Checa chases front grip

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Spaniard Carlos Checa reckons front-end feel on Honda’s new RC212V is the biggest area he needs to improve before the new MotoGP season kicks off in less than three weeks.

Although Michelin has made a big breakthrough with the new 16-inch front tyre that has been universally praised by the likes of Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa, Checa believes there is still room for improvement.

Like fellow Honda riders Hayden and Shinya Nakano, the 34-year-old isn’t totally confident with front-end performance on Honda’s new V4, as the new generation 800 machines place different demands on tyres.

Less horsepower, higher corners speeds and later braking are now key elements on the new smaller capacity premier class machines.

Checa said: “We need to work a lot with the tyres because the riding style and speed and power is quite different. Michelin are working hard to improve the character.

“We need to get more side grip on the front. Now the speed mid-turn is very good and the acceleration between the turns is less.

He added: “But the exit and entry speed to corners is faster than on the 990 so you need much better front contact. I’m quite optimistic because we have room for improvement.”


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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt