MICHELIN MAN ROSSI SETS FASTEST LAP, FINISHES 3rd , HAYDEN IMPRESSES WITH NEW 16-INCH REAR SLICK Michelin rider Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) took third place in today's Australian GP to maintain his full-house of podium ...
MICHELIN MAN ROSSI SETS FASTEST LAP, FINISHES 3rd , HAYDEN IMPRESSES WITH NEW 16-INCH REAR SLICK
Michelin rider Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) took third place in today's Australian GP to maintain his full-house of podium finishes at Phillip Island, MotoGP's fastest racetrack.The former World Champion battled hard for the result, setting the fastest lap of the race to claim the last podium place, just 1.6 seconds in front of fourth-placed Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin). Yesterday Pedrosa had claimed his second consecutive pole position, just ahead of Rossi.
Rossi ended the race ten seconds behind winner Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici) and three seconds behind Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici). Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) showed strongly during the early stages, using a new 16-inch rear slick to chase Stoner, but the 2006 World Champion had a bike problem and didn't finish.
That was quite a tough race," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "When we saw our top guys fighting near the front in the early stages we were quite optimistic but after mid-race the potential of our tyres went down for Valentino and Dani. Nicky was extremely fast using our new 16-inch rear. This was the first time we have raced with the 16 and it seemed to work well, the tyre gave good performance and good handling, so that is very positive for us. Unfortunately Nicky didn't finish the race, it would have been great to have the information from full-race distance. Nicky tested the tyre after the race at Motegi and liked it; Dani wasn't able to test it because he was hurt; while the Yamaha guys want some more improvements to the tyre. The 16 certainly gives us an interesting direction in which we can work."
Top Michelin finisher Rossi said: "Finishing on the podium here is always a big pleasure because the crowd always makes a big party. The race was difficult and I tried very hard. Unfortunately I make a mistake exiting the last corner on the second lap and I lose contact with Casey and Nicky. After that I had a battle with Dani and my rhythm was not so bad because I made the fastest lap. I stayed quite close to the leaders and pushed very hard, but after a few laps I started to spin too much on the left of the tyres. For a while I thought it might be possible to fight to the end with Loris, but I lose some more grip and third was all I could do."