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Pedrosa`s Michelin technician - Q&A.

Patrick Isaaco has been present in grand prix road racing for over 15 years, working alongside the likes of Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner and Alex Criville.

Isaaco first began to work in grand prix in 1989, as Michelin's co-ordinator in all three categories, where he managed the team's complete logistics, from plane tickets to material transport.

In 1991 Michelin did not participate in the grand prix world championship and Isaaco went to Germany to work with Mercedes technicians in DTM. In 1992 he returned to motorcycle grand prix with Michelin, joining the official HRC team running Doohan and Gardner, in addition to an official 250cc team with Luca Cadalora and a 125cc outfit.

Isaaco is now Dani Pedrosa's Michelin technician at Repsol Honda, responsible for making sure the 2008 MotoGP title contender has the best tyres possible at each and every grand prix...

To begin with, could you explain the main features of tyre construction?

Patrick Isaaco
I won't go into great detail, but basically a tyre is made up of a carcass - the internal structure of the tyre - and the external rubber part, that is to say the tread and walls that make contact with the floor. All of these parts can vary their rigidity depending on the desired level of traction or grip. Whatever happens, research never stops so that all parts are improved and modified.

Riders are always asking for more, so we constantly work on developing tyres. And the dimensions can also be changed, although once the season has started they do not usually vary too much. Tests can be made, but in general during a single season everything stays the same; and this year all riders are using 16 inch tyres at the front and 16.5” on the rear.

Last year was tough for Michelin. From your point of view how is the 2008 season working out?

Patrick Isaaco
Competition racing is very demanding and there is never anything that is perfect. As I said there is always work to be done and improvements to be made. This year is also being very difficult since the championship is very tight and it is not easy to create any big differences. That is why we are constantly seeking new solutions. If you look at the championship the battle is very tough between Stoner, Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, and even Jorge Lorenzo, who is still there. All the riders can do a good job, and we have to carry on working. Nothing is ever decided before the start.

What do you think about the current tyre regulations, which limit the number of tyres that can be used and make tyre selection on a Thursday crucial for the outcome of the race...

Patrick Isaaco
It's not easy and the truth is that the regulations have made our job a little more complicated, but at the same time it is true that we have more tyres this year than last. Back then everybody criticised them because they were new regulations and it was not easy. Now everybody has got used to them and the work is done keeping them in mind. This is how the rules are and we have to respect them. So far this year things have not gone too badly, although the truth is that the work needs a better level of anticipation and a good co-ordination between the team, the rider and Michelin so that the right decision can be made on the Thursday before a race


Related Pictures

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Pedrosa, USA MotoGP 2008
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Pedrosa, Crutchlow Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
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Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Aragon MotoGP 2016
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Pedrosa, Crutchlow, Aragon MotoGP 2016
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Pedrosa,Crutchlow Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
Pedrosa, Crutchlow Aragon MotoGP Race 2016
Pedrosa, Crutchlo, Espargaro Aragon MotoGP, 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso, Pedrosa, Crutchlow Aragon MotoGP, 2016
Pedrosa, Aragon MotoGP 2016
Pedrosa, Aragon MotoGP 2016

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Oscar - Unregistered

August 14, 2008 11:50 PM

This brings up an interesting thought (please don''t let this degenerate into another Crash ''I hate x rider-fest''): if the electronics diminishes the rider-tyre reaction, which it surely must do, then how does the rider with more intrusive electronics get to feed-back tyre development info? Seems to me that every ''advance'' in the electronics would add another layer of disconnection between the rider and the tyre technicians so surely there''s a chicken-and-egg thing here. That would mean in turn that the bike with less intrusive electronics could have an advantage if the actual racing takes the bikes outside the programmed ''envelope''. Anybody have any rider-personality-free comments?

Tired - Unregistered

August 15, 2008 6:59 AM

There's a lot more to tire performance than acceleration, like braking, turning in, turning in while braking, and mid-corner performance. I think people give TC a lot more credit than it deserves.

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