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Indianapolis runs rated highly by Michelin

Indianapolis runs rated highly by Michelin

Having run two riders and shipping in two hundred development tyres to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michelin were satisfied with their findings at the American circuit.

Given the opportunity to test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in order to gather initial tyre data, Michelin made some interesting findings after sending test riders Erwan Nigon and William Costes out on track. Expectations were both confirmed and confounded in terms of the requirements of the latest addition to the MotoGP calendar, leaving the French factory with enough information to begin manufacturing their Indianapolis tyres at the end of August.

Jean-Philippe Weber – Michelin Director of Motorcycle Racing

`These tests are a good thing, They allow us to get an initial feeling for the track. They also allow us to better understand the track and they give us an idea of how the race weekend will go.

`We've had good weather, with a track temperature of 50 degrees on the first day and 47 degrees on the second. We expect conditions to be not too dissimilar in September, when the temperature will be slightly less, which will be compensated by the faster pace during a race weekend. Both our riders have worked very hard. Thanks to them we have been able to pretty much complete our test programme which was quite ambitious. William was able to complete his tests with an endurance run, while Erwan managed a long run. We have now got plenty of data to analyse and information to verify.

`The Indy circuit is more complex than we expected. The grip wasn´t as good as we expected in the fast left after the start either, but it improved throughout the tests and will keep getting better as the bikes put down more rubber. On the other hand, the surface isn´t very aggressive on the tyres. The circuit is unusual, with a fast main straight, heavy braking into the first turn and then a lot of slow corners. At the front it will probably demand a construction that gives stability during braking for the first left-hander, but the front will also need to offer good handling for the tighter sections. At the rear, traction will be important. As far as compounds go we think we will be looking at a medium range of compounds. In September we may start out with softer tyres, but we will have to focus on consistency of performance for the race.´

Erwan Nigon – Michelin Test Rider (Honda RC212V)

`This track is very American, like the tracks used in the AMA Superbike championship which I follow on television; You skim past walls, and you cross bands of bitumen and white lines.´

William Costes – Michelin Test Rider (Yamaha M1)

`The first corner is very fast, and difficult due to a lack of grip. After that the grip improves but the speed decreases with a succession of slower corners which are quite tricky to get right.´

MotoGP, 2008

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