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Jean Michel Bayle meets up with the new MotoGP generation

Jean Michel Bayle meets up with the new MotoGP generation

Jean Michel Bayle meets up with the new MotoGP generation

Test sessions always provide an ideal time to catch up with riders and teams away from the pressures of Grand Prix weekends. During the recent IRTA tests in Catalunya, several well-known faces could be spotted wandering down in the pit-lane, amongst them was Jean Michel Bayle.

The Frenchman was taking the opportunity to meet up with some old colleagues and rivals. Having won almost every title going in both Motocross and Supercross at the beginning of the 1990´s, Bayle decided to try his hand in the Grand Prix arena. In ´96, he made his 500cc debut, riding for Kenny Roberts´Yamaha team having spent two seasons with Aprilia in the 250 category. He then went on to work for the Modenas KR3 set-up helping with testing, before returning to competitive racing in ´99 when he formed part of Wayne Rainey's team.

His return to the atmosphere of the MotoGP paddock proved something of a nostalgic experience for Bayle, ´It´s special, and I think it´s probably the same for any rider who returns to the circuits.´ He strolled along the pit-lane stopping off in various boxes, but obviously spent a little longer in that of Roberts´ Proton team. ´I got the chance to do something of a tour and talk with a few old acquaintances, the faces don't change much.´

Bayle also had the chance to see first-hand the new 4-stroke prototypes which will be appearing in the blue riband category this term. ´The arrival of the 4-stroke machines will make the Championship very interesting. At the moment it´s difficult to predict how it will turn out as I think it will be a year of transition. What you can be sure of is that the 2-strokes will still be in there, but maybe not for much longer.´

´I´m planning to go to at least a couple of Grand Prix this year, but I´ll also be keeping an eye on what is going on in the Supercross and Motocross, and I've already been to a couple of tests´, he added.

MotoGP, 2002

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