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Lack of testing time problematic for Michelin

Lack of testing time problematic for Michelin

On the back foot in the MotoGP tyre war, but refusing to give up the ghost, Michelin return to action next weekend with a point to prove.

On the back foot in the MotoGP tyre war, but refusing to give up the ghost, Michelin return to action next weekend with a point to prove. Last year they conceded victory to Bridgestone in Brno for the first time, and now get the chance to reclaim what has traditionally been Michelin territory. Jean-Philippe Weber, the manufacturers director of motorcycle racing, gives a briefing for the battle of the Czech Republic.

The grip level of at Brno is rather weak because the surface is quite old, completely different from the new surface at Laguna Seca which was very aggressive, says Weber. Brno is a difficult track because on the one hand you need rather soft tyres because theres not much grip, but on the other hand you need harder tyres because the track is quite fast and open so you use a lot of throttle which can mean a lot of wheelspin if you go too soft with your tyres. So we have to find a compromise between these two opposites, adapting compound and construction to find the best solution. You need a medium to medium-soft range of tyres for Brno but we will also have harder tyres available.

The front tyre is also very important at Brno because the track is undulating and there are quite a few downhill corner entries. In some ways its quite similar to Mugello, so we will bring front tyres that arent too different from what we use at Mugello. The different loads experienced through the uphill and downhill sections also complicate the task of rear tyre choice.

Going into the second part of the season we have some high-speed tracks coming up. I feel confident that we can supply tyres that work well at these circuits but I am a little bit worried about the speed differential between the different bikes at the faster tracks.

We know that we have to work very hard at improving our tyres, and especially at developing compounds and constructions that work over a broader range of conditions, because thats what everyone wants to work at their best within the new tyre regulations. One of the problems that we face at the moment is lack of testing time there has been no testing since just after the French GP at Le Mans in May. In between races we can test tyres on superbike machines but we dont have any opportunity to test with our top MotoGP riders on MotoGP bikes at MotoGP tracks, which makes it difficult to develop new tyres. Nonetheless, we have been working very hard all through the summer break, developing and testing tyres in preparation for Brno and the subsequent races. We are looking forward to the last seven races and working with our partners to get the best possible results.


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