ROSSI & PEDROSA SCORE MICHELIN ONE-TWO
Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) dominated this afternoon's thrilling Italian Grand Prix to give Michelin a superb one-two finish. Rossi scored his sixth successive Mugello victory using a new rear construction slick that Michelin has been developing over the past six weeks.
The pair's emphatic performance came despite a difficult start to the race -- Rossi completed the first lap down in seventh place while Pedrosa had only qualified eighth in yesterday's rain-lashed qualifying session. But the Italian and the Spaniard came through to dominate from one-third distance, Rossi winning by three seconds, Pedrosa setting the fastest lap.
"That is a fantastic result for us," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "The race wasn't easy because Valentino and Dani weren't up front at the start but they were able to fight their way to the front and then break away from their rivals. We were a little worried about the Ducati's top speed here but Valentino and Dani had better performance through the corners to overcome that straight-line disadvantage.
"Valentino's win confirms that we are working in the right direction with our new rear casing, he used a new rear that he tested at Le Mans after the French GP. Dani used a softer casing today, according to his preference, but we will talk to him to get his feedback to see if he wants to use something different next time. Each of our riders needs their own solution to suit their riding styles and machine character.
"Our 16 inch front also worked well today, all our riders are very confident in this tyre, because it improves corner-entry performance which is especially important here with so many downhill corners.
"It has been a difficult weekend, with so much rain during practice that prevented us from trying all the slick solutions that we would have liked to test, but in the end we had a good race performance. Anyway, Dani was fastest in dry practice, so we were quite confident for today.
"Today's win is a big boost for us, now we will keep thinking hard and working hard to bring the best tyre solutions to Barcelona next weekend."