Michelin New Front Tire Delays Motogp Bike Development

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The recent time this year has put MotoGP to the test in many ways. In response to recent times, the MSMA has decided to discontinue the engine and aerodynamics for this year and to limit costs in times of uncertainty. This did a lot to reduce costs, but when the world adapted to recent times and it became clear that a global economic crisis had been averted, development budgets began to rise again. Especially since people began to use the money, because travel restrictions prevented them from spending the holidays buying new motorcycles and accessories.

With the development of the frozen engines, the MotoGP engineers considered finding advantages in other areas. The factories are betting on Holeshot devices introduced at the end of this year and until this year, turning them from devices that are used only at the beginning into height-adjustable devices that are used throughout the race to improve acceleration and cornering exit. Higher speeds when leaving the turn meant higher speeds on the straight and thus higher braking forces.

This also affected Michelin’s development program. Since this year, Michelin has been working on a new front tire with more support to improve cornering stability and brakes. The tire has been tested this year and further tests are planned this year to complete the development before its release in. However, since this year’s schedule and the test schedule were completely rewritten, this idea had to be abandoned.

As promised by a return to normality (taking into account the end time and the war), this may have been the season when work on the front tire was resumed. However, the development of MotoGP motorcycles over the past two seasons has forced a change in the way of thinking, as the design parameters have evolved.

“We are always working at the front,” Michelin boss Piero Taramasso said when I spoke to him at the MotoGP tests in Sepang. “We will make some adjustments and the tests will be done at the end to introduce them this year.”The addition of aerodynamic and braking forces had changed the requirements for the front tire.

“Basically, it is delayed because we are working on improving temperature and pressure control. Now, if you have slipstream, the front tire is prone to overheating. So we are working on controlling this upper point.”The behavior of MotoGP motorcycles has changed a lot in recent years,” Taramasso said.

“In the last two seasons we have noticed that the bikes are changing, the ailerons are becoming more and more important for the front and the riders are braking very, very hard. So the load is changing, so we had to change the development to adapt it.”Since the front tire is exposed to higher loads, the front tire should offer even more grip.

The stronger front end was originally intended to help Honda and KTM, as motorcycles required more of the front when braking. But with the redesign of the RC213V to shift the weight distribution further to the rear, the Honda relies less on the front tire for its lap time. The bike has more grip at the rear and therefore more cornering and the possibility of using the rear tire for braking.

The development of the front tire may be delayed until this year, but Michelin will continue the development of a new rear tire before the end of the season. “We have news, a backlog of questions,” Taramasso told Sepang. MotoGP riders had already tested the tire and brought it to Sepang for further tests. “We already tested this material last year in Barcelona, Misano, Jerez. It is a new solution for improving heating and improving edge adhesion. If this solution works, we will try it again this season. It could hit the market by the end of next year.”

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