Fabio Quartararo’s Andalusian Grand Prix victory was partly made possible by a preparation technique Michelin advised all MotoGP teams to do, but only the Yamaha and Suzuki riders acted upon.
Autosport has learned that MotoGP tyre supplier Michelin sent an email to all teams during the second round of the 2020 campaign recommending them to scrub the soft rear tyre in Sunday’s warm-up session.
The scrub consists of three laps: a slow out-lap, one fast lap, and then an in-lap.
The idea behind this is that the scrub removes the film from the tyre, and then after it has been left to cool before being put back in the blankets, a chemical reaction occurs in the rubber.
This makes the tyre more heat resistant, with its working range 10 degrees cooler than normal, which increases the durability of the rubber.
With track temperatures reaching a blistering 60 degrees Celsius in the race, Quartararo was able to benefit instantly by pulling a healthy lead in the early laps he never relinquished.
A spokesperson from Michelin explained: “From time to time we make recommendations to the teams that we believe can help them, but the choice to follow them is always theirs.
“You do all three laps. Then you leave the tyres uncovered with the heaters to cool.
“Once cold, you cover them again until the moment of the race.
“The procedure makes the compound more heat resistant and can reduce the temperature by 10 degrees.”
All four Yamaha riders and both Suzuki riders completed the scrub in morning warm-up on the soft tyres they used for the races – which was the compound the whole field elected to run on the rear.
It meant the trio of podium finishers – Quartararo, Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi – all used the instructions from Michelin, while the other Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli was fighting for a rostrum position before a mechanical issue forced him out of the race on lap 17.
“Normally we always start with a brand new tyre on the starting grid,” Quartararo said after the race.
“But this time we decided to go three times around with the tyre in the warm-up in the morning, and then go out to the race with the tyre already used.
“It took effect and I want to congratulate the team.”