MotoGP Jerez test: Michelin looking forward to 2008

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Michelin bosses are in confident mood following the results from the final MotoGP test of the winter after taking the top four places on the final day yesterday (Thursday).

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets on day three 0.84secs inside his pole position time from the MotoGP in March with teammate Nicky Hayden second just ahead of Yamaha’s rookie Jorge Lorenzo.

With Valentino Rossi struggling with his hand injury on his new Bridgestone tyres, Michelin had the chance to show their intentions for 2008.

Michelin’s director of motorcycle racing, Jean-Philippe Weber said after the test: “We brought a lot of new tyres to Jerez because this test was so crucial. The data we got here is vital because it helps us to keep working during the winter break.”

“We tried new constructions, new compounds, new fronts and new rears, both 16.5 inch and 16 inch.

“We tried a new front construction that gives our riders better contact feeling and improved handling. We also tried new rears, working at increasing edge grip and traction in order to improve overall performance. We made some major forward steps on rear construction and we also tried some new compounds with this new construction.

All four recorded their best times on qualifying tyres but also showed encouraging performances on race tyres.

Dani Pedrosa spent his final day on his 2007 RCV in order to make direct comparison’s to the 2007 season while Nicky Hayden spent his time looking at set-up on the 2008 Honda RCV.

Jean-Philippe Weber added: “Dani worked with the 16 rear as well as the 16.5 rear and now believes the 16 has very good potential, though Nicky is still the most enthusiastic about this tyre. Dani said the 16 has got great traction, though he wants us to work some more on stability.

“He is very keen to try the tyre again at Sepang in January. Dani also told us that we have improved tyre warm-up, which is good news, so we will try these tyres again at Sepang, with higher track temperatures, and test their consistency. We were also impressed by Lorenzo, who did a very good long-distance run.

“These tests have given us some very good data and feedback. Now we will keep working during the winter break, continuing what we started here and perfecting our latest tyres for Sepang.”

Sarah Carnell

By Sarah Carnell