MICHELIN MEN SHOW STRENGTH IN NUMBERS MotoGP beginner Pedrosa is top Michelin rider in first race of 2006 Michelin riders filled five of the first six finishing positions at Jerez today, giving the company's MotoGP crew the ...
MICHELIN MEN SHOW STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
MotoGP beginner Pedrosa is top Michelin rider in first race of 2006
Michelin riders filled five of the first six finishing positions at Jerez today, giving the company's MotoGP crew the satisfaction of achieving strength in depth even if victory eluded them on this occasion.
The race was a real thriller with MotoGP debutant Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) putting winner Loris Capirossi (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici) under serious pressure. The little Spaniard eventually finished second to the hugely experienced Italian and ahead of fellow Michelin men Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin), Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin), Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin) and fellow MotoGP first-timer Casey Stoner (Honda LCR RC211V-Michelin).
Today's race was 14.577 seconds slower than last year's Spanish GP, a rare occurrence in an era of rapidly improving tyre and machine performance. The deficit - equivalent to more than half a second a lap - was attributed to the four-year-old asphalt offering less grip than before. "We noticed that the surface wasn't as grippy as last year when everyone came here to test two weeks ago," said Michelin motorcycle racing director Nicolas Goubert. "We're not sure why it's less grippy, that's just what happens to some tracks. We didn't win today but I'd like to offer my congratulations to Loris who was spectacular. And Dani made an amazing start to his MotoGP career. He showed he's both very fast and very clever. Elias was really good too. He lost time in the first-corner incident but was the fastest rider on the track during the final laps. Stoner was also very impressive and it was great to see Kenny (Roberts, Team Roberts KR211V-Michelin) go so well with his team's new bike.
"Our riders seemed happy with the consistent performance of our new rear tyre. We're confident we have improved since last year but we've still got to prove that, so we'll be working hard to make sure we win next time! It looks like a great season ahead, we're looking forward to the fight, that's why we're here."