A little more effort and then it will be time for MotoGP holidays. Before a well-deserved rest, however, there is one of the most historic events in the world championship, the Dutch Grand Prix. Assen is back on the calendar after missing the appointment last season. Compared to 2019 there is an important novelty, because a new asphalt has been laid, which has never been tested by the protagonists of the premier class.
An additional unknown factor also for the Michelin technicians who, as expected by these cases, will therefore bring four solutions instead of the traditional three, as explained to Motorsport.com by the manager Piero Taramasso, who also analyzed the German Grand Prix last year. weekend, which saw the great return of Marquez to victory after the injury and 581 days of abstinence.
“The track has been completely resurfaced, but we have not had the opportunity to test with the new tread, so we will bring four specifications for both the front and the rear, in order to have a backup if necessary. specifies each rider will have three available both front and rear. We must also remember that in these cases they can use one more tire than the standard allocation, both for the front and for the rear “, said Taramasso.
In light of this, what choices have you made?
“As for the front, they are all symmetrical tires and the medium and soft are the same compounds as in 2019, while the hard is a bit stiffer. The fourth specification is an extra-hard one to use in case the new asphalt should generate very high temperatures and create great degradation. At the rear, on the other hand, they are all asymmetrical tires, harder on the right side which is the most stressed. Also in this case, the soft and medium are the same compounds as in 2019, while the dura is a bit softer in the central part to offer a little more grip in the braking phase. It is a choice we made knowing that there is also the extra-hard backup if there should be problems with the new asphalt “.
The weather forecast, however, does not seem too stable for the weekend …
“There is a bit of a risk of rain for Saturday and Sunday, even if the forecasts go towards an improvement with the passing of the days. But in Assen a sprinkle of rain can always be expected even when it is not in the forecast. because the weather can change quickly. We still wear our standard rain tires, symmetrical at the front and asymmetrical at the rear, in a medium and soft compound, so we are calm if it rains. “
This weekend there will also be some news regarding the MotoE, which will race in Assen for the first time …
“We will carry the same tire specifications as we did in previous races, but there will be a change in the allocation. The riders will have five front tires and five rear tires at their disposal, but only four of these will be new. The fifth will be the one that is available. they used in the E-Pole of the previous race, which in fact has only three laps of life, of which only one launched. This is a choice made with a view to sustainability, so as not to waste tires that have only done a few laps ” .
Taking a step back from last weekend, you had to deal with higher than expected temperatures at the Sachsenring, but that wasn’t a problem …
“The Sachsenring is a demanding circuit for the tires, one of the toughest together with Phillip Island. The characteristic is that the tires get very hot on the left side and the high temperatures do not help. Last weekend we had the asphalt always close. at 50 degrees and this could have put them in crisis, but it went quite well. In terms of choices, almost all of them used the hard front and the medium at the rear. The latter was the most performing and was also the one that guaranteed the most consistency on the race distance. From the first day there were few doubts and from the data we saw that it was the right choice for the race “.
Despite the heat, the tires guaranteed a great consistency of performance …
“The race was not super spectacular, but at the Sachsenring it is difficult to overtake. But it is important for us to note that Marquez, Oliveira and Quartararo have managed to keep their times very consistent, with a gap of just about eight tenths of a second between their best lap. and the worst. Over a distance of 30 laps and on a circuit like Sachsenring it is a good performance for us. Then we did not set the distance record, which remained the 2017 one, but Marquez set a race time better than that of 2019, although there was also a few drops of rain. And for us it is also important that three different bikes have been on the podium and that all the brands are in the top 10, because it means that our tires work well on all motorcycle”.
The other important news of the weekend was Marquez’s return to victory …
“Everyone liked it and then Marc deserves it, because he had a bad injury and worked hard to get back. Sachsenring is a track he has always liked, then it allowed him to push on the ‘good’ shoulder. for the best for him and, even if both him and the bike are not yet at 100%, I believe that from now on we will continue to see him closer to the best. “
In the race it was particular what happened to Pecco Bagnaia, who said he took 6-7 laps to get the rear tire working correctly and then in the second part of the race he was among the fastest. How do you explain this situation to yourself?
“In part it could be a question of somewhat conservative pressures, but I think it is more linked to the fact that Pecco was in traffic in the very early stages of the race. In some cases it is enough to be even a couple of tenths slower and at that point he can it takes longer to get the tires up to temperature. This can happen, but I must say that even in his analysis he did not complain against the tire. In his first laps he did twice 1’23 “1 and then 1 ’22 “8, in the lead instead they did 1’22” 9, 1’22 “2 and 1’22” 1. The difference is huge and I really think it was this that cost him so much, because the tires need to be stressed a lot to be brought up to temperature. “
Over the weekend he also discussed a statement from Valentino Rossi, who spoke of soft tires and therefore not very suitable for his set-up and driving style starting from 2019. What can you tell us about it?
“I honestly can’t go too far into the merits of the set-up, because I don’t know exactly what they do on the bikes, what I know for sure is that Valentino prefers a more stable bike, which doesn’t move too much, therefore stiffer casings and compounds. . So what he said can fit. It was only inaccurate when he said we changed the tires in 2019, because they were still the same as in 2018. We only changed them in 2020 and now they are still the same. that Valentino can’t go fast with Michelin tires I always remember that he was second in the World Championship in 2016 and third in 2018, he made some victories and podiums. Then from 2019 he actually started to struggle more, but the tires were always those of 2018. Maybe it’s Yamaha that took a different direction at that moment. “