The post-race Michelin tests have been something of a frustration for journalists following MotoGP. With riders barred from speaking publicly about the tires, and no official timing for the tests, it has been hard to make sense of the events. Today's Brno test was even more frustrating. Rain all day, alternating between heavy downpours and a very light drizzle meant that the track was more or less wet all day. The riders stayed in their garages and race trucks, for the most part, with a handful of riders putting in a handful of laps.
Though the test was mostly a washout for Michelin, the French tire manufacturer did get some useful data from the test. Riders went out on three types of tire: slicks, wets, and intermediates, in varying conditions. The return of the intermediates is an interesting step, a tire which uses the hard rain compound with a minimal tread compound. MotoMatters.com ace shooter Scott Jones snapped photos of both the intermediate and wet rears for comparison, and posted them on Twitter:
The Michelin MotoGP rear intermediate, warmed up in by Petrucci. pic.twitter.com/GfRG6KYnri— Photo.GP (@PhotoGP) August 17, 2015
And the Michelin wet rear, via Bradley Smith. pic.twitter.com/p8oiqDIDGS— Photo.GP (@PhotoGP) August 17, 2015
Despite the fact that the factory Honda and factory Yamaha riders were present - Yamaha even had a 2016 prototype at the test - none of Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi or Jorge Lorenzo put any laps in. Pedrosa was of course already injured, and Rossi, Lorenzo and Marquez are all engaged in the fight for the championship, and cannot afford to take risks in tricky conditions for the sake of some tire testing. MotoGP's other factories did send their riders out, Andrea Dovizioso going out on the Ducati, Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista on the Aprilia, and Aleix Espargaro on the