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Tyres: Spare a thought for MotoGP

NEWS STORY
19/10/2013

In a historic move, riders in Sunday's MotoGP Australian Grand Prix will have to change bikes due to concerns over tyre safety.

As tyres continue to dominate Formula One; be it the likes of Force India suffering as the compounds are changed, races being turned on their heads due to failing tyres or drivers being told to hold back and conserve rubber, spare a thought for MotoGP this weekend.

In a move somewhat similar to what happened at Indianapolis in 2005 when only six cars started the race following fears raised by Michelin regarding the safety of its tyres on the Indianapolis circuit, Japanese manufacturer Bridgestone (the French company's then rival in F1) has expressed similar fears ahead of this weekend's MotoGP event at Phillip Island.

A new track surface has not only seen a dramatic increase in speeds but also contributed to excessive tyre degradation. As a result, Bridgestone was unable to guarantee the safety of its rear slicks beyond 10 laps.

In cooperation with Bridgestone, which has expressed its fears, organisers have reduced the length of the race in addition to ordering riders to make a mandatory pit stop during which they will change bikes.

"We have been notified by Bridgestone that they are unable to guarantee safety of their rear slick tyres beyond 14 laps," said Race Control in a statement. "This means that a bike/tyre change before lap 12 will require a second bike/tyre change to finish the race."

Then again, changing cars might be a means of spicing up the remaining races, especially if it included Sebastian Vettel having to jump into a Marussia or Caterham. And how about Jules Bianchi or Max Chilton in the RB9?

Update: With Bridgestone insisting that it could not guarantee the safety of its rear slicks beyond 10 laps, the race which had already been shortened by one lap to 26 was subsequently reduced to 19 laps.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ffracer, 26/10/2013 9:34

"The article does leave everyone, still smarting over F1's poor judgment at Indy, with nothing but admiration for MotoGP's leaders. The racers pitted before lap 12 and MotoGP's trademark closing lap passing frenzy was not compromised and everyone, and especially the fans, loved the show!

If only F1 put in that chicane before the Indy straight... Someone please correct me but wasn't the fiasco a result of Bridgestone (Ferrari) successfully arguing that Michelin teams would have gained an unfair tire temp advantage because of the chicane so the Bridgestone teams (Ferrari) wouldn't run?"

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2. Posted by eeyore, 20/10/2013 16:44

"It still doesn't contradict the stark difference in the response between MotoGP and F1......

And then they black-flag the championship leader because he missed the mandatory pit-stop window! When did F1 last black-flag any driver?"

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3. Posted by Editor, 20/10/2013 13:22

"The line you quote refers to the fact that as in 2005 when Michelin expressed fears regarding tyre safety so too in 2013 at Phillip Island Bridgestone has expressed fears....

It had absolutely nothing to do with MotoGP’s reaction."

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4. Posted by eeyore, 20/10/2013 13:16

""In a move somewhat similar to what happened at Indianapolis in 2005......"

Eh? the response of MotoGP is completely different!

MotoGP has reacted to a safety concern over Bridgestone's tyres by reducing the length of the race and mandatory tyre stops, in fact, they've bent over backwards to ensure some form of competitive race. Now compare that with F1's actions at Indianapolis in 2005: a refusal to modify the race or track in any way resulting in the withdrawal of the Michelin-shod runners and a cruise around the circuit for the "winners".

This is another clear indication that MotoGP cares much more for its fans that does F1."

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5. Posted by Paul C, 19/10/2013 16:31

"Red Bull would revive the 50's driver change rules and hand Vettel the third RB9. Webber would get the Caterham."

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