until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Was Martin's fury misplaced? Initial findings revealed

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

After an angry Jorge Martin declared he felt a potential MotoGP title was being "stolen" from him because of a faulty tyre in Qatar, Michelin has denied it is to blame following an initial investigation.

It has also pointed to Pramac Ducati rider Martin having to "push a lot" after a poor start dropped him down the field as a potential cause.

Martin had come into the Sunday race at Lusail only seven points behind rival Pecco Bagnaia.

After the bad start, a short-lived charge back through the field was halted by his performance dropping off dramatically in the closing stages.

He could only finish a distant 10th - and then blasted Michelin afterwards.

"I think you could see already in the start, when my rear tyre started spinning, it was like a stone," he said.

He added he "felt I was crashing every corner from the rear", and said: "It's a pity that in a championship like this, after such a great season, working hard, I feel like they stole it from me."

Michelin still needs to take the tyre apart for a forensic analysis, but after looking at some of the data from the race, it says there’s no evidence of any manufacturing fault.

“After the Qatar race, everyone saw Jorge’s declaration, and he was quite hard against Michelin, but we understand his position," said Michelin's head of two-wheeled racing, Piero Taramasso.

"He was fighting for the championship and there was a lot of adrenaline and everything.

“As usual, Michelin take these matters very seriously, so what we did first thing was we called France and we checked all the manufacturing process, if all the parameters when we built that tyre was correct, and the answer is yes, everything was right.

"There was no manufacturing problem or quality problem in Jorge Martin’s tyres.

“Second step was to analyse the data from the track, and thanks to Pramac and thanks to Ducati, for giving us the data.

"There is a lot of data in three days, and we didn’t have time to analyse all of it, but we did our best and last night we shared our analysis with Ducati and with Pramac.

“Our conclusion from both sides is that Jorge’s performance in Qatar was not in line with what everyone was expecting.

"We saw different things, but at this moment we don’t have a clear answer, we have different hypotheses, and we will do some more analysis and come back to the team if we see something more.”

Admitting that it still needs to cut apart the tyre layer by layer and chemically analyse its components, a process that will take weeks to be fully completed, Taramasso also acknowledged that one of those theories about what went wrong is related to Martin’s bad start and subsequent need to push through the field to make up for lost time.

“Honestly, we didn’t check the data from the start,” he said of Martin’s spin away from the lights, “but what we saw on the sighting lap is that it was done in the right way.

"The tyre was in [the right window of] pressure and temperature.

“We analysed lap one, lap two and lap three, and when you lose some places and have to push to come back, that changes the strategy of the race.

“For the moment, the data doesn’t say that it was a bad tyre.

"If you look at the performance for the first six or seven laps, it was there and then there was a big drop.

"Another fact is that the tyre wear at the end of the race was very high, but he was at the back, he pushed a lot.”

Martin was third in the first practice session at Valencia, 10 places ahead of rival Bagnaia.

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