KTM tyre degradation made Sachsenring feel like “dirt track”

KTM rider Pol Espargaro says he had to ride in the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring as if he was on a "dirt track" due to an unusually high amount of tyre degradation.

KTM tyre degradation made Sachsenring feel like “dirt track”

Espargaro qualified promising eighth at the Saxony track, but couldn't stay in the top 10 in the race and finished 12th, his second-worst result of the season.

He said that he was sliding so much that at the penultimate corner of the track he felt like he was riding on a "dirt track", and that his tyre only lasted half the 30-lap race distance.

"Corner 12, before the last corner I was doing dirt track, I was sideways from the moment I was touching the throttle until I was hitting the kerb and then when I was hitting the kerb the bike start to move a lot," explained Espargaro.

"It was something not normal in our bike. I don't say that it is a Michelin problem, but it is something that we have done not good.

"This tyre doesn't fit well in this race, or we have done something wrong on the setup or whatever, but something not normal in this race.

"For us, feels like this tyre was for a 15-lap race. After 15 laps the tyre was completely destroyed, then from [lap] 15 to 20 I could manage doing not a good pace but 1m22s highs, 1m23s lows, where I should be doing 1m22s lows.

"But then, after lap 20, the tyre was completely done, super degradation, nothing on it."

Espargaro highlighted that Hafizh Syahrin, the only other KTM finisher in Germany as both Johann Zarco and Miguel Oliveira crashed out, faced similar issues.

"It worries me because also Syahrin had very similar problem which is not normal because is another KTM," he said.

"It was something very rare, not normal for sure, not normal progression of wasting of the tyre. We will need to study what is going on.

"The thing is, that it was not due that I was just smashing the tyre, and burning the tyre because we check the data of the tyre and the temperature was very constant during all the race which helps a lot the tyre to stay constant on grip until the end.

"But even like that we lose the grip too early in the race compared to the others, to my brother [Aleix] on the Aprilia or for sure Suzuki, they have a huge grip or even Ducatis, they had the drop but not as much as us."

Espargaro's teammate Zarco crashed at Turn 3 on the third lap, the Frenchman also reporting lack of stability with his KTM.

"The beginning of the race, it was not possible to too much keep the bike stable overall on the brake because of this low grip level," said Zarco.

"I was controlling and try to not do too many mistakes and even like that it's a shame, in Turn 3, coming to the corner and maybe too much leaning. I have closed the front, Oliveira did it just the lap before.

"It was limit and it is shame because I was in the points that was the target and I really was thinking that the pace can be constant all the race."

Additional reporting by Juliane Ziegengeist

Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Rossi: I can't blame my age for current slump

Previous article

Rossi: I can't blame my age for current slump

Next article

Binder to step up to MotoGP with Tech 3 in 2020

Binder to step up to MotoGP with Tech 3 in 2020
Load comments
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021