2 June 2015
MotoGP Italy: Front tyre woe for factory stars in Michelin test
Movistar Yamaha riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo plus Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez suffer front-end crashes in Michelin tyre test at Mugello.
The factory Honda, Yamaha and Ducati teams conducted the latest Michelin tyre test at Mugello in Italy on Monday ahead of the French manufacturer's introduction as the sole MotoGP tyre supplier from 2016.
Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone plus GP15 test rider Michele Pirro focused largely on the front tyre at the test.
However, Rossi, Lorenzo and Marquez all suffered front-end spills in the afternoon as they tried a 23-lap simulation, making a choice from a selection of four front tyres.
Mugello winner Lorenzo was the first to crash out at Materassi, with Marquez and Rossi off at Arrabiata 1 and Correntaio respectively, suggesting there is still much work to be done.
Aprilia's Alvaro Bautista also took part on Monday, running through a comprehensive testing cycle as Michelin continues its development drive ahead of next season.
The one-day test at Mugello was the first involving the factory riders since the second pre-season test at Sepang, although the factories' test riders have been continuously developing the tyres throughout the season.
Michelin's Technical Director, Nicolas Goubert, said: “We came here two weeks ago with the test riders to get ready for this test, and here we are in the second test with the top riders – something which is going to be very important for us – because the feedback they give us is key to their success.
“The test riders, as well as the top riders, were very happy with the rear tyres at the Sepang test. We think we're there already with the rear; we just have to adjust it to the different venues we're going to.
“But on the front the other hand, they've asked us to improve some of the parameters. So we concentrated on the front again this time,” he added.
“We had four different front tyres to test, and a couple of rears only. The profile will actually be the same; it was the best profile we found in Sepang. We have two variations on the construction, on the casing, and one new compound.”
Goubert also explained the importance of garnering the views of the the current MotoGP riders as opposed to those only of the test riders.
“You really have to have the right guys, the ones that are going to be on new tyres next year, to tell us what they want, what they need, and what they will feel comfortable with,” he said.
Riders are banned from talking about the Michelin tyres until the current contract with Bridgestone expires.
The next test involving factory riders, as well as other riders in the MotoGP field, will take place after the Czech round at Brno on August 17.
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