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Crutchlow questions Michelin's Mugello MotoGP tyre hole conclusions

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow has questioned the conclusions MotoGP tyre supplier Michelin reached regarding a hole "the size of a mobile phone" in his rear tyre in Mugello

Crutchlow finished a distant eighth at Mugello, and felt he had been hampered by damage to his medium rear tyre, which was then checked by Michelin in the aftermath of the race.

Speaking to media at last weekend's Barcelona round, Michelin's MotoGP chief Piero Taramasso said the company's conclusion was that the damage to the rubber had not posed a threat to Crutchlow's safety and that Michelin "didn't find anything strange" when checking the tyre.

"Safety we know is not a problem - we want to understand where it [the hole] came from, so we analysed the tyre," said Taramasso.

"We analysed the tyre from [Crutchlow's team-mate Takaaki] Nakagami, because the serial number was just after the one from Cal.

"Also [Alex] Rins and [Danilo] Petrucci, they were the same serial number [series]; we checked all the tyres, we didn't find anything strange coming from the tyres."

Taramasso said the impact of the hole on the tyre's behaviour was limited to "vibration", but Crutchlow - who provided a photo of the damage - was not satisfied by that conclusion.

"I told you after the race last time that I had a piece come out of the tyre, and they're analysing it, and it never happened to anybody," he said.

"I think they do a good job. But now they're basically denying that anything happened.

"I showed you all the photo of the size of the hole that came out of the tyre, it was impossible to ride.

"I'd like to see anybody else want to ride down the straight 11 laps in a row and [at] 220mph with a hole the size of a mobile phone in the centre of the tyre. So of course it affected my race."

Taramasso suggested the chunk could've been taken out by a piece of bodywork, or a stone.

"The piece that fell off, if we could get that piece, maybe we could find something metal, carbon, stone - but on the tyre we didn't see anything," he said.

Crutchlow was adamant he "didn't hit anything on the circuit".

"I missed everything on the circuit, which was on the apexes," he said.

"But this is typical of them, to deny anything.

"If you hit a piece of debris, something's going to come out - but it got worse, and worse, and worse, and worse.

"I never found anything, we see nothing on the data. But we see the hole in the tyre got worse and worse."

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