Tyre woes cost Dani Pedrosa dearly during qualifying with the Spaniard admitting afterwards that his lack of performance in the final practice session and qualifying were as a result of a major tyre problem that left him with no rear grip.
Until FP4 the former 125cc and 250cc champion was on the pace of his teammate, Marc Marquez, but suddenly he was unable to get close to the pace of his teammate and afterwards he laid the blame at the feet of MotoGP’s control tyre supplier Bridgestone.
When asked why he had suddenly lost performance in this afternoon Pedrosa was clearly confused by what happened in FP4:
“I wasn’t sure what happened,” admitted Pedrosa. “In the morning it was OK, I crashed at the end but the feeling was good and I was doing a good rhythm, so for FP4 we didn’t actually change much but I went out and suddenly there was no grip. I stopped after two laps and then went out again and had no grip so I complained and they changed the tyre again but again I had no grip and then FP4 was over.
“I waited for Q2 and went out and had no grip so after two or three laps I was pushing but over one second slower than my best and I don’t understand it. I was quite nervous because I suddenly had no grip and the lap times at the top were as fast as usual. But at the last minute I put in a new tyre and I had normal grip so could jump to fourth position but couldn’t really focus and I wasn’t able to achieve my goal of the front row.”
When pressed as to what had happened between the morning and afternoon session Pedrosa was at a loss to explain it other than thinking that there was an issue with the Bridgestone tyres:
“I think that I had no grip for three tyres and then suddenly had grip so I think that there must be something on the tyres because I changed the bikes and I know the feeling of whether it is a tyre or a bike [causing the problem]. I used three tyres that didn’t work and all were the soft compound. The front was sliding too but that’s especially because when the rear tyre has no grip the front has even less. The tyres normally go together so once the rear tyre has grip the front feels better. My problem was that I couldn’t open the throttle. I’ve spoken to Bridgestone and they said that the tyre was the same but for sure it didn’t feel like that to me.”