After the usual 2022 tyres suffered blistering in February’s pre-season check on the Mandalika circuit as a result of excessive warmth, Michelin elected to deliver a stiffer tyre development not used since 2018.
Whereas most felt the older tyre design typically supplied much less grip, these issues affected Honda – who topped the Mandalika check on the usual tyre – essentially the most.
Pol Espargaro was nervous he wouldn’t be capable to end the race as a result of stress being placed on the entrance tyre because of his lack of rear grip, whereas Marc Marquez suffered a horrifying highside within the warm-up session which dominated him out of the race and has led to more double vision problems.
After the race, Puig stated Honda needed to perceive what went on with Michelin – although the latter insisted “there was no downside” with the tyres in Indonesia and steered Honda merely didn’t know how you can get it to work.
In a prolonged assertion issued to Autosport from Honda, Puig feels Michelin boss Piero Taramasso’s feedback had been “not obligatory”.
“Nicely, talking frankly, and in my private and personal opinion – I’m not very shocked,” Puig stated of Taramasso’s feedback.
“In my final Observe Report, I solely talked about that we must analyse the scenario with Michelin – that’s all.
“And we see how Mr Taramasso reacted when prompted by the media – it was not obligatory in any respect…
“It’s a bit unusual when he says, in a well mannered approach in fact, that Honda doesn’t know how you can adapt.
“Honda has been adapting to many technical modifications, together with totally different laws, tyres, engine sizes, lessons, and many others. and many others. for the reason that starting of the world championship collection again in 1966 and it has been the most lasting and most profitable firm in GP historical past with 25 premier class constructor championships and 21 premier class rider world championships.
“Does this imply we don’t know how you can adapt? OK, it’s the primary I’m listening to this.”
Michelin says its findings on the tyres had been primarily based by itself knowledge evaluation, however Puig believes in situations like this rider opinion means greater than “a line on a pc”, whereas noting that Taramasso “has a mentality” to “not admit any error”.
“From my very own expertise in racing, you must discuss to the riders first – to not Apple, IBM or Dell the place you see a line on a pc,” he added.
“You should hearken to the riders and if in case you have riders which were world champions, a number of occasions, you possibly can assume that these riders are guys who know what they’re speaking about.
“On this paddock, producers discuss to producers, riders discuss to the organiser, IRTA (Worldwide Race Groups Affiliation) talks to the groups and plenty of occasions we disagree on many topics.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Staff
Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“However it’s at all times within the limits of discussions and debate the place we evolve and discover good options that permit us to maneuver ahead within the curiosity of all events and of the game. Mr Taramasso seems to be to have a mentality that each time somebody talks immediately about his tyres, he turns into hypersensitive, not admitting any error from his facet and this, from my perspective, is incorrect and too radical.
“All of us make errors, him as properly.”
One in every of Taramasso’s complaints stemmed from Puig not having been on the February check to grasp the tyre points.
Puig – who was present process surgical procedure on the time of the check – thinks his expertise as a rider provides him understanding of conditions like this, and highlighted the truth that the carcass Michelin delivered to Indonesia was designed for a very totally different kind of circuit structure.
“My understanding, or obvious lack thereof, that Mr Taramasso mentions is clearly not exact,” Puig acknowledged.
“For Mr Taramasso’s info – I used to be racing for a few years and even had a number of actually good races again within the 1990s, with Michelin tyres by the way in which.
“So, I perceive very properly what a rider feels and wishes from a tyre when they’re racing a machine that produces over 200 bhp.
“In reality, you possibly can solely perceive a racing tyre if in case you have raced.
“In case you are within the workplace or in entrance of a pc you possibly can perceive some issues, the speculation, however you possibly can by no means perceive the truth, the sensation of what a racing slick tyre is.
“The tyre Michelin introduced for the Indonesian GP was utilized in Thailand and Austria a number of years in the past (2017/2018), tracks which have lengthy straights.
“Mandalika is a very totally different circuit, it’s a observe the place you wouldn’t have many lengthy straights and the place the bike is sort of at all times carrying some lean angle or with some banking.
“These sorts of tracks want good edge grip, you clearly don’t want a rock-hard tyre at this sort of observe.
“This older carcass had, and has, its personal points particularly round getting the tyre as much as temperature.
“We will see that in the course of the Mandalika weekend many of the crashes had been within the first two laps – an issue that was frequent with this 2018 tyre and why Michelin developed new tyres.
“Moreover, you have to develop a MotoGP machine across the tyres of that season, so if you change the tyres abruptly to 1 which the bike was not designed for, it complicates the scenario rather a lot for all groups. Honda weren’t the one producer to seek out their riders’ tempo and feeling abruptly gone in the course of the Indonesian GP weekend.”
As a result of Mandalika observe breaking apart on the final nook, the MotoGP race was shortened from 27 laps to 20.
Puig believes this might have been an choice within the first place to get across the tyre blistering downside from the check, whereas additionally suggesting a flag-to-flag contest within the dry – as was the case in Australia in 2013 and Argentina in 2016 when tyre points prompted security considerations.
He additionally felt a misinterpretation of his riders’ feedback in regards to the age of the tyre by Taramasso was “not very respectful to them”.
Whereas Marquez’s warm-up crash was a results of the rear of his Honda letting undergo Flip 7 within the warm-up session forward of the race, Puig insists that he doesn’t consider at this stage Michelin is totally accountable for the incident.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Staff after his crash
Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
“No, completely not,” he concluded when requested if Marquez’s crash was solely the tyre’s fault.
“I by no means stated that, I stated that we should perceive the scenario totally and discuss to Michelin for readability and to grasp what the plan is in case this sort of scenario occurs once more.
“However Mr Taramasso has overreacted to my phrases. I’ve at all times thought of Michelin to be a really technically superior firm, an trade chief within the improvement of racing tyres for each automobiles and bikes.
“They’re consultants in competitors and have spent a few years working for and reaching huge success of their discipline and have produced superb supplies all through these years of racing.
“I’ve been concerned in racing for a few years and with this have been in a position to perceive that when a rider crashes and there’s no clear mechanical downside then it’s a rider mistake.
“However in all crashes, there are parts that contribute to the crash and tyres are part of the equation.
“If Mr Taramasso can’t perceive or settle for this, then I don’t perceive his mentality or strategy.
“You already know, there are various folks on this paddock that discuss all day, always speaking about all the pieces.
“This isn’t my case, I don’t discuss rather a lot, I solely discuss when I’m requested to speak or when I’ve one thing to say.
“The scenario in Mandalika is such a case and the one factor I stated was that we needed to discuss deeply with Michelin.
“That’s the level. There was an virtually unbelievable response to desirous to additional perceive the scenario.
“Mr Taramasso should perceive that if a few of my riders have some issues or doubts about something concerning our bike, it’s my job, my duty, as group supervisor to analyze the difficulty and provides options to my riders.
“I perceive that is my job, I do it this fashion and I cannot change.”