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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So far, the Michelin tests have been controversial at best.



Test riders have suffered major crashes due to an imbalance issue between the front and rear tires.

Today marks the first test with the top MotoGP riders, many of whom wound up crashing just like the test riders, in the same corners and situations.

Unfortunately, riders are unable to speak to the media due to previous contracts with Bridgestone. However, some spy cameras have captured a few moments that show how poorly it's going so far.



That's the first time Dovi's crashed the GP15 and one of only 2 bikes that exist today. EEK!!!!

crash.net said:
Michelin believe that the high-speed falls during Thursday's Sepang tyre test were caused by a difference in grip balance between the front and rear rubber.

Jack Miller (Turn 5), Aleix Espargaro (Turn 5), Jorge Lorenzo (Turn 3) and Andrea Dovizioso (Turn 3) all walked away from fast accidents.

The test was the first time that race riders have tried the prototype Michelins being developed for 2016, when the French company takes over the exclusive MotoGP deal from Bridgestone.

Speaking at Sepang, Michelin Racing's technical director Nicolas Goubert explained: “What we are lacking now is a good balance front and rear. How the tyres work together. Front and rear balance is something you hear a lot about in car racing, but you also get it in bikes.

“Basically the two accidents at Turn 3 for example were because riders opened [the throttle] probably a bit early. Maybe they wanted to take the most out of the rear grip and the front couldn't cope with opening so early.

“Some other riders, that didn't crash, said quite quickly that they couldn't use all the potential from the rear on the exit of the corner because the front is not at the right level yet.”

Goubert added that the grip imbalance may have been possible to solve with bike set-up changes, but such modifications cannot be made when trying to directly compare different tyre options.

“For me it's not only a tyre issue and some manufacturers' said straight away that they could work on the setting of the bike as well. They cannot do that today because we don't have time.

“So we said ok, for the future we will work on our side and with the test riders and they will work to adjust the set-up. We have a clear diction.”

Michelin brought two different front tyres and three different rear tyres. Goubert said that tyre endurance was not an issue, with the likes of world champion Marc Marquez completing a race simulation with consistent performance throughout.

Lap times were not available, but stopwatch times suggested most leading riders were able to lap in the 2m 1s. It is not thought that any rider broke the two-minute barrier.

The MotoGP riders had spent the previous three days at Sepang using Bridgestone rubber, when Marquez led the way with a lap time of 1m 59.1s during a 'time attack' and set an average of 2m 0.7s during a race simulation.
 

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Evidently Edwards wasn't pushing hard enough in his tests :D

That top picture is awesome though! lol...I assume it's Lorenzo's bike? It looks like it's just sitting there, but I'm guessing it was taken at the perfect time as it was flipping over. Either way that bike is fucked lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
More data about the first Michelin test coming in this evening:

Laptimes:

1. Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso, 2’00.1
2. Jorge Lorenzo, 2’01.0
3. Valentino Rossi, 2’01.8
4. Dani Pedrosa and Pol Espargaró, 2’01.9
5. Andrea Iannone, 2’02.1
6. Cal Crutchlow, 2’02.4

New images courtesy of Bike Sport News





Notice the grass on fire in the lower part of the image.



motogpmatters.com said:
Several riders went down heavily at Sepang on Thursday, destroying some expensive machinery into the bargain. Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso crashed in Turn 3, a fast and furious corner, Jack Miller and Aleix Espargaro fell at Turn 5, where the track drops away. Damage was extensive, Lorenzo's bike being almost completely written off, and Dovizioso's Ducati GP15 – the only one at his disposal – getting properly knocked about. As the two riders who crash least in the paddock, that Dovizioso and Lorenzo should go is rather worrying, and points to a serious problem. But then at this stage in tire development, that is exactly what is to be expected. Fortunately, everyone walked away from the crashes, though the same could not be said of their bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
More reading:

https://motomatters.com/analysis/2015/02/26/analyzing_the_michelin_tire_test_despite.html

