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MotoGP mutterings: Catalunya

THE MICHELIN MYSTERY SOLVED :oops:

How come the two hottest races of the year have been won by a rider using the softest front and rear tyres available?

At Mugello the track temperature was 51deg C and at Catalunya it was 45deg C. In such conditions, most riders would usually opt for the hardest compounds available, but MotoGP is far from usual these days.

“When it’s very hot you think you need to go harder and harder with the tyres, but it’s not like this anymore,” explained Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaró. “Last year [Johann] Zarco chose the soft rear on many super-hot race days, so the rest of us said, no way will he finish the race, but in fact he finished on the podium!

“I don’t have an explanation, but I think it’s something like this. When the track temperature increases, the grip improves and keeps improving, to a certain level. Then once the track gets hotter than around 40 degrees the grip starts to decrease, so when the track temperature is very high, you once again need the soft compound that you usually only use in cool conditions. The grip is less so you need softer tyres, because the tyre isn’t grippìng the track.”

In fact, most teams are finally getting the hang of the Michelin mystery. Despite the 45deg C track temperature on Sunday at Catalunya, all but four riders chose the soft rear slick, while more than half the grid chose the soft front slick. Alongside Lorenzo on the podium were Valentino Rossi, who also chose soft/soft, and Márquez, who chose hard/hard, because that’s what his riding technique and his machine demand. Could this be a problem for the world champion?

MotoGP is far from usual these days.
Michelin’s motorcycle racing manager Piero Taramasso revealed plenty of interesting information at Catalunya. Riders like Dani Pedrosa and Maverick Viñales are struggling partly because they don’t get enough heat into the tyres during the warm-up lap. Taramasso requests riders to ride the warm-up lap at no less than 95 per cent of full speed to bring the tyres towards peak temperature and grip for the start of the race.

Riders are now allowed to preheat their tyres to 100deg C, instead of the usual 90deg C, to help with this issue. They are also allowed to increase pressure by ten per cent before short, fast runs, to generate more heat and grip. But this wouldn’t be a good idea for a race tyre.

Taramasso also confirmed Crutchlow’s post-Mugello comments about his front tyre overheating while riding in a group, due to the heat coming from rival machines. “We can see it clearly on the data,” he said. “There is less cool air when you are riding in a group, so the tyre pressure increases and you lose grip.”

Riders tested a new-profile Michelin front during Monday’s tests at Catalunya. The tyre has a revised profile to increase edge grip, which should allow riders to brake deeper into corners. But the tyre cannot be raced until 2019. After last year’s midseason change of front-tyre construction flummoxed several riders, teams decided there should be no more midseason changes of tyre profile of construction.
I've wondered about that too because Pirellis are the same for the rear. The softer SC1 is typically recommended in really hot temps over the SC2 which doesn't really make much sense, but it really does work better. From a scientific point of view I don't really get it, but I'm also not a tire expert.
 

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I wonder if Petronas will be the Yamaha factory's major sponsor next year, assuming the deal goes through.

They would probably have four factory spec bikes on the grid, just like KTM; and could set the precedent for full factory support to satellite teams.

Of course this is all just a hypothesis.
 

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I wonder if Petronas will be the Yamaha factory's major sponsor next year, assuming the deal goes through.

They would probably have four factory spec bikes on the grid, just like KTM; and could set the precedent for full factory support to satellite teams.

Of course this is all just a hypothesis.
Monster Energy and Petronas would be the main options. Satellite team duties pointing towards Petronas-SIC-Yamaha receiving two MotoGP seats from Martinez


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Yamaha Factory Team: Will Movistar Be Rising After 2018?

Most recently, Monster was the new Yamaha main sponsor, if Movistar really gets out.

There used to be some discussion in the past because Movistar and Monster had two big green "M" as their logo. In 2018, Movistar first painted a white "M" on the bikes.

The energy drink company Monster loses the Tech3 team in 2019 as a partner, while Red Bull will support the KTM factory team and the Tech3 KTM customer team as the main sponsor in the MotoGP World Cup 2019, as well as the Repsol Honda as co-sponsor with superstars Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo.

Therefore, the current Yamaha co-sponsor Monster is considered a candidate and favorite for the succession of Movistar.
 

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Monster Energy and Petronas would be the main options. Satellite team duties pointing towards Petronas-SIC-Yamaha receiving two MotoGP seats from Martinez


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Yamaha Factory Team: Will Movistar Be Rising After 2018?

