MICHELIN'S MotoGP MEN MAKE FAST START TO 2008 Pedrosa and Lorenzo placed first and second after first four races Michelin's MotoGP riders have made a superb start to the 2008 season. After the first four rounds of this year's...
MICHELIN'S MotoGP MEN MAKE FAST START TO 2008
Pedrosa and Lorenzo placed first and second after first four races
Michelin's MotoGP riders have made a superb start to the 2008 season. After the first four rounds of this year's World Championship, Michelin men Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) and Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) are first and second in the points chase with a win apiece. In total Michelin riders have scored four pole positions, won two race victories and filled seven of 12 podium places at the first four events of the 18-round series.
Spaniard Pedrosa took the series lead with a superb home GP victory at Jerez, while dazzling rookie Lorenzo went equal on points when he took his debut MotoGP win at Estoril, Portugal. Lorenzo has been the find of 2008 - the double 250 World Champion made history by scoring pole position at each of his first three MotoGP events and may have continued that form if he hadn't crashed during Chinese GP practice, breaking a bone in his left ankle and wrenching his right ankle. Lorenzo proved his mettle by riding through the pain barrier to take fourth at Shanghai while Pedrosa retook the series lead with a fine ride to second place.
Other star Michelin performers at the first four races have been long-time Michelin man Colin Edwards (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) who took pole in China, rookie James Toseland (Yamaha Tech 3 YZR-M1-Michelin) who qualified on the front row for his very first MotoGP race in Qatar and another rookie Andrea Dovizioso (JiR Team Scot Honda RC212V-Michelin) who has also showed serious speed and great promise for the future.
Michelin's big step forward into the 2008 season has been the talk of the paddock. During the off-season Michelin's MotoGP chemists and engineers focused on three main performance factors: edge grip, warm-up and operating range.
Edge grip is vital with the new breed of 800cc MotoGP bikes which use so much corner speed. Michelin has worked hard to allow riders to brake deep into corners and then accelerate hard from the corner apex. Texan Tornado Edwards speaks for many Michelin riders when he says: "The new tyres are just awesome, you can brake to the apex, full lean and then just hammer it on."
Michelin's performance in all kinds of conditions - from the moist coolness of the first-ever night GP in Qatar to the fast-changing weather in China proves that the company's latest tyres also have good warm-up and a much-improved operating range.
"In Qatar our riders were able to lead from the very start, despite the cool low track temperature, proving that warm-up performance is very good," says Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "And in China our riders were able to race with the same tyres that they had used in practice, even though track temperature was 25 degrees on race day, 23 degrees less than it had been the day before. This proves that our tyres now have an excellent operating range. And sticking with the same tyres gives riders a real advantage because they can keep the same machine settings and because they know how the tyre is going to perform over race distance.
"We are very happy with the performance of our riders so far this year. We have seen Dani and Jorge win races early in the championship but we can see that all seven of our riders are showing excellent potential. The rookies like Jorge, James and Andrea are also very exciting and give us great hope for the future."