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Resurfaced Sepang track to provide a challenge for teams

Resurfaced Sepang track to provide a challenge for teams

Having been completely resurfaced since preseason testing in February, the Sepang circuit is sure to provide plenty of challenges for the riders, their teams and the tyre suppliers at this weekends Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Having been completely resurfaced since preseason testing in February, the Sepang circuit is sure to provide plenty of challenges for the riders, their teams and the tyre suppliers at this weekends Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

With four major hairpin corners, and frequent, fast changes of direction featuring in the 5.5km layout, Sepang provides a serious test of the entire bike set-up, while the mainly consistent, but hot and sticky, weather makes it a useful winter testing venue placing obvious strains on the leather-clad World Championship competitors.

Their will be plenty of sweating in the MotoGP pit boxes this weekend at the penultimate round of the season and the teams and their respective compound collaborators will have to wait until first free practice on Friday morning to see how helpful previous data will be, following the resurfacing of the entire track which took place in May.

Further work was required at MotoGP´s longest racetrack after FIM Safety Delegate Claude Danis inspected the track in August, with additional improvements requested in terms of levelling of the grass and track edges, construction of kerbs along certain corner stretches and smoothing of specific corner entries and exits.

Having hosted its first Grand Prix with great success in April 1999, Sepang is well known by most of the riders from previous visits for races and testing, and is popular with the majority of the paddock members due to its fast, safe track layout and state-of-the-art facilities.

Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelins director of motorcycle racing, looked ahead to the Malaysian action stating, A new surface and high temperatures usually makes life very tough for the tyres, so it will be a challenging weekend for all the tyre companies. we have already got some basic information about the character of the tarmac, but no one knows what its really like until were actually there, so it will be a bit of a gamble.

Meanwhile, like Michelin, rivals Bridgestone are also anticipating an interesting weekend, with a Grand Prix Commission announcement to be made on Saturday about the possible switch to a control tyre arrangement for 2008.

Bridgestones Motorcycle Sport Unit Manager Hiroshi Yamada, commented: The length of time spent on the central part of the tyre is considerable at Sepang while the extreme heat we usually experience, with track temperatures around 50°C, will mean we run harder compounds for both front and rear tyres. The track has been resurfaced so in the first sessions on Friday we will also be looking at the effects on tyre performance of the new asphalt as we carry out the usual initial assessment of our available specifications.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, POLINI MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX

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