The rain has changed the face of the Austrian MotoGP Grand Prix in the final laps, offering a stoic Brad Binder the chance to go on to win for the second time in the premier class, taking the risk of continuing on slick tires when the track has started getting wet. A real feat destined to remain in the history books of MotoGP according to the Michelin manager, Piero Taramasso, who underlined how the KTM rider probably managed to go beyond what was the limit allowed in those conditions.
The second race weekend held on the Red Bull Ring therefore gave positive ideas to the French company, which, however, concluded the double weekend at Spielberg without hiding that it was not entirely satisfied, because some riders had difficulties even during the BIS. And the doubt is that the specific rear construction for Austria, designed to keep the temperatures lower, proved to be a bit too selective, complicating the set-up work.
“The second Grand Prix in Austria gave a good race, with the rain at the end giving a little more show. It was a long time that we hadn’t seen on the same podium as the riders who had finished the race with both slicks and In terms of performance we can be happy, because seven drivers have fallen below the 2020 record, “Taramasso told Motorsport.com.
“In addition, during FP4, when lapping with a full tank and in race conditions, there were 19 riders within eight tenths of a second. This means that the tires adapt well to all the bikes and that the battle is always The new hard front tire, which we introduced in place of the one that Miguel Oliveira had problems with in the Styrian Grand Prix, also worked well: it was used by several riders in the race, with positive feedback, “he added. .
It almost seems that now a but …
“Up to here they were the positive notes, but I’m not completely satisfied, because it went better than the first race, but there were still some complaints about the tires: Valentino found a wrong tire in qualifying, Bagnaia didn’t have the right feeling even though he still managed to set a time from the front row. After the race, I talked to Miller and he too hadn’t found the feeling on Sunday. That’s why I’m not satisfied, but we took what happened very seriously. all the data to understand where this problem comes from “.
Can these difficulties be related to the specific construction you use at the Red Bull Ring?
“In Austria we use this carcass designed to maintain the lowest temperatures and it probably proved to be too extreme and selective, because it is also coupled with very rigid compounds. Let’s not forget that the soft we had in Austria is used as hard in Mugello or Portimao. . We call it soft to differentiate it from the others in the weekend but, given the track configuration and the tendency to raise the temperature, we are forced to use these rigid compounds, which probably coupled with this construction that helps to keep the temperatures, makes it difficult to make the most of them. However, we are studying all the data to understand where these problems come from “.
After the first race, you had come to the conclusion that there were no structural defects in the tires used in the race by Bagnaia and Marini, while you were still continuing to investigate that of Marc Marquez. Are there any news from this point of view?
“We are still working on it. Both we and Honda have analyzed the data at our disposal. We had a first meeting and for the moment we have not identified an obvious problem. So we will go deeper with other data to see if we find anything abnormal. . The doubt remains, but we do not have all the data available, we only have access to some channels. We will therefore have to meet again with Honda to try and clarify. “
Wanting to look at a positive side of the weekend, those who continued with the slicks until the end seemed very satisfied with the grip offered by the tires even in wet conditions …
“That is a positive aspect, but it is not a surprise to us. We have already seen in the past that our slick compounds are able to work as long as they are hot, at least until puddles of water begin to form on the asphalt. . Already in our last experience in Formula 1, up to 2006, we happened to have a bit of advantage in situations like this compared to our competitors. Our drivers could start with slicks even on a wet track, logically raising the the pressures and temperatures of the tire warmers, however, the performance was really good. So let’s say it’s something that is part of our DNA “.
Brad Binder’s feat, who won by staying on slicks, gave the feeling of having been a bit underestimated. In your opinion, did his performance in the final laps go beyond the limits offered by the tires and the track?
“He did a masterpiece, hats off. As I said, our compounds can also work in the wet, but after two or three laps there was a lot of water on the asphalt. Without forgetting that in these conditions both the rubber and the brakes they have a tendency to cool down, so he has shown that he has real skills as a tightrope walker. I think he went beyond the limit, it took his own to take this victory home. The gap on the others who continued with the slick was huge, so I think his feat will remain in MotoGP history. By the way, in the rain he is usually not one of those riders like Marquez, Miller or Petrucci, who you see that they are quite at ease , so in this case he has really surpassed himself. Maybe the desire to let KTM win in Austria gave him that extra motivation to keep pushing and doing this feat. “
Let’s now move on to the next appointment, what can you tell us in view of the British Grand Prix?
“Last year we didn’t race at Silverstone due to the pandemic. The last time we were there, two years ago, there was a new asphalt that offered a lot of grip, plus it was very hot. This year we expect a a little less grip on the track, as is normal when a tread ages. The most important novelty will therefore be the rear construction that we introduced last year, which will be used for the first time on this track. “
In terms of compounds, what kind of choices did you make?
“As for the rear, they are the same as we had used in 2019, because they performed well two years ago and therefore we are proposing them again combined with this 2020 carcass evolution. Moving on to the front, we confirmed the soft and medium, while we decided to replace the hard. What we had brought at the time was an anti-wear compound, designed for the abrasiveness of a new asphalt, which had not been used. Having understood that it is not necessary, we decided to propose a standard hard tire , which is the same as we had in the last race in Austria “.
Usually in Silverstone the weather is an important variable, also remembering that in 2018 there was no racing due to the rain. What indications do you have in this regard?
“At the moment it seems that we will escape the danger of rain, even if the temperatures should not be very high. Silverstone is a track to respect, which has many fast corners, but we believe that the compounds we will bring will be able to cover all weather conditions. Even in case of rain, we propose our standard rain, symmetrical at the front and asymmetrical at the rear “.