motogpmatters.com said:
Michelin had brought a fair stack of tires for the riders to test. They were given four different front tires, and three different rears, with a focus on construction and profile rather than compounds. Compounds, Michelin boss Nicolas Goubert told Speedweek, will come at a later stage. For the moment, it was important to get the basic shape, strength and construction of the tires right. Tire sizes are all 17-inch, rather than the 16.5-inch tires used until now for the Bridgestones. The reasons for this are simple: Michelin feel the knowledge gained from using a standard size used in road tires will transfer more directly into production. Though the tire sizes are different, the outer diameter is exactly the same, the difference coming in the height of the sidewall.

The tires used at the test are more or less the same as Michelin have been testing since late last year, though they did bring a different profile for the front tire to the test. The old tire was more of a V shape, while the new tire is more rounded. The V profile was more agile in turning, but the rounder profile was more stable in braking. According to Michelin, the riders overwhelmingly preferred the new, rounder front.

Michelin told Speedweek that the general feedback was that grip from the rear was good, but this was causing problems with the front. This appears to have been the cause of the crashes, with all four crashes coming as riders get on the gas and start pushing the front. Finding they have more grip than expected at the rear, the riders start opening the throttle earlier and more each lap. At some point, the drive from the rear overwhelms the grip from the front, the front tire pushes, then lets go, and the rider goes down. Michelin attributed the crashes to an imbalance between front and rear grip.

Does this mean that the Michelins are inferior to the Bridgestones? Not necessarily. Normally, once the front starts to push, then a crew chief would start to modify set up, changing weight distribution, geometry, wheelbase to transfer grip from the rear to the front. Eventually, such changes would get passed on to the factory engineers, who will modify their designs to accommodate the different balance of the tires.

But this is not possible at the Michelin test, as the aim of the test was to evaluate tires, not chase set up. The first rule of testing, as in all forms of engineering and science, is to change one variable at a time. If the goal is to assess the performance of various tire construction and profiles, you leave the set up unchanged, and switch tires. Only then do you get a usable and consistent set of data. Track conditions might change as a result of the heat, but that is not a variable which you can control for. Everything else needs to stay the same.

The result was that Michelin got the data they need, but at a cost. They had hoped to avoid embarrassment, but broad coverage given to the crashes – the only thing the media were allowed to report on – do not make them look good. Because of the media blackout, the circumstances of the crashes are not being taken into account. Crashes were frankly inevitable, with tired riders chasing fast times, using a set up which had been optimized for a different brand of tire. There was no opportunity to work on the balance of the bikes or improve set up to handle the different characteristics of the Michelins, because the aim was to test tires, not set up.

Are Michelin to blame for the crashes? That would be very unfair. Michelin need to test with the factory riders, and they need to test as early as possible, to be ready for 2016. But scheduling a time and a place to do that testing is difficult and costly. Flying all of the teams to a circuit, with all of their equipment, then giving the riders a day or so to get up to speed would be expensive, so running the test on the last day of the Sepang test is a logical choice. Not necessarily a good choice, but one of the least worst available.

So what of the times being posted? Nothing official is available, and the different media outlets who were present failed to work together to produce a more reliable list, meaning that different sources show different times. Broadly, the times are comparable to those set on the Bridgestones, with Marc Márquez and Andrea Dovizioso posting 2:00.1 laps, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo clocked at 2:01.0, Dani Pedrosa on 2:01.5, Cal Crutchlow and Pol Espargaro doing high 2:01s, Bradley Smith low 2:02s. Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi did a couple of long runs, the pace averaging somewhere in the 2:01s.

What do any of those times mean? It is hard to draw firm conclusions from the times available. They were recorded by hand, and unlike at an official test with official timing, only a handful of laps were timed. There is not a complete list of every lap posted, to give a sense of what a race pace might be, and to draw up an order. But the times recorded suggest that the Michelins will be competitive with the times set on the Bridgestones, which is exactly what you would expect. Michelin will have used those times as a benchmark to beat. If they don't do that, they will look bad.

