MICHE­LIN GO FROM ZERO

| PRAISE FOR TYRES | Af­ter win­ter test­ing woes, Miche­lin win over the Mo­togp grid

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - IN QATAR MO­TOGP REPORTER si­mon.patterson@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

While Jorge Lorenzo might have been the big­gest win­ner from Sun­day’s open­ing round of the 2016 Mo­togp cham­pi­onship, he ar­guably wasn’t the hap­pi­est man in the pad­dock af­ter­wards. That hon­our went to Ni­cholas Gou­bert, Miche­lin Mo­tor­sport’s tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor and the man who has to­tally turned around the com­pany’s new GP tyres in only a few short months.

When the Mo­togp field tested and con­tin­ued to suf­fer un­pre­dictable crashes on the new Miche­lins back in Va­len­cia in Novem­ber, there were se­ri­ous alarm bells ring­ing within the pad­dock. Gone was the in­cred­i­bly planted front end of the Bridge­stones, re­placed with a flighty new front tyre that gave no feed­back and no warn­ing of an im­pend­ing crash.

But the night and day change made since then may ex­plain the gi­ant smile on Gou­bert’s face as he stood at the post-race press con­fer­ence and lis- tened to the top three from the race heap praise on the in­cred­i­ble steps for­ward made in re­cent months by the French firm.

Gone is the lack of con­fi­dence in the front tyre, in­stead re­placed with a much more planted tyre, as race win­ner Lorenzo was quick to com­pli­ment af­ter his vic­tory.

“In the first test when we tried the first front we had many crashes, many prob­lems. It was dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand the limit of the front. But at the last tests we tried a dif­fer­ent kind of front tyre, and it im­proved the feel­ing and un­der­stand­ing of where the limit is so much.

“We have to con­grat­u­late Miche­lin for this im­prove­ment. We also saw that with the rear you can man­age to fin­ish the race with no prob­lems,

‘We have to con­grat­u­late Miche­lin with this

im­prove­ment’

1:55.153 (+0.226)

Old lap record: Casey Stoner

The whole grid was full of praise for the im­proved Miche­lins Miche­lin tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Ni­cholas Gou­bert

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