French GP: Michelin race notes

MELANDRI SCORES LE MANS RACE WIN FOR MICHELIN Marco makes it four in a row for Michelin. Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin) scored his second race win of the 2006 season, as six of the top seven places went to Michelin riders at the...

MELANDRI SCORES LE MANS RACE WIN FOR MICHELIN
Marco makes it four in a row for Michelin.

Marco Melandri (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin) scored his second race win of the 2006 season, as six of the top seven places went to Michelin riders at the recently modified 4.180km Le Mans Bugatti circuit. One time race leader Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) was eventually ousted by first Melandri and then, on the very last lap, by second place rider Loris Capirossi, leaving the pole position rider in an eventual third place.

Fourth was fought over by Casey Stoner (Honda LCR RC211V-Michelin) and the man who still leads the championship for Michelin, Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin). The Aussie would get the better of the battle, taking fourth by only just over 0.2 seconds.

The race had moments of high drama, notably when a first lap collision saw one rider out and two others pushed wide, including the eventual sixth placed Colin Edwards (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin), who had to fight back from finding himself 17th on lap one.

Valentino Rossi (Camel Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) continued an unwanted run of bad luck with his second DNF in succession, when he retired on the 21st lap, while holding a comfortable lead. Kenny Roberts (Team Roberts KR211V-Michelin) also failed to finish the race, with the final Michelin rider across the line being Toni Elias (Fortuna Honda RC211V-Michelin), in ninth place.

"Four in a row and a great win for Marco but we have to say it was a very impressive show from Valentino," said Michelin motorcycle racing director Nicolas Goubert. "It was the second victory for Marco this year, and although he had been struggling earlier in the weekend he was very competitive in the race. We were quite happy with the tyre consistency because Nicky made his best lap very near the end of the race, and Casey made his quite near the finish as well. Dani had a good race overall but he made a different tyre choice from the others. We made a gamble, together with the team and himself, and chose a tyre which was a lot softer on the left hand side. That choice gave him more confidence, and after Saturday that tyre had made a big difference to him, because then the track conditions were not perfect. We knew it would be difficult at the end, but not how much, and it is obvious Dani can save his tyres. So we learned something today -but it gave him the opportunity to finish on the podium and to get closer as ever to the top of the championship standings. It seems that despite the incredible horsepower that these bikes have, he might be able to run slightly softer tyres than the others. But we have to be careful!"

-michelin-

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Loris Capirossi , Colin Edwards , Marco Melandri , Toni Elias
Teams Repsol Honda Team