'Less performance' from Michelin rear tyre benefiting Zarco, Martin not a fan

Pramac Ducati riders Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco share different opinions on the level of tyre performance Michelin's 2018 tyre compound is having in Mandalika.
Jorge Martin, Indonesian MotoGP, 19 March 2022
Jorge Martin, Indonesian MotoGP, 19 March 2022
© Gold and Goose

While Jorge Martin is part of the ‘I prefer the tyre from the test’ club, MotoGP team-mate Johann Zarco believes Michelin’s 2018 tyre compound is delivering the results needed at this weekend’s inaugural Mandalika Grand Prix.

With both riders securing a front row for tomorrow’s race, it’s fair to say both riders are enjoying the ‘special casings’ that Michelin brought back for this weekend, even if Martin clearly prefers the 2022 tyre carcass that was used in testing last month. 

Martin said: “In the test I was feeling much better with the rear tyre. Also the soft was more consistent. At the end of the day it (2018 tyre) has less grip, less performance and I feel a lot of spin. We are working on it to try and manage in the best way possible.”

The young Spaniard wasn’t alone in sharing that thought as world champion and pole sitter for the first time in 2022, Fabio Quartararo, agreed with the Pramac man. 

Quartararo added: “For me I prefer the tyre from the test. For me it has more performance and more consistency. 

“This tyre is a little bit more comfortable riding, you feel less on the limit, but for me you feel the tyre has less performance and a little bit more spin. But it’s a small difference but I prefer the tyre from the test.

While Zarco could see why Martin and Quartararo felt the 2022 tyre was better, the experienced Frenchman is less bothered by the 2018 tyre’s reduced grip, instead feeling it gives him an advantage.

Why is that? Well Zarco believes he’s not suffering from as big a drop in performance with this tyre compared to Martin and Quartararo. 

Zarco said: “We can feel the difference as they are saying with it having less grip and less performance, but if I compare myself with the others it seems I was losing less performance than them compared to the test. I tried to keep that feeling and stay at the front. 

“For the race; to have maybe a bit less performance but better consistency can be good. 

“I don’t feel as much of a drop or more than during the test. We will see tomorrow because we didn’t get the opportunity to do 27 laps, as usually we never do the race distance before the race. 

“I think what Michelin chose is always to try and keep some safety and not lose pieces on the tyre."

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