Francesco Bagnaia Reveals A Problem Every MotoGP Rider Faces In 2023
After the test in Sepang, a far-reaching problem emerges for Francesco Bagnaia – the tire pressure technicalities could become a farce.
In order to guarantee the durability of the MotoGP tyres, manufacturer Michelin has prescribed a minimum pressure of 1.9 bar for years.
Thanks to research by motorsportmagazine.com, it came to light in the middle of the 2022 season that various teams in the premier class regularly run with less than the prescribed 1.9 bar in order to prevent excessive tire pressure under race load – among the cheats at the time: world champion Francesco Bagnaia.
In order to counteract cheating, a uniform checking system by French manufacturer LDL will be used from the 2023 season onwards.
Since agreeing on a definitive minimum has become a farce, undercutting the set minimum tire pressure in the first three race weekends of the season will have no consequences for the teams.
Theoretically, the ominous 1.9 bar from Michelin is still in place, however, riders and teams would like an even lower minimum.
The problem: In the race, especially the front tire pressure increases immeasurably when riding in groups.
A problem every rider faces
Unfortunately, there is already a considerable risk of falling at around 2.2 bar air pressure in the front tire. After the three-day Sepang test, World Champion Francesco Bagnaia concludes:
“We rode every session with high air pressure in the front tire. It is not quite fixed yet what the minimum value will be. But that could be a problem – not only for us but for everyone.
“If you follow someone, it’s more dangerous because the tire pressure then becomes too high.”
The Italian doesn’t have exact figures, however, he knows that he “had over 2 bar in every session”.
“That was important to test. But one thing is for sure: if I start in a race with the tire pressure and then I’m behind another rider, it becomes a problem.”