Dani Pedrosa has pointed toward his inability to deal with the ever-hardening construction of Michelin's rear tyre as the reason for his current struggles in the MotoGP class.
His third place in the 2016 championship doesn't quite convey Pedrosa's inability to extract the maximum from his current set-up, and in particular Michelin's harder rear compound.
Pedrosa's weight is such that he struggles to load the tyre, and thus raise it to a sufficient working temperature, meaning his lap times suffer as a result.
Although the eighth fastest qualifier on Saturday, Pedrosa still feels some way off where he wants to be and explained, “It's quite simple. Basically I am trying set-ups all the time. We are not changing chassis or any parts on the bike.
“The set-up means bike balance, weight distribution, normal things like this just to get some grip and some turning. If I get some grip I lose turning. If I get some turning I lose entry. If I get grip I have other problems. I never find the correct balance for an average thing.
“The reason why is I am struggling especially with the rear tyre. These tyres from last year when we started testing with Michelins. I was always fast and in front in the timesheets. They've become just harder, harder, harder, as a construction, as a compound, as a pressure. So obviously because in the grid there are many more riders where the average weight is higher compared to mine, the tyre become a very stiff tyre.
“This afternoon I tried the hard compound – the tyre that is working for the top riders – but I couldn't make any better than 2m 8s. this means no temperature and I couldn't get any load on the tyre. I had to go back to the softer specification, [with] which I always struggled with spin and traction.
“I cannot get any drive. I'm running the same tyre pressure and construction than a guy that is working with 80-85 kilos. I'm struggling to get the balance on the bike to make the tyre work. Every time they change the tyre I'm going backwards compared to the top. This is the struggle. Also, I need to improve my riding obviously. It's not that I give all the things to the tyre. This is the situation. We are working. Today was a ninth place. Tomorrow we will try to get better.”
Pedrosa was in extreme difficulty when using Michelin's medium rear tyre that was shipped in on Friday night. Quizzed on whether tyre wear would be an issues with the soft, he answered, “I cannot even think about concerns because I have no option. It is how it is. We have to get through the race with that tyre. How it looks at the end, how it will be, I cannot guess so I will just go and cannot ride it.”
On whether he agreed that Michelin's tyres were suited to one manufacturer more than others, he added, “I only can answer that they are not building tyres for me.”
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