Michelin Catalunya test notes 2006-03-05

MICHELIN MEN START 2006 ON TOP Edwards, Hayden and Rossi dominate official season prologue session Michelin began the 2006 MotoGP season the same say it finished last year's campaign - out front and dominating. Michelin riders filled the top...

MICHELIN MEN START 2006 ON TOP
Edwards, Hayden and Rossi dominate official season prologue session

Michelin began the 2006 MotoGP season the same say it finished last year's campaign - out front and dominating. Michelin riders filled the top three places in this afternoon's rain-lashed 40-minute season prologue, with the fastest non-Michelin man 2.517 seconds off the pace.

Colin Edwards (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) was in dazzling form despite the appalling conditions, outpacing second-fastest Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V- Michelin) by 1.819 seconds. Reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) was third, despite suffering a minor tumble during the outing.

"We're pretty happy with today's performance," said Nicolas Goubert, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "Although it's so cold here that the conditions shouldn't really bear any relevance to anything we'll come across during the season, it's obvious that our tyres worked pretty well with Colin, Nicky and Valentino up front. But maybe even more important were the results from yesterday's dry-weather testing when Valentino was fastest, showing really good speed on qualifiers, and Colin ran an impressive pace on race tyres. As usual, our focus for our 2006 rear slick has been to increase the tyre footprint during cornering."

Michelin's 2006 rain tyres are an evolution of its 2005 rain tyres. This afternoon riders used soft compounds designed for cold track conditions, because the track temperature was just 11 degrees, around nine degrees less than a typical wet-track temperature during the summer.

"The times came comfortably, I just kept chipping away," said a delighted Edwards, who won a BMW car for his efforts. "This is a boost for us, when you have a bike that works that well in the rain, you know you have something special. The main thing now is to win races and I feel I'm in a position to do that this year."

The 17-race 2006 MotoGP World Championship commences at Jerez, Sain, on March 26.

-michelin-

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi