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Michelin trust in Pedrosa and Lorenzo at Catalunya

Michelin trust in Pedrosa and Lorenzo at Catalunya

French tyre suppliers Michelin are hoping their top two riders in the MotoGP points standings, Spaniards Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo, will perform well in Barcelona.

With six races of the 2008 World Championship gone and 12 to go, the second of four European rounds in the space of five weeks takes place at the Catalunya circuit this weekend – with Michelin working hard to get back onto the top step of the podium.

The trip to Italy last weekend saw Bridgestone get the better of things at Mugello with a first pole of the year for them with Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) and the subsequent success of Rossi in the race, followed home by Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro).

The top Michelin finisher in third place on Sunday was Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), who will be on home soil this weekend. The young Catalan rider is the highest placed Michelin-equipped rider in the general classification, in second place, with Jorge Lorenzo (Fiat Yamaha) and Colin Edwards (Tech 3 Yamaha) both also featuring in the top five.

The top three `Michelin men´ will all be looking to have a big say at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya, with the likes of Andrea Divzioso (JiR Team Scot), Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda) and James Toseland (Tech 3 Yamaha) all gunning for their first podium finishes of the year on French rubber.

Of all the riders in a strong Michelin portfolio, though, it is Pedrosa and young rival Lorenzo who will arguably have the strongest cases for victory – with the success of either sure to send the home crowd into ecstasy. Both riders have triumphed in the smaller categories at Catalunya previously and are undoubtedly capable of winning again on home turf in the premier class.

`Catalunya will be an exciting weekend for us, with lots of fans there and Spain´s top two MotoGP riders using our tyres,´ said Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin´s chief of motorcycle racing. `It is an interesting track with quite good grip. Its main feature from a tyre point of view is its long corners, like the Renault and Repsol turns and the final two corners, which require riders to spend a lot of time at maximum angle, which puts a lot of stress into both the front and rear tyres.´

`Riders also want to open the throttle as early as possible in these long corners, so they need good traction and good stability from the tyres throughout the race,´ continued the Frenchman. `The track demands medium to medium hard tyres, slightly harder than Mugello and Le Mans because of the extra stress.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, GRAN PREMI CINZANO DE CATALUNYA

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