Criticism of Bridgestone's MotoGP front tyre construction, voiced last year by Repsol Honda riders Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, appears to be returning.
The new softer construction was created in response to a series of cold-tyre incidents in the final season of 800cc racing, in 2011.
Designed to 'enhance feel and warm-up performance' the new tyre was subsequently offered for evaluation during winter testing with the new 1000cc machines.
All but the Honda riders appeared to prefer the revised construction, which was then made available as an additional option for the early 2012 rounds. After consultation between Bridgestone, Dorna, the FIM and IRTA, the new tyre took over as the only front construction available from Silverstone onwards.
Speaking shortly before the British MotoGP
, double world champion Stoner had said: “A few other people like it and obviously the CRTs seem to enjoy it more, for exactly the reasons that we don't enjoy it. It is softer in the casing. It squishes a lot more, there's a lot more movement in the middle of the corner and on the brakes. We just don't find anything good about it. I don't think I'll be the only one complaining as the season goes on.”
Despite winning with the new front tyre for the first time at the following Assen round, Stoner's view remained unchanged:
“For me the front tyre still has no stability. When you go in and brake hard it wants to fold or chatter. At the start of the race a lot of times the front was just closing - in slow corners, fast corners, right or left. Any corners, the front just gave up. It seems like not a racing tyre, but we are trying to do our best. I don't know how the crashes were in the race, but I believe from [losing] the front.”
Stoner retired at the end of last year, but fast forward to Catalunya 2013 and similar comments could be heard not just from runner-up Pedrosa, still at Repsol Honda, but also Yamaha's race winner Jorge Lorenzo.
“When I tried to be a little faster in the corners I could feel that the front was not really taking the energy,” said Pedrosa, currently leading the world championship. “There is not much you can do except move your body, to try not to push too hard on the front.”