The results of the test also underline that different tire manufacturers have different concepts, and that these concepts remain unchanged over the years. When Michelin left MotoGP, their tires were praised for having masses of rear grip, but lacking the ultimate grip of the Bridgestone fronts. The spate of front ends washing out suggest that little has changed since 2008.

This also highlights the changes that will need to happen for 2016. Set ups will change, weight moving forward to assist front end grip, and create a better balance between front and rear. Riding styles will change too, riders moving their faith from the front tire to the rear, and using that to control the bike a little more. All these changes will make their way back to the factory racing departments, where engineers will try to improve mechanical grip front and rear. Modified frames and swing arms will travel back and forth between track and factory, in search of the best compromise. Suspension companies will pore over data, modifying internals to accommodate the different damping characteristics.

In other words, it is all going to cost an awful lot of money. Changing tire manufacturers is by far a bigger deal than the introduction of spec electronics. There will be winners, and there will be losers, some factories will get it right, and some will get it wrong, and take time to catch up again. My own personal thoughts? Don't bet against Honda. With the most money, the best brains, and the best rider in the world, they will surely be the factory to beat.
 

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Interesting lap times...quite the difference between some of the riders...especially between the Ducati guys since they're on the same bike. 2 seconds is a lot!

I wonder if maybe they weren't really pushing all the way.
 

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Well then those tires are junk. I'm sure Bridgestone is laughing now if they see the difference between their tires and Michelins is close to 2 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I loved Michelin's managers comments about the bikes needing to adjust for their new tires. All of the teams have spent years adapting to the Bridgestones, now they've gotta do it all over again. So annoying!

The new tires are also 17", not 16.5's like the Bridgestones. Michelin wouldn't join MotoGP unless they could do a direct comparison to street tires.
 

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Well then those tires are junk. I'm sure Bridgestone is laughing now if they see the difference between their tires and Michelins is close to 2 seconds.
I am sure that no one REALLY expected anything different for a first test.. Right?

Providing tires for these bikes is not an easy endeavor for any manufacturer..

Bridgstone laughing?
Perhaps we can show them some videos from not that long ago?
Tires falling apart.. And chunking..
Splitting races due to incompetence..
Racers using year old tires due to current crap and lack of trust in the current crop.. Michelin seems to only sort it out once they knew they were leaving.. Like a good kiss goodnight hoping that we do not remember their failures.

Early days for sure, But make no mistake..
Michelin will get better..
In my opinion anyhow..
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Providing tires for these bikes is not an easy endeavor for any manufacturer..
Not really. Bridgestones were good from day one, Ducati used them and won a championship with them. Rossi moved from his one off michelins to standard bridgestones and immediey went faster and won championships. Pirelli has vast experience with 16.5" tires and could have easily produced tires that work, like they did in F1, delivering faster laptimes then the bridgestones that came before.

Michelin is trying to change too much at once. You can't develop a new tire and new size at the same time. The chassis geometry of the machines is currently setup for the 16.5's. So moving to 17,s with a lot more sidewall (diameter/circumference is the same as the 16.5's.) is not smart.

Tires falling apart.. And chunking..
Splitting races due to incompetence..
Extreme high temps. I recall many years of Casey stoner on the Ducati kicking ass at PI on bridgestones without chunking tires. The michelins will do the same thing in the same conditions as seen by Pirellis chunking in sbk.

Early days for sure, But make no mistake..
Michelin will get better..
In my opinion anyhow..
No doubt... My question is... How many millions will the teams need to put into their bikes to make the new tires work.

In that sense only, I agree with rub.
 

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Most of the above examples were during the 800 era, to which.. The Bridgesones started and ended well..

Since the change to 1000cc?
Not so much.. Whether it is heat? Longevity? Chatter?
There was plenty of sorting and problems..

