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Michelin majority expected to use new construction at Estoril

Michelin majority expected to use new construction at Estoril

Unable to fully assess their tyres in the race at Misano, where their three top riders were unable to finish the first five laps, testing in Italy nonetheless brought positive results for Michelin as they looked to develop a new front tyre construction.

Unable to fully assess their tyres in the race at Misano, where their three top riders were unable to finish the first five laps, testing in Italy nonetheless brought positive results for Michelin as they looked to develop a new front tyre construction. Up to four riders are now expected to use said construction this weekend in Portugal.

Previewing the race at Estoril, Jean-Philippe Weber explained the findings and outlined possible scenarios for the weekend.

The tests at Misano went quite well, we were quite happy with the lap times, we learned a lot and Yamaha and Honda worked well with us. The tests helped us find some interesting directions for development and also allowed us to get a lot more information about Misano. We hadnt been there before the GP, and with our three fastest riders out of luck in the race, it was extremely useful for us to get some more track time.

During the tests we continued our work on the new construction tyres we first used during the post-Czech GP tests at Brno. Four of our riders raced the new construction at Misano, including Valentino Rossi. Our main focus at the tests was obtaining more data on compounds with the new construction rear which is designed to improve edge grip and traction. The construction is a bit stiffer than before, so while most of our riders already like the tyre, some still prefer the softer construction; as always it comes down to riding style and machine character. Choice of construction also depends on the circuit I think the stiffer construction should work well at Estoril, though maybe the softer construction will be better at somewhere like Motegi where riders dont spend so much time at maximum lean.

Two of our riders raced with the new profile front at Misano and most of them tested the tyre the day after the race. We were working with compounds again, and the Yamaha guys especially appreciated the new tyre. We expect three or four riders will use this tyre at Estoril Carlos Checa wasnt sure after the tests, he has still to decide which profile he prefers.

Estoril is going to be really different from Misano. The surface isnt in very good condition, its bumpy and the grip level will be much lower, although I believe they have resurfaced a couple of parts of the track. It is quite an asymmetric circuit with a lot of right-handers and not so many lefts, so we have to work to make sure our riders have the best grip through both the rights and the lefts. The right side of the tyre has to work quite hard at Estoril, especially through the final right-hander which is very, very long, with riders using a lot of throttle and spending a lot of time at maximum lean.

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MotoGP, 2007, bwin.com GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL

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