“Pecco Bagnaia won the Jerez race with a front tire pressure below the allowable limit”, This is the accusation launched by MotorSport Magazine and written by Mat Oxley today, which accompanied an article with a document that would prove the infringement of the Ducati rider. The conditional, however, seems to be a must because Gigi Dall’Igna, General Manager of Borgo Panigale, promptly called a press conference to explain how things are in MotoGP at the moment.
“The regulation provides for minimal pressure, but you have to think about how it is controlled – puts the first dot on the ‘i’ – Because manufacturers currently use different sensors, which means their accuracy is different. We are not talking about cheating, but about the fact that pressure control does not happen in the same way for everyone “.
Is this the only flaw in the system?
“No, because at this moment the method in which the data is acquired is also not armored, so it allows anyone to correct the signal. Ducati does not do this but there is the possibility – and I cannot exclude that someone else does – to modify this data to pretend to be in the correct parameters when you are not. Then there is another point “.
“Every system has a measurement error, so what appears to be values within the regulation may actually not be. As in the case of the speed camera: simple measurement is not trusted, but an error is expected “.
Why was that document disclosed?
“This I don’t know, it should only be shared between the manufacturers because it does not take into account the corrections of the measurements. As MSMA we are studying a new system for next year, in 2023 we will all mount the same type of sensors and at that point we would have an aligned reading, without it being possible to change the data. In addition to a rule, we will also have a control system“.
Has it already happened that other riders were under the limit in previous Grands Prix?
“It definitely happened, we know that because, as I said, we share that data. But I don’t want to put myself on the same level as those who raised this fuss, I won’t mention names “.
Can you at least tell us if among them there is also a race won?
“Yes, it happened and I’m not talking about Ducati riders“.
Are you amazed by this attack?
“Someone took the journalist, the strange thing is that he did not check properly because there are no sanctions, since those data are shared among everyone and even Michelin checks them. The agreement between the manufacturers is to collect that data to create a rule that can be implemented in 2023“.
Can you explain the reason for this attack after Bagnaia’s victory?
“I don’t have an answer, but I hope they can do it for all the other 15 GPs too (laughs) “.
Is there a regulatory vacuum right now?
“There have been so many rules that we have corrected and handled well in the past. The pressure control system is evolving in the right direction, we are working together with Dorna, FIM and Michelin to implement an efficient and effective control system. At the moment, however, it is not and we all know it. Those values do not prove an infringement because the measurement method is incorrect. Before a judge they would be worth nothing “.
Do you feel comfortable for the rest of the season?
“I have not raised this fuss, I have never argued against other riders who have obtained excellent results, probably not being within the limits. How, moreover, for how the system is made, even those who appear to be inside may not be, those values could be fake“.
Is putting a limit on tire pressure just a question of performance?
“C‘is also an important security issue. It must be borne in mind that, while it is relatively easy to get within the limits for the rear tire, it is extremely complicated for the front. This is because the pressure varies according to the temperature and things change whether you follow someone in the race or not. This means that you set the system one way if you plan to race in the slipstream or not. That’s what happened to Martin: he thought he was in a group and instead he was alone. The opposite could also happen and in that case the risks increase, because the pressure rises and the grip falls. The range in which we have to stay is extremely small “.
Can you go into even more detail?
“The tires work well at certain pressures, Michelin tells us that the minimum for the front is 1.9 bar, 1.7 for the rear. Pressure and temperature, however, are not constant during the race, simplifying it can be said that they enter full capacity in the 9th or 10th lap, but it is not a rule, the conditions, the track, the slipstream affect. Precisely for this reason, for next year, we are thinking about how many laps this threshold can be crossed. If you go too low there are safety problems because the rubber could break, if too much above the grip tends to drop. For the front, the drop becomes significant at 2.2 bar“.
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