March 7, 2006 at 1:50 pm #11643GixParticipant
Michelin began the 2006 MotoGP season the same way it finished last year’s campaign – out front and dominating. Michelin riders filled the top three places on Sunday afternoon’s rain-lashed 40-minute season prologue at the Official Test in Catalunya, with the fastest non-Michelin man 2.517 seconds off the pace. With Colin Edwards in dazzling form despite the appalling conditions, outpacing second-fastest Nicky Hayden by 1.819 seconds, and reigning World Champion Valentino Rossi third, the French tyres showed great wet-weather potential.
“We’re pretty happy with today’s performance,” said Nicolas Goubert, Michelin’s director of motorcycle racing. “Although it’s so cold here that the conditions shouldn’t really bear any relevance to anything we’ll come across during the season, it’s obvious that our tyres worked pretty well with Colin, Nicky and Valentino up front. But maybe even more important were the results from Saturday’s dry-weather testing when Valentino was fastest, showing really good speed on qualifiers, and Colin ran an impressive pace on race tyres. As usual, our focus for our 2006 rear slick has been to increase the tyre footprint during cornering.”
Michelin’s 2006 rain tyres are an evolution of its 2005 rain tyres. During the final afternoon of testing riders used soft compounds designed for cold track conditions, as the track temperature at the Circuit de Catalunya had dropped to just 11 degrees, around nine degrees less than a typical wet-track temperature during the summer.
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