MotoGP tires: Michelin is looking for solutions to overheating tires and rider crashes

Author of the article: , published September 12, 2023.

The French manufacturer and supplier of tires in the MotoGP class, Michelin, offered the teams at the tests in Misano a new model of tires that should be more resistant to the increasing loads due to the aerodynamic accessories on the motorcycles.

The current tires are not up to the stress, so there is overheating when racers go after each other, and front tire skids that end with racers crashing. This is how Michelin tested the new front tire in Misano. For the first time since 2018, the French tire manufacturer has changed both the construction itself and the rubber compound, which has a slightly (one millimeter) larger volume, and the tire profile itself is rounder and thus larger than the current tire.

But the racers will use the new tires in races only in the 2025 season, as they are still in the development phase, and should then offer a better feeling when driving through corners, and better tolerate braking.

Michelin introduced tire pressure benchmarks as a quick fix to the problems, but with some teams ignoring the recommendations, a tire pressure measurement system was introduced this season, and since Silverstone, only this system is now fully automated. In the last two races, two racers, Dani Pedrosa and Maverick Vinales, have already been cautioned due to low tire pressure, and as a result there have been increasingly loud calls to improve the tires and that is exactly what Michelin is striving for. "Motorcycles put a lot of stress on the tires, so we have to prepare harder tire compounds," explained Piero Taramasso, Michelin's sports director.

The current hard tire compound will be used as medium hard in the future, and in addition to it, a new hard compound will be developed at Michelin. The racers who tested the tires were satisfied with them. "The feeling is positive, the compound is somewhere between medium hard and hard," said Augusto Fernandez, and his feelings were also confirmed by Luca Marini: "I tested the new front tire in the morning. It was somewhere between medium hard and hard and the feeling was not bad. They are on the right track, but we have to test it in other conditions, but the tire is good. Michelin is working in the right direction.”

Ahead of the introduction of new compounds in 2025, Taramasso is prepared for criticism from racers. "The tires are what they are, so the teams will have to develop the engines in such a way that they are adapted to the tires. We bring them tires and they have to find solutions to make them work well. Some do better than others, and some teams have found solutions. Some racers never complain, while others complain all the time," added the Italian.

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