News 17 Oct 2017

Rear tyre problem puts Pedrosa out of Japanese grand prix

Repsol Honda team yet to determine bizarre tyre issue.

Source: Supplied.

A bizarre rear tyre issue at Motegi’s grand prix on Sunday forced Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa to retire after he dropped below a points paying position, with the team yet to determine exactly what went wrong.

The Spaniard said he tried everything to make the bike work, but with the difficult and wet conditions, he opted to pull the pin rather than suffer a potential crash.

It’s understood podium placer Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati) used the same Michelin tyre option, leaving Pedrosa clueless as to why he experienced issues.

“It isn’t clear what happened with the rear tyre today in the race,” said Pedrosa. “At the beginning the rear tyre spun a lot and I lost a lot of traction which prevented me from opening the throttle on the straight.

“This issue continued to persist and halfway through the race it became worse and worse. I tried everything to make the bike work but it was almost impossible to ride in these conditions. I lost so much time and when I finally dropped out of the points I took the decision to retire, rather than crash.

“With so much water on track I didn’t expect to have problems with the extra soft rear tire and in fact Petrucci used the same one and he ended up on the podium. We will study together with Michelin the data and try to avoid it from happening again.”

The number 26 currently sits fourth in the standings as the MotoGP World Championship heads to Phillip Island for Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix this weekend.