TOP MICHELIN MEN OUT OF LUCK AT MISANO Michelin had a luckless race at Misano this afternoon -- its three fastest qualifiers all suffering problems through no fault of their own. It was left to Carlos Checa (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin) to finish...
TOP MICHELIN MEN OUT OF LUCK AT MISANO
Michelin had a luckless race at Misano this afternoon -- its three fastest qualifiers all suffering problems through no fault of their own. It was left to Carlos Checa (Honda LCR RC212V-Michelin) to finish top Michelin man, the Spaniard enjoying a spirited ride to sixth place, equalling his best result of the year.
Michelin had started the day confident of a strong race after Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha Team YZR-M1-Michelin) and Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) had qualified on the front row, with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V-Michelin) also looking good on row two. But Pedrosa got knocked down at only the second turn, Hayden forced to take avoiding action through the gravel trap and rejoining the race in last position. Rossi was going well in the top four until he was forced out of the event with suspected mechanical problems.
"We are upset about what happened in the first few laps of the race -- Dani and Nicky at the second corner, then Valentino also had problems a few laps later," said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing. "That kind of thing can happen in racing but it was a real disappointment for us because we were confident that these guys could go fast. Of course, we still have to improve, we still have some work to do, but the range of tyres we brought here, which was partly based on what we learned at Brno last month, was good in terms of how we used the range of tyres from yesterday's morning session to the afternoon session. But maybe the biggest disappointment of today was the fact that we don't have any feedback or information about race-distance performance from Valentino or Dani. It is very important to get race distance on the tyres, which can sometimes be difficult during the rest of the weekend, especially with the kind of bad weather we had here on Friday. Carlos rode a good race, he felt quite confident but he also wanted some more potential from the tyres through left-handers."
Checa had a busy race, battling with several other riders before making sure of sixth place. "I'm very satisfied with this result, following the engine updates we've had from Honda and the work we've done on chassis and tyres," he said. "The direction we took with Michelin during the Brno tests last month was the right direction but we still have more development work to do."