Michelin completes first day of testing with factory MotoGP riders

MotoGP factory riders got a foretaste of the MICHELIN tires they will race next season during a test at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia, today (February26).

The French company proposed a choice of four front tires (different profiles and constructions) and three rears. The day’s overriding objective was to harvest the riders’ first impressions in order to obtain a more precise idea of the best front/rear combination that will be developed over the coming months.

In clear weather, and with the thermometer standing at 34°C (track temperature: 55°C), the riders racked up a high number of laps. The initial aim was for them to discover the new MICHELIN tires and then narrow down their choices. Some even completed long runs in a bid to simulate a grand prix.

“Today’s testing was very positive,” reports Nicolas Goubert, Technical Director and Deputy Director of Michelin Motorsport. “The riders praised the consistency of the MICHELIN tires they tried and confirmed that our development work is heading in the right direction. They unanimously described the grip of the rear tires as ‘exceptional’. As for the solutions for the front, the riders singled out a wider option which they preferred over a narrow version that would have favoured cornering speed. They also provided us with valuable feedback that will enable us to identify the areas in which we can work during the months ahead.”

Michelin Motorsport’s engineers face a very busy diary in 2015. The next phase of the development process will take them to Doha, Qatar, on March 23, when Michele Pirro (Ducati), Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda) and Michael Laverty (Aprilia) will be on duty for the third official Michelin test day.

As for the factory riders, their services will next be required at the official Michelin test scheduled for June at Mugello, after the Gran Premio d’Italia.