‘Very dangerous’ - Bezzecchi warns high tyre pressures could become safety risk

Marco Bezzecchi believes that exceeding the current tyre pressures set out by Michelin could become a safety risk for MotoGP riders.
Marco Bezzecchi Ducati MotoGP Sepang 2023
Marco Bezzecchi Ducati MotoGP Sepang 2023

Michelin's maximum pressure on the front tyre is 1.9 bar which is the same as it's always been, while the rear is 1.7. However, tyre pressures are set to be monitored closer than ever before thanks to a real-time data system implemented for 2023 and last season’s rookie of the year was amomg the riders to feel they could be put at risk of a fall if - to avoid dropping below 1.9 - the starting pressures are higher than before. 

Speaking on the subject at the Sepang test, Bezzecchi was more worried about the safety of the riders rather than potential penalties for dropping below: “For me it is very, very dangerous to go with the tyre pressure very high,” said Bezzecchi. “Very high [increases the risk] and you just need 0.02 [over] to start and be in trouble with the tyre. Will be crucial to understand this. 

“I hope that the rule is not going to be official because I think it’s [about] the safety of Michelin [not having tyres used at low pressure], but also the safety for us. 

“We have to try and find a balance. I think it’s possible to find a balance between what Michelin and the riders want.”

Tyre concerns aside, Bezzecchi was again very impressive on day three of the Sepang test, which comes after topping day one on Friday.

“I’m pretty satisfied about the work we have made in these three days,” stated the Italian. “Especially today, I have tried different things on the bike and we got a lot of information that I wanted to know.”

With Ducati seemingly in pole position to start the year as favourites - the Italian manufacturer was fastest across all three days with three different riders, including Jorge Martin [day two] and Bezzecchi’s team-mate Luca Marini [day three] - Bezzecchi could be set to challenge for podiums and wins immediately based on his performance.

Aiding his bid to become one of MotoGP’s newest race winners is the fact Bezzecchi has already settled on his base set-up. 

Marco Bezzecchi, Sepang MotoGP test, 12 February
Marco Bezzecchi, Sepang MotoGP test, 12 February

Bezzecchi added: "I have a base set-up. Already on my standard setting the bike was really good. Then today, we tried some different modifications on the bike to try and understand the feeling and the feedback that the bike gave back to me. 

"We understood some important things that can help in other tracks. Some things were also positive here, but some were negative too. That is normal though."

While Bezzecchi managed to get through a lot of the Mooney VR46 team’s test program, which included time attack runs, the only thing missing was a race simulation which will instead take place in Portimao.

"Unfortunately I didn’t try because we wanted to do it but we preferred to try some modification settings," claimed Bezzecchi. "I think in Portimao I will try. 

"Yesterday, because I didn’t ride so much I just wanted to ride. We tried different things on the bike to see how they were working and because of this we didn’t try a race simulation."

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