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Michelin assess Assen challenge

Michelin assess Assen challenge

After their British disappointment where only three Michelin riders finished in the top ten despite dominating qualifying at Donington, the French tyre manufacturers are aiming to bounce straight back this coming weekend at the A-Style TT Assen.

After their British disappointment where only three Michelin riders finished in the top ten despite dominating qualifying at Donington, the French tyre manufacturers are aiming to bounce straight back this coming weekend at the A-Style TT Assen.

At MotoGP's most historic event of the season Michelin's top riders, such as Fiat Yamaha pair Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi along with currently underachieving Repsol Honda colleagues Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden will all be looking for podium finishes – with only Edwards able to achieve that in the wet-dry conditions in Leicestershire on Sunday.

Hayden won a dramatic Assen race last year when compatriot Edwards crashed on the last corner with his first – and still elusive - Grand Prix victory in his grasp.

If there are two Michelin riders doing battle for the top step of the podium on the last lap in the Netherlands in this Saturday's ninth race of the season it would be pleasing for Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's director of motorcycle racing, who assessed Dutch challenge from a tyre perspective commenting: "The new Assen is very different from the old track, it's not like the circuit we used to know. The new layout puts a bit less stress into the tyres. The old Assen was very, very fast, with a lot of banked corners, so the G-forces and loads were pretty big, which heated up the compound, so you needed harder tyres for the higher temperatures."

"The new layout is still fast but the rear tyres we use now are in the medium-hard range, because you still need good stability for the fast corners but also good traction for the slower turns. I'd say that the tyres we use here are more or less similar to the slicks we use at Donington, but with the compounds on either side of the tyre adapted to suit the different surface. Assen is also very asymmetric, rather like Donington and Barcelona, the layout is much more aggressive on the right side of the tyres, so you need good traction and stability for the long corners, like Ossebroeken, and also good warm-up, especially on the left side, for Strubben and the other left-handers."

"The front tyres we use at Assen are a bit harder than what we used at Donington, for example. There's some heavy braking required from quite high speeds, so the track is quite aggressive on the front tyre."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, NICKEL & DIME BRITISH GRAND PRIX

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