San Marino GP: Michelin preview

MICHELIN IN POSITIVE MOOD FOR MISANO Michelin's MotoGP men go into this season's second Grand Prix on Italian tarmac in positive mood following an important two-day test session following the recent Czech Grand Prix. Michelin riders tested a new...

MICHELIN IN POSITIVE MOOD FOR MISANO

Michelin's MotoGP men go into this season's second Grand Prix on Italian tarmac in positive mood following an important two-day test session following the recent Czech Grand Prix. Michelin riders tested a new profile front and new construction rear during the tests and some of Michelin's seven riders will use those tyres at Misano.

Michelin riders have triumphed at two of the last four races, with Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) winning at Assen and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC212V-Michelin) scoring a runaway victory at the Sachsenring, but both men are now a long way from the championship points lead after difficult weekends at the US and Czech GPs and need more victories if they are to have any chance of fighting for the 2007 MotoGP crown.

Misano will be a particularly challenging weekend for the tyre companies because the circuit is entirely new to the MotoGP paddock. Misano last hosted a GP in 1993 and the circuit now runs in the opposite direction. To allow MotoGP riders and teams to get the best out of the circuit they have been allowed an extra hour of practice on Friday, and each rider's tyre allocation has been increased by one front and two rears, taking the total to 15 and 19 tyres respectively.

MICHELIN AND THE TECHNICAL CHALLENGE OF MISANO

"We do have some data about the Misano surface because we have ways of measuring the character of the asphalt, but new tracks and new surfaces always make the tyre companies' job more complex," says Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "The new surfaces at the Sachsenring and at Laguna made those events challenging weekends for everyone, and I'm sure Misano will be the same. Misano will be especially interesting because no one has tested there. It's good that we have been allowed an extra hour of practice on Friday, plus three extra tyres in each rider's allocation, that should help us find the right way for our riders and their bikes.

"We found some interesting directions during the post-race tests at Brno. We had our riders evaluate a new construction rear slick, which we had been working on during the summer break. This is the fourth step we've made with our rear since we started on this tyre during tests following the Turkish GP in April. The new construction gives our riders a better feeling when they're on the edge of the tyre, plus more stability and better warm-up. We got some good feedback during the tests which confirmed the direction we've taken with tyre construction and this makes us quite confident for the next few races. Riders who want this new construction will be able to choose it for Misano. Maybe the compounds we used during the Brno tests were slightly too hard for that track but Misano has a new surface which will probably be quite aggressive, so riders may need quite hard compounds for this race.

"We also tested a new profile front at Brno. The tyre seems to be an improvement for some but not all of our riders -- it gives a better feeling and works better entering the corners. The riders who liked this tyre will be able to have it in their allocations for Misano, though maybe not in a wide range of compounds just yet.

"Our development work will continue after Misano, with some of our riders staying on to test on Monday. We will try some more new compounds of the tyres we confirmed during the Brno tests."

TRACK DATA: 4,180 Km
New MotoGP circuit, no MotoGP lap record

-credit: michelin

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Dani Pedrosa
Teams Repsol Honda Team