Rossi takes first win for Michelin S4 rain tyre. Michelin riders every bit as dominant in the rain as in the dry during soaking Estoril GP. Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) won his ninth victory of the season at soaking wet...
Rossi takes first win for Michelin S4 rain tyre.
Michelin riders every bit as dominant in the rain as in the dry during soaking Estoril GP.
Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) won his ninth victory of the season at soaking wet Estoril this afternoon, inheriting first position when Sete Gibernau (Telefonica Movistar Suzuki GSV-R-Michelin) crashed with just four laps remaining. Carlos Checa (Marlboro Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) came though to take second after a slow start from pole position, Tohru Ukawa (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) taking third. The top seven finishers all used Michelin tyres, and with 11 MotoGP races gone and five to go, Michelin men hold the first nine places in the World Championship.
"That was a pity for Sete, a real pity," said Michelin Grand Prix manager Emmanuel Fournier. "But apart from that this was pretty much a perfect race for us. All our riders raced our new S4 rain rear for the first time, because we didn't have an S4 rain tyre at Suzuka in April, and I have to say we're delighted with the results. We had two different compounds here and both proved very consistent with really nice wear. This tyre is one step up from the tyre some of our riders tested at our Ledoux faci lity during May. Since then Dominique Sarron has been testing more rain tyres, developing constructions and compounds, though mostly focusing on compound. We also had a new rain front here, a moulded version of the tyre we raced at Suzuka, when our fronts were hand cut."
Gibernau dominated most of the race, which started wet and got even wetter when a downpour flooded the circuit after a few laps. By half distance the Spaniard was over five seconds ahead of Rossi, who'd left team-mate Ukawa behind after a short duel. But with his first MotoGP win in his sights, Gibernau fell at the track's 60kmh chicane, leaving Rossi comfortably in command, over 20 seconds ahead of Checa, who'd got the better of Ukawa and Kenny Roberts (Telefonica Movistar Suzuki GSV-R-Michelin)