Tire Problems Plague MotoGP
Last week’s Argentinian Grand Prix was riddled with tire problems that resulted in the race being shorten from 25 laps to 20 laps. This was an attempt by race control to reduce tire wear and improve overall safety for the competitors. Loris Baz, who is 6’3” and Scott Redding, who is 6’0” both suffered rear tire failures that could have resulted in serious injury. Baz and Redding are among the tallest and heaviest competitors in MotoGP.
Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi believes that Ducati shares a roll in responsibility when it comes to the Michelin tire failures that are affecting the taller and heavier riders. “Taller rider and a little bit more heavy like Baz and Redding. I’m also quite tall, but also a little bit less [heavy], but especially it is the bike, I think. It is the taller rider with the bike.” Rossi went on to explain that the Yamaha set up is able to deal with the weight of a taller, heavier rider better than the Ducati. “During all of the winter testing and also during the race in Qatar, and in the test at Sepang and also Phillip Island in Argentina, with the Yamaha, we never had problems.”
Michelin is currently investigating the tire issues that seem to be taking place with Ducati. Rossi remains concerned that future tire problems will spell trouble for MotoGP, “I hope that other bikes – in this case the Ducati- can fix the problem,” he added.