The change may provide an interesting shift though as well..
Just as Bridgestone, Stoner.. And the 800 Ducati showed in '07.
We may be seeing a bit of a shake up?
Doubt it.. But what the heck..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yea, if the riders are scared to push on the new tires... There may be a shake up.

Thou, marc didn't crash, so... Not much of a shake up at the top! Lol :D
 

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I am sure that no one REALLY expected anything different for a first test.. Right?

Providing tires for these bikes is not an easy endeavor for any manufacturer..

Bridgstone laughing?
Perhaps we can show them some videos from not that long ago?
Tires falling apart.. And chunking..
Splitting races due to incompetence..
Racers using year old tires due to current crap and lack of trust in the current crop.. Michelin seems to only sort it out once they knew they were leaving.. Like a good kiss goodnight hoping that we do not remember their failures.

Early days for sure, But make no mistake..
Michelin will get better..
In my opinion anyhow..
Good points indeed. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
 

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Good points indeed. I suppose we'll have to wait and see.
Yep..
And if I remember correctly? When Michelin was last in GP, their rears where really good.. And their fronts were not as good? Seems like a bit of the same now?

And in all fairness, throwing different tires on bikes that are chasing a set up to go with Bridgstones this close to the start of a season is a little wacky.. A one day test even?

Not like the teams are going to have real time in the garage or on the track to accomplish some serious work.

Expensive? Yep.. It will be for sure. It also seems like the true way to sort it out would be a 3 day test with all of the factory guys showing up.. Which will add an even greater expense on top of the tire development itself?
And when, once the season starts, would be good time to do just that?

Yes, the Factories will need to compensate in the future, and change their bikes to work with the new tires in a different way.. Especially in dealing with the weight distribution and overall balance.

I keep hoping that Gigi and the boys at Ducati have been thinking about this while sorting out the new GP15?

Yep.. Wait and see..
I still believe that Marc will be the rabbit, the one the dogs are giving chase to.. But behind him? It may get interesting..
 
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Good points, Freight... Michelin has been manufacturing race tires for @ least a half of a century, only a (edited) would think Michelin will not raise the bar in MOTOGP racing!! I optimistically look for track and lap times to be broken @ every event!!......
 

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Good points, Freight... Michelin has been manufacturing race tires for @ least a half of a century, only a (edited) would think Michelin will not raise the bar in MOTOGP racing!! I optimistically look for track and lap times to be broken @ every event!!......
Bob, gotta imagine those records will continue to be broken regardless of tire manufacturer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
And if I remember correctly? When Michelin was last in GP, their rears where really good.. And their fronts were not as good? Seems like a bit of the same now?
Yea, the front's weren't hard enough. The moment people switched over to the Bridgestones, the lap times dropped substantially because they felt more confident entering corners faster and carrying more corner speed.

There have been a lot of problems with the current Bridgestones, the number one being they cool down very fast. So unless you're pushing really hard, they can all of a sudden loose grip, like what happened to Jorge at the opening round in 2014.

It's early days though and Michelin will be taking home what they learned and probably developing another all-new tire to help combat some of those issues.
 

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Absolutely!! And as long as Marquez is racing!! He is continuing to get faster!!! (As I said years ago)....
 

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And a new line of Michelin Tires are already being tested in the US... At Homestead and NOLA so far!!!
 

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I loved Michelin's managers comments about the bikes needing to adjust for their new tires. All of the teams have spent years adapting to the Bridgestones, now they've gotta do it all over again. So annoying!

The new tires are also 17", not 16.5's like the Bridgestones. Michelin wouldn't join MotoGP unless they could do a direct comparison to street tires.
Since 1; I'll never ride a moto gp bike and 2; I like Michelin tires this may improve street tire even more. I'm interested in seeing big 17" improvements. Haven't they been using 16.5" wheels for 20 or so years now?
 
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