Debate rages over “conspiracy theory” of Jorge Martin’s tyre criticism

Debate raged in the MotoGP paddock about whether Jorge Martin’s tyre complaints were valid.
Jorge Martin, MotoGP race, Qatar MotoGP, 19 November
Jorge Martin, MotoGP race, Qatar MotoGP, 19 November

Pramac rider Martin blamed poor Michelin tyres for a lacklustre Qatar MotoGP which conceded a 21-point advantage to title rival Francesco Bagnaia heading into the final round.

Michelin responded by vowing to investigate the state of the tyre allocated.

Sylvain Guintoli said via TNT Sports: “The rear grip wasn’t right. It looked like he was struggling, he couldn’t extract his bike on the turns. 

“Look at his [sprint race] there was a massive contrast. Something went wrong.”

Neil Hodgson insisted: “I’ve got to say, I definitely think it’s a faulty tyre. 

“It’s a graphic example. It spins up - he’s the only one. The bike doesn’t turn - watch him throughout the race, it doesn’t turn at all.

“That’s rear grip. It plays a huge part. Zero acceleration, bizarre, like he got the wrong mapping. That’s the tyre. 

“Occasionally it can happen, you get a tyre that’s not quite the same as the other one. 

“It happens - it’s just a shame it happened at this stage of the season.”


Guintoli was asked to reply to any “conspiracy theory” that Martin was allocated a faulty tyre by explaining the process.

He claimed: “The reality - and I’m not saying yes or no - is that it’s highly unlikely [that a bad tyre was given to Martin]. 

“As soon as something goes wrong, the riders blame the tyres. 

“The way that the tyres are selected for the race, every tyre is accounted for. They know exactly where that tyre has been. 

“Every tyre cannot exceed a certain number of heat cycles. The teams know exactly which tyres, and how many heat cycles. 

“This is to keep the best tyres for the races. It’s just so unlikely.”

Hodgson asked Guintoli: “If it wasn't the tyre, what could it have been?”

Guintoli replied: “It could be a sensor problem. The electronics. Something like that. 

“Something gone wrong with the ECU or the mapping. It’s hard to tell. It’s very unlikely, but not impossible.”

Hodgson said: “You’ve got to trust the rider. He’s sat on the motorcycle and he has so much experience, he knows what a bad tyre feels like. He’s had them before. It does happen. It’s a mess!”

Read More