Here's Michelin's Answer to Jorge Martin's Qatar GP Criticism
Published: 20th November 2023
Michelin’s Piero Taramasso answers Jorge Martin’s harsh Qatar GP criticism. The tire supplier is still uncertain about the situation.
The MotoGP World Championship witnessed another dramatic twist in Qatar on Sunday as Pramac rider and title contender Jorge Martin suffered a disappointing 10th-place finish.
The Spaniard attributed his setback to a defective set of tires, accusing Michelin, MotoGP’s official tire supplier, of “stealing the championship” from him.
Piero Taramasso, Michelin’s Sports Director, was in high demand in the paddock, acknowledging the difficulties faced at the Losail circuit this time around.
“There were 22 laps on a challenging track with new asphalt. So, we came here without any information,” he explained.
Track renovations for Formula 1 introduced two uncertainties: The new asphalt and different conditions due to the race taking place in November instead of March.
Despite the high tire stress, Taramasso expressed satisfaction with the tire performance: “Due to the tire wear we saw [in the sprint], the riders chose the hard tire. Lap times were fast.”
“We expected a slower race pace, but lap times were very fast and consistent. Bastianini even managed to set the fastest time on the last lap. So, it was a positive race.”
However, the race was marred by the controversy surrounding Jorge Martin. “The only negative was Jorge Martin’s performance.”
“He initially complained about the rear tire, but then also about the front, as he pushed too hard on it. We are looking at the data. Currently, it is not easy to say something about this tire.”
Michelin remained uncertain about the situation, stating, “All we know right now is the history of the tire.”
“It was manufactured in France and then brought directly here [to Qatar]. It was never used or heated before. So, there is currently no clue.”
Notably, the tire in question was not a ‘Pre-Heated-Tyre,’ a factor that had caused issues for riders in the 2021 Qatar GP.
Taramasso committed to investigating the matter: “As soon as we have the team’s data, we will investigate and then inform Jorge, Pramac, and all of you about what happened.”