Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller had to contend with a mystery vibration that made his tyre warning light go nuts during yesterday’s Aragon MotoGP and consequently he decided to knock his pace off.
Miller had been sitting in eighth with Valentino Rossi behind him but a sudden vibration caused him to think the rear tyre had shit itself with a few laps left to run but, in parc ferme, nothing was evident.
“I was eighth and starting to crawl back towards my teammate with seven or eight laps to go, and then I had this feeling like the bike had jumped out of gear or something, because I had this huge vibration,” said Miller.
“I thought I’d delaminated the rear tyre on the left-hand side, so that was a bit of a panic because I thought I was probably going to have to retire or crash.
“I’d been riding with one eye on that because the whole race, from the first lap, the tyre light came on my dash warning me about the tyre consumption. I knew that wasn’t right because it was so early in the race, but you knew it was coming, and I just kept counting the laps down waiting for a drama. Seeing a tyre light every corner make it hard to keep calm, that’s for sure.
“When that vibration came, lap 17 I think it was, I immediately dropped my pace back half a second or more into the 1’50s which left me exposed to Valentino coming up from ninth, and he got me with less than two laps to go. I had nothing for him at that stage, I wanted to fight him but the tyres definitely didn’t.
“It’s pretty scary when you’re having vibrations on the straight and you’re convinced the tyre is chunking when you’re doing 320km/h. When I got off the bike, the tyre looked fine as far as the chunking goes – there were no bits hacked out of it – but it was destroyed. Maybe the vibration came from the gearbox, we’re still not sure until we look into it a little bit more.”