Michelin denies new tyre will favour Yamaha, Suzuki
Michelin MotoGP boss Piero Taramasso has denied that its new-for-2020 rear tyre will favour Yamaha and Suzuki despite the early evidence suggesting the inline-four machines stand to gain most.
The French firm has introduced a revised construction of rear tyre for the first time in two years, and riders got their first taste of the new rubber during the pre-season tests at Sepang and Qatar, prior to the season being put on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During those tests, a consensus emerged that the increase in edge grip on the 2020 tyre favoured the bikes able to carry more minimum corner speed, chiefly Yamaha and Suzuki.
This seemed to be borne out by both brands topping every day of pre-season testing between them, with Petronas Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo sweeping the Sepang test and factory Yamaha man Maverick Vinales ending up with the fastest time in Qatar.
But Taramasso is convinced that any advantage Yamaha and Suzuki may enjoy now will be temporary as other manufacturers get to grips with the tyres.
"Honestly, I didn't expect it, because in all the tests we did in 2019 we had positive indications with all the bikes," Taramasso told Motorsport.com. "We hadn't seen any bike or any rider suffer particularly badly.
"These things came out this year, in Sepang and Qatar tests, but I think it is more a problem of adaptation and not that it is a more suitable tyre for one type of bike than another. It's just a matter of getting the best out of it as quickly as possible.
"Usually, when there is a tyre that offers more grip, in the end everybody can find some advantages: some can find it in the cornering, others maybe in traction, when you have to straighten the bike and transfer the power to the ground.
"But when they understand how to use it, everyone will have an advantage."
Honda rider Marc Marquez, who endured a difficult Qatar test on the new RC213V before reverting to last year's model on the last day, also said he feels the new tyre will end up being a benefit to every team.
"The new tyres were one of the doubts, but when we tested them on the 2019 bike we saw that it wasn't the problem, it doesn't change," said Marquez.
"They have more grip and you can tilt the bike more. This is good for Suzuki and Yamaha now, but in the long run it's going to be good for everyone, it's a more consistent tyre."
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