The riders were allowed to use the tyres that they had tested all weekend, but a mandatory rule was made that they had to pit after nine, 10 or 11 laps and change to another bike with the same spec tyres.

The distance was also reduced to 20-laps to accommodate the extra safety measures. Nicolas Goubert, deputy director, technical director and supervisor of Michelin’s MotoGP program commented on the situation.

“I would first like to thank Dorna, IRTA and all the teams for the understanding and assistance in what has been a very challenging couple of days for us,” explained Goubert.

“The decision we took with Race Control with the introduction last night of the extra tyre was the right one for rider safety and the change to the schedule to accommodate another practice session was also the best solution. Unfortunately the weather intervened and we had to make further alternative plans.

“As always the rider’s safety is our paramount concern and we wanted to do everything in our power to make sure that this afternoon’s race went ahead without any incidents. As it happened we were treated to a very exciting race.”

Repsol Honda’s dual MotoGP World Champion and eventual race winner Marc Marquez said it was the right decision made by organisers and Michelin: “This weekend was a special one for the tyres and I completely understand what happened. For every manufacturer it is difficult to understand every new circuit, especially one with a difficult surface.

“We had some troubles with the tyres, plus the rain this morning, so it made everything more difficult. I think Michelin did a big effort and they chose the right decision to make two races in one, because safety is a big point.

“I believe in Michelin because they are working really hard and making a big effort and I totally understand what they are doing and that they are working hard to give us the best quality.”