Most recently, Monster was the new Yamaha main sponsor, if Movistar really gets out.

There used to be some discussion in the past because Movistar and Monster had two big green "M" as their logo. In 2018, Movistar first painted a white "M" on the bikes.

The energy drink company Monster loses the Tech3 team in 2019 as a partner, while Red Bull will support the KTM factory team and the Tech3 KTM customer team as the main sponsor in the MotoGP World Cup 2019, as well as the Repsol Honda as co-sponsor with superstars Marc Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo.

Therefore, the current Yamaha co-sponsor Monster is considered a candidate and favorite for the succession of Movistar.

I read about the potential Monster sponsorship deal as well, and that seems like the most sensible and straightforward possibility to me as well.

My only thought to that is that if Petronas does indeed end up putting two satellite Yamaha bikes on the grid, they would likely have a lot of say in what goes on in the factory team as well.

Just like Repsol does with Honda. Just like Movistar does right now with Yamaha.

It's just a thought.
 

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We've got to get Redding in MotoAmerica :D.

Redding concerned for post-MotoGP future

“I'm 25, I'm fucking dumb as dogshit, I haven't done anything at school, so I cannot even go to get a normal job even if I wanted that,” he said in Barcelona.

“I've no idea about most things in life, and that's the way it is. I know that, that's why I need to try and see what's the best from my future, that makes me happy, and makes me to secure a bit of a future, and still be racing.

“I've been born and bred racing, that's my problem, it's hard to walk away from.”

Redding says that, following Aprilia's Iannone announcement, his initial idea was a return to Moto2, where he was runner-up in 2013 – but he admits such a move comes with a complicated a longer-term perspective.

“I was really fixed a lot on going to Moto2. That was my mindset immediately when I found out I won't be here - because there's not really a ride going to be for me in MotoGP, and to be honest I don't enjoy to be in MotoGP, because I'm never going to get a bike that can really win races.

“So now I was thinking go to Moto2, more level, but... okay, I'm 25. If I go to Moto2, it's okay, if I finish top three in the championship, it's okay - but then what do I do?

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“Because no one is going to take me back in MotoGP because of my past. I've not really set it on fire. I've not had the material to really show, but there's already the doubt and they'll take a young guy coming up - like Suzuki signed [Joan] Mir, he didn't even do four races in the season on Moto2.

“So I need to maybe look at Superbikes. Again, it's difficult, because you need again a good bike.

“I was definitely fixed Moto2, but the more I think about it, the more I will hinder myself. Short[-term] vision - good idea, go, try to take the title.

“But then if I look beyond there, I have not many options to do something. I should think about Superbikes and see what to do.”

Asked whether he'd consider a national-level category like MotoAmerica or British Superbikes, Redding revealed he'd actually had an offer from a team in the latter series – but reckoned it would “too far of a step back”.
 

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Well hot damn! That Q2 session was freakin intense at the end. Iannone and Lorenzo sitting in 1st and 2nd, then 30 seconds later they're in 9th and 10th lol Zarco had pole for a few seconds, then within several seconds dropped to 8th! That shit was crazy.
 

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:roll:

He did poorly but, in all fairness, the top 10 were only separated by 0.376s. :devil:
Yeah, I'm hoping since the pace was so close between a lot of guys in Qualifying and FP4, that we will see some awesome racing tomorrow!
 

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Holy Shit! What a friggin` race! I think there were 5 different leaders, guys rubbing paint, a rear end collision, and everyone stayed upright. For a long stretch of the race the top 8 guys were within 1 second.

Best race Ive seen in MotoGP in a long time :)
 
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Absolutely awesome! IMO, it was THE best race I've seen in MotoGP so far. Even topped my previous favorite from PI 2015.

Assen delivered again. Always great racing at that track, and even though the Moto 3 and Moto 2 races were really good, the GP race made them look boring.
 
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Wow. Best show on the planet. Insane race with Marquez hands down fighting tooth and nail for that win.
 

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So, after thinking about this a bit, here's my assumption.

The press conference that Dani scheduled in Spain was likely to announce that whole almost done deal with Petronas and Yamaha.
....then something happened to bring up doubt that it might happen, so there was nothing for him to announce.

The press conference that Dani has scheduled in Germany is probably (hopefully) for the same thing.
I imagine that all the details have been worked out, and it is official but not yet announced. Germany may be the place where that happens.


Regardless of my speculation, I hope Dani gets a good ride next year and continues to be competitive.
 
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