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The Difference Between Bridgestone And Michelin In Motogp

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MCN posted an interview with Andrea Dovizioso about the transition from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres. Dovi posted a pic of the 2 pages on twitter here.

 

Since it's pretty hard to read, I transcribed here for everyone's reading interest:

 

 

IF THE FIRST pre-season test at Valencia in November confirmed one thing, it was that Michelin's new tyres would require a different style of riding as well as quite a different set-up. As stacks of cracked carbon fibre amassed in pit garages, riders were still beginning to understand just what was needed to extract the maximum from the new tyres.

 

At the end of 2015, there was a clear contrast between Michelin's new batch of tyres and the Bridgestones that had gone before. The Michelin front was found wanting where the Bridgestone excelled, while the French firm's rear had plenty of grip - the opposite of the Bridgestone.

Michelin's front and rear tyres have since gone through several evolutions, ensuring the differences are now less marked, but a slightly different riding style is still necessary. Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso explained - with the aid of a felt pen - to MCN Sport.

"The first point is that with the Bridgestones everybody had to brake hard" says Dovizioso. "It was the way to go fast. The set-up and the line was made for the braking."

"The second point is that the rear grup with the Bridgestone was never the best so you had to create your own grip. With the Michelins the base of the grip is better so the line has to be more flowing, smooth and wide because you have the grip to do that. With the Bridgestones you didn't have the grip, so you had to cut [square] the corner off. When you have grip you can spend more time with the bike leant over.

"How the front Michelin absorbs the stress and the movement is not as good as the Bridgestone. So all the movement you create has to be softer and smoother because if you move quickly, you loose grip. It can be more sensitive to bumps too, and when you release the brake or touch the throttle, it has to be more smooth.

"You are braking a little bit sooner with the Michelin mainly because of the line [see doodle]. With the Bridgestone you never really had a problem with the front locking whereas sometimes, yes, there is some with Michelins.

"Another point is that you can use the rear grip to stop the bike, while with Bridgestone it wasn't possible because it didn't have the same grip on the rear. So my style is to use the rear grip quite a lot because it has the grip, to slow down the bike."

From a crew chief's perspective setting up a MotoGP machine in 2016 is different too. Christophe Bourguignon, crew chief to Cal Crutchlow says:

"With Bridgestone you could really set up your bike to do the hard braking. Ok, you were lacking rear grip but you could say, 'Forget that. We're going to gain some tenths on braking in every corner. Let's make the bike as stable as possible' You showed your rider you could make the time up and then you focused on doing that. We cannot do that with the Michelin. The margin for error is smaller, meaning you will crash.

"We're not setting up the bike like it's a hard braking bike. We're setting it up so they can brake more in a straight line and release the brake so they have a little bit more corner speed to get a good exit. Befure we would set the bike up to do a 'V' line. That suited the Honda really well: late braking, off throttle as long as possible, turn the bike, pick up the bike and drive out of the corner.

"Most of the riders have understood that and changed their style. Probably some have a better bike for the Michelins. The Suzuki, for example, was already like a floating, good handing bike. Their riders didn't have t change their riding style a lot. Neither did the Yamahas. The Honda bike was built for hard braking, a 'V' line and exit."

"In fast corners and changes of direction the line is the same. The only difference is that with Bridgestone you could cut across the white line through the curve much easier with no scary consequences. You had to cut it because most of the time the white line and the kerb gave you better grip. With the Michelins you can't use the white line at most of the tracks. The line is the same with both tyres. The only point is that when you cut the kerb, you could be very aggressive with the Bridgestone. This year some tracks is was possible but not like before [because the grip is different].

 

Enjoy!

 

/Kai

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Thanks Kai;

Sport Rider has just posted a similar interview, this one with Marc Marquez at the summer break. It's an interesting read as he talks about his adjusting his riding style away from Win it or Bin it and how this change has placed him in an enviable position atop the standings. The last section however is on his perspective on the change from Bridgestones to Michelins.

 

I'll give Dorna credit, they know how to keep fan interest at a high level in this sport and changing tire manufacturers requires a massive reset every time they do it.

 

Kevin

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Think we'll ever see Dunlop become a MotoGP control tire supplier?

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When Bridgestone announced that they were stopping as supplier for MotoGP, Dorna sent out a request for bids to the tire manufacturers. Only one manufacturer replied: Michelin.

 

Sounds to me that Dunlop isn't interested in getting into MotoGP since they are so heavily involved in Moto3 and Moto2.

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You should check out the Tire decals on the Moto2 and Moto3 Bikes

Ah! I don't watch those much. I see the hightlights and they are exciting races for sure.

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Jaybird;

If you have access to BeinSports on your cable, you should really take another look. Considering the time most Moto3/2/GP races occur, it is usually easier to just record the full broadcast (4 hours with commercials only between races) and watch them when you can. I finished watching the 3 and 2 races yesterday and they were simply amazing; no less intense or competitive that the GP series. I'm still struggling to understand the constructors side of these classes (I thought that Mahindra was a tractor manufacturer and Kalex' is totally lost on me) although I did learn that Moto2' all use the same Honda 600cc engine.

 

I had a limited interest in these "lesser" classes but once I started watching these races with both eyes, I was hooked. You might take a closer look. It would be good to see what you think. And to Kai, didn't you love MM'S effort to get on the podium?

 

Kevin

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Jaybird;

If you have access to BeinSports on your cable, you should really take another look. Considering the time most Moto3/2/GP races occur, it is usually easier to just record the full broadcast (4 hours with commercials only between races) and watch them when you can. I finished watching the 3 and 2 races yesterday and they were simply amazing; no less intense or competitive that the GP series. I'm still struggling to understand the constructors side of these classes (I thought that Mahindra was a tractor manufacturer and Kalex' is totally lost on me) although I did learn that Moto2' all use the same Honda 600cc engine.

 

I had a limited interest in these "lesser" classes but once I started watching these races with both eyes, I was hooked. You might take a closer look. It would be good to see what you think. And to Kai, didn't you love MM'S effort to get on the podium?

 

Kevin

I DVR Bein. I often FFWD Moto2/3 and the KTM cup though. I like to follow the stories of the racers more than the actual races themselves. I like to see the drama unfold both on and off track. After Speedvision went under it took me awhile to find out about Bein and I'd missed several years' worth of racing. I also need to tune my DVR as I often miss the MotoGP season, so I'm kinda lost on what's going on there. Typically my DVR catches MotoAmerica and WSBK/WSS.

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Kevin,

 

My life is a bit hectic atm. I was 33,000' above Silverstone at the time of the race this weekend, and only got to watch it on my itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny laptop monitor* Tuesday evening.

 

But seven different winners in seven consecutive races is a mouthful. I would have expected this in the beginning of the season, but not now. Why now?

Mav totally deserved that victory btw. MM clearly went into "win it or bin it mode" but it was a great battle for them and us as spectators.

 

*) Nope, it's neither yellow nor dotted.

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...not to mention 4 different constructors in the same span. It is also amazing that Suzuki was able to develop such a competitive bike so quickly once they decided to return to MotoGP racing. I hope that Aprilia can do the same.

 

Kevin

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