Michelin developing 2025 MotoGP front tyre: ‘The bikes have changed a lot’

While MotoGP teams and riders put the final touches on their 2023 preparations at Portimao this weekend, exclusive tyre supplier Michelin is also looking further into the future.
Luca Marini, Sepang MotoGP test, 12 February
Luca Marini, Sepang MotoGP test, 12 February

Responding to the increased stress on the front tyre, due to technical innovations such as bigger brakes and aerodynamic winglets, Michelin expects to have a prototype front ready for initial testing in early summer.

“We are starting to develop a new front tyre that will be introduced in the 2025 races,” said Michelin’s Piero Taramasso. “For us it’s quite important change because the design of the [2025] front tyre is very different compared to the current one.

“The model [spec] we are using now has been used for six seasons, we’ve optimised [this] model and cannot go more. [But] the bikes have changed a lot.

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“They put much more effort into the front with big brakes, winglets, aerodynamics and front end [holeshot] device. So the front tyre is stressed more and more. Riders brake harder and later, so we need to change this model.

“We will start this work this season. We will have a prototype ready for May-June and then the factory test riders will start to test. We hope to propose this tyre by the end of this season or beginning of 2024, for tests with the official riders.”

Riders will be hoping the new front tyre design can also address the issue of rising temperature and pressure, when closely following another rider.

Michelin's decision to develop a new spec front also underlines that aerodynamic devices are unlikely to be banned in the near future.

Meanwhile, of more immediate impact will be the introduction of a new front compound this season, which sits between the previous medium and hard.

“We’ve already tested it at Misano and Sepang,” Taramasso said. “So far the feedback is quite positive, so we will test here again in Portimao. It’s a medium-hard so it will give more grip [than a hard] but more stability [than a medium].

“This compound will be used here in Portimao, maybe Mugello. I would say seven or eight tracks, replacing the hard at less abrasive circuits or the medium at high abrasion tracks or in hot conditions.

“We also have a new soft wet rear but we are not expecting rain this weekend and if we don’t test it we will stay with the same wet tyre allocation as last year.”

Michelin, in agreement with the MotoGP teams, will also switch from offering three different rear tyre options at each event (a soft, medium and hard) this year, to just two (soft, 7, and medium, 5).

The bias towards more softs is to take into account the need for flying laps and also the possibility of using the soft in the new Saturday afternoon sprint race.

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