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MotoGP riders want to try harder tyre, but not in race weekend

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MotoGP riders want to try harder tyre, but not in race weekend
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Apr 14, 2017, 3:57 PM

Leading MotoGP riders still want to try the harder-specification front tyre that went unused in Argentina, but not during a race weekend.

Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing Michelin tyre post race
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Michelin tyres
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, crash
Polesitter Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Michelin had prepared a new specification of front tyre for the Termas de Rio Honda event with a stiffer carcass, following some riders' request for harder rubber after the Qatar season opener.

However, a general strike in Argentina prevented these reaching the track until Friday evening, at which point it was unanimously decided by riders in a Safety Commission meeting not to use the new tyre.

Despite being among those who requested a harder front, LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow said Michelin chose a particularly bad weekend to try and bring in a new tyre.

Riders were already required to do a five-lap run using the hard compound rear during one of the two practice sessions on Friday, which he said had turned the day's running into a "tyre test."

"Some guys have said, 'Can you bring something harder?', and I'm one of those guys," Crutchlow confirmed. "Eight guys said in the last race [in Qatar] the front tyre was too soft.

"But they've brought it at the wrong race. We had a rear tyre we had to do five laps on, we had four front tyres, and in the end Friday was a complete tyre test. You get absolutely nothing done all day.

"That's the reason why the riders in the Safety Commission decided not to run it.

"It's good of Michelin to be able to bring it, and good of them to react fast to some comments, I have to give them credit for that because it's not easy. Maybe it wasn't feasible to use it here."

No safety need for new tyre

Marc Marquez clarified that the riders had agreed not to use more than three types of tyre per race, and the fact there was no requirement on safety grounds to introduce a fourth led to it being shelved.

"The thing was that the rules say normally we will have three front tyres and three rear," said the Spaniard. "We cannot have more, or less.

"For some reason Michelin brings this extra tyre in the front, and then we speak a bit in the Safety Commission, why do we have this tyre. Even race direction didn't know.

"There was no need for safety to use this new tyre with a different character. For that reason it's better to try it in a proper test, after Jerez or something like this."

Nevertheless, Marquez stressed that he remains keen to try out the new tyre, as he believes it could be a good fit for his riding style if it allows him to be stronger on the brakes.

"Looking at the data, what they say to us, this new tyre that got cancelled could be better for my riding style because it's stronger, it can be better on the braking points," added Marquez. "I want to try it.

"But the point is the time to change the tyre, and in the end we followed the rules."

Additional reporting by Federico Faturos

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Cal Crutchlow Shop Now , Marc Marquez Shop Now
Author Jamie Klein