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Michelin commences its test season in Sepang

Michelin commences its test season in Sepang

French tyre manufacturer Michelin has commenced its MotoGP™ test season at the Sepang International Circuit.

Michelin will return to MotoGP™ in 2016 after a seven-year absence, and has already planned a busy season of testing to ensure its future debut will go smoothly. Today’s test at Sepang involves all the factories in the paddock including Yamaha, Honda, Ducati, Aprilia and Suzuki. Colin Edwards and Katsuyuki Nakasuga test for Yamaha, Hiroshi Aoyama for Honda, Randy de Puniet for Suzuki, Michele Pirro for Ducati, and Michael Laverty for Aprilia.

Stepping up in wheel size to 17 inches, the test riders will not only be working on the evaluation of the tyres, but also on the characteristics of the bike with the new wheels. As such, the yearlong process will involve setting the bike up for the new wheel size, narrowing down the tyre selection, and then producing the final tyre allocation.

And whilst it is the test riders that start this testing cycle, all MotoGP™ riders will get a chance for a first run-out on Michelin tyres following the second Sepang test in just over two weeks time. Subsequently there will be another one-day session after the Qatar pre-season test, after which a total of nine in-season tests are planned with the factories’ test riders – one of which will once again include the entire grid.

Piero Taramasso, Manager of Michelin 2Wheel Motorsport Activities, commented: “When we do a test like today we bring seven different fronts and four of five different rears. So we use the test riders to do a pre-screen, and then when we select the best one, we use that with the official riders.”

“If we respect the plan, we think that by mid-season around July, we will fix the front casing and rear casing, and we’ll know about all the compounds we need to cover all the race tracks.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015

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