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Michelin clarifies implementation of controversial MotoGP tyre rule

Michelin has clarified how the controversial new tyre pressure rule will be implemented and monitored at the MotoGP British Grand Prix this weekend.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

From this weekend’s ninth round of the 2023 season onwards, riders must run to the minimum tyre pressures for the front and rear compounds in the sprint race and the grand prix.

The front minimum is 1.9 bar, while the rear minimum is 1.7 bar.

This rule has been in place since the start of the year, but will only be officially regulated from this weekend’s British GP – with riders expressing concerns about this on Thursday.

Michelin motorsport boss Piero Taramasso has clarified to MotoGP’s world feed how the rule will be monitored, with riders being selected at random after each race to have their pressures checked.

“So, this is just the official legislation,” he began. “Until now, everyone was just working to the same value of minimum pressure but was not monitored by Race Direction.

“So, now everything is monitored by Race Direction. After the sprint and after the race on Sunday, there will be some random checks of some bikes to check if they respect the minimum tyre pressure.

“That means they have to run half of the race [in the grand prix] at the minimum pressure. For the sprint it’s only 30%. Then they can run lower for the rest of the race.”

Piero Taramasso, Michelin

Piero Taramasso, Michelin

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Taramasso added that the technical director will decide what riders are selected for checks, while an automatic system for monitoring tyres will be implemented later this season.

“So once the automatic system will be fully operational, all the field will be controlled automatically for the pressure. So, it will happen in maybe two or three races.”

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This regulation has been brought in ostensibly as a safety measure, to stop teams going under the minimum recommended pressures and potentially damaging the tyre.

However, a number of riders have noted that the front minimum limit is too high as it starts to lose grip when it swells to 2.0 bar of pressure, which is likely to happen when running in a pack.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro said on Thursday that this would ultimately make MotoGP races “boring”, as riders drop back from each other while in packs.

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