Concerns Over “Dull” Races Rise as MotoGP Implements Tyre Pressure Regulation at Silverstone

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Starting this weekend’s Silverstone event, the new Tyre Pressure Management System (TPMS) will be operational, which monitors the pressure of both front and rear tyres.

Originally scheduled to be put into effect from the beginning of the 2023 season, the rule’s implementation was postponed as the testing of the new TPMS extended.

Riders and teams are mandated to maintain a minimum pressure of 1.9 bar (27.6psi) on the front and 1.7 bar (24.7psi) on the rear for at least half the race distance.

This directive was introduced as a safety precaution to prevent improper tyre pressure usage by teams. However, this minimum front pressure has ignited safety worries, as inflated tyres lose grip.

In light of this, Espargaro from Aprilia anticipates a negative impact on racing as riders strive to keep their tyre pressures from surging too much.

He sarcastically remarked that the new rule would be excellent for making the races more “dull” when quizzed by F1 Flow.com on Thursday at Silverstone.

He believes this rule will result in races where motorcycles have a one-second gap between them. In a recent race at Assen, he was faster than Brad [Binder] but was unable to close the gap due to high tyre pressure.

Photo courtesy of Gold and Goose / F1 Flow Images.

Espargaro and several other riders remarked that the threshold before the front pressure becomes unmanageable is one bar, suggesting the regulated minimum should be “1.78, 1.8”.

On questioning how a rule intended for safety could pose safety risks, and why Michelin requested such a rule, Espargaro stated he had asked the same questions.

KTM’s Jack Miller, however, does not anticipate any problems as he has been assured by the Austrian manufacturer that their tyre operations are “safe as houses”.

Despite initial concerns over the new rule, Miller is reassured by his team’s confidence and hopes they are right in their assurances.

Pramac’s Johann Zarco hinted that the new regulation is designed to curb Ducati’s advantage, the leading manufacturer in 2023.

Yet, VR46 Ducati’s Marco Bezzecchi dismissed this, arguing that it’s less about the manufacturer and more about race position as the experience varies if you’re leading or in the middle of the pack.

Further Reading:
Alex Marquez “sympathises” with Rins’ Honda MotoGP frustrations
2023 MotoGP British Grand Prix – How to watch, session times & more
Marc Marquez interview: On his injury recovery, Honda’s MotoGP progress and Rins.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MotoGP Tyre Pressure Regulation

What is the new regulation in MotoGP about tyre pressure?

The new regulation introduces a Tyre Pressure Management System, requiring riders and teams to maintain a minimum pressure of 1.9 bar on the front tyre and 1.7 bar on the rear for at least half the race distance. This rule was initiated as a safety measure to prevent teams from using incorrect tyre pressures.

What are the concerns raised by riders about the new tyre pressure rule?

Riders, including Aprilia’s Espargaro, have expressed concerns about the new tyre pressure rule leading to less gripping tyres, which could affect safety and result in less exciting races. The rule may also make it harder for riders to close gaps and overtake, making the races potentially more monotonous.

When was the tyre pressure regulation supposed to be implemented?

The tyre pressure regulation was initially set to be implemented from the start of the 2023 MotoGP season. However, it was delayed as the testing of the new Tyre Pressure Management System continued. It is being enforced starting with the Silverstone round.

Has there been any manufacturer-specific reaction to the new rule?

While some, like Pramac’s Johann Zarco, suggested that the rule could be aiming to reduce Ducati’s advantage, VR46 Ducati rider Marco Bezzecchi dismissed this, stating that the rule’s effect is more about race position than manufacturer-specific issues.

How is KTM responding to the new tyre pressure rule?

KTM’s Jack Miller isn’t foreseeing issues for himself as he has been assured by the Austrian manufacturer that their tyre operations are “safe as houses” in light of the new rule. Despite initial concerns, Miller is reassured by his team’s confidence.

More about MotoGP Tyre Pressure Regulation

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6 comments

Pedal2theMetal August 4, 2023 - 4:02 pm

Kudos to KTM for being ready. Miller seems pretty chill about the whole thing.

Reply
RubberBurner August 4, 2023 - 6:51 pm

Might be a good time to invest in tyre companies, haha! More pressure more wear n tear right?

Reply
SpeedDemon August 4, 2023 - 8:08 pm

Zarco’s comment seems bit of a stretch. Why would they target Ducati like that? Doesn’t add up…

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RacingRabbit August 4, 2023 - 9:57 pm

Tire pressure rules, really? what next, making everyone use the same bike?

Reply
MikeMotorhead August 5, 2023 - 4:32 am

Can’t believe they’re changing the rules like this! Whats the point in makin races boring and potentially unsafe?

Reply
TwoWheelsForever August 5, 2023 - 5:28 am

Espargaro’s got it right! This is gonna be bad for the sport, that’s for sure…

Reply

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