MOTOGP NEWS – INTERMEDIATE TYRES DROPPED FOR MOTOGP 2017
Intermediate tyres will no longer be available in MotoGP, the Grand Prix Commission has confirmed.
While previous exclusive tyre supplier Bridgestone only offered slick or wet tyres, Michelin made the third option available for its return to the sport this season.
However in practice there was only a brief window when track conditions were not better suited to either wets or slicks, and by the closing stages of the season discussions were underway about scrapping intermediates for 2017.
“Dorna asked us to bring intermediate tyres because they wanted to make sure that especially during free practice, the riders would be out on track if the conditions were half-wet, half-dry,” Michelin’s Nicolas Goubert explained at last month’s Valencia season finale.
“So of course we did that willingly, but during the course of the year we realised that our medium rain tyres could live quite easily on a drying track or completely dry track. I remember a couple of occasions where exactly – at the same time – we had on track people with slicks, wets and intermediates, and using the tyres for a few laps without any trouble.
“So we are discussing right now with Dorna, because they noticed that as well. We said that maybe there is no need to bring the intermediates again.
“When we first brought them, and as I say it was a request from Dorna, a lot of riders and teams were not in favour. So now that we’ve proved they could go out on a dry track with rain tyres maybe there is no need.
“I’m not telling you there won’t be any intermediates next year, we are in the process of discussing what the regulations will be.”
The final decision on intermediates was made ‘after consultation with the Safety Commission and with the approval of Michelin’.
The maximum number of wet and dry track tyres remains unchanged for 2017, despite the removal of intermediates, but there will be an additional specification of front and rear slick available.