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Michelin happy with first race performance

Michelin happy with first race performance

Despite having conceded the first victory of the season to rivals Bridgestone, Michelin have reason to be satisfied with their performance in Qatar.

Despite having conceded the first victory of the season to rivals Bridgestone, Michelin have reason to be satisfied with their performance in Qatar. The tyre manufacturer had two riders- Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa- on the podium, and experienced no problems with the new tyre regulations put into effect for the 800cc era.

Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's Motorcycle Competition Manager, paid tribute to all the riders on the podium, even Bridgestone-shod race winner Casey Stoner.

"The form of the Ducati has surprised everyone. With a quicker bike, a rider who already took pole the previous year on Michelin tyres and who controlled the race for over half of its duration, the full potential of the rider-bike-tyre combination could be seen," evaluated Weber.

"Valentino had a very high corner speed, and even though he had a disadvantage on the straights he didn't let Stoner get away. It was an exciting race because Valentino was so aggressive, and the tyres helped him with this. The edge grip was very good, as was the resistance. Our first race with the 16" fronts has had very positive feedback from the riders. Valentino made a good tyre choice, but Pedrosa perhaps chose too soft a tyre, leaving him losing ground at the end of the race."

After an intense duel with John Hopkins for the final rostrum place, Pedrosa expressed regret that he did not have access to tyres used at last month's Official Test at Losail. Weber added his thoughts to this problem, stating that "between teams, riders and ourselves we choose the compounds that will be made for the race. With the new rules we have to define a strategy that may be different to that used at the tests."

The new rules themselves, introduced as of Qatar, had a somewhat easy introduction due to the amount of testing carried out at Losail over preseason, something not lost on the tyre manufacturers. "So far the regulations have worked out well, but we will have to wait and see how it goes at the tracks where we haven't tested, and where the conditions are a bit more variable than in Qatar."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, Commercialbank GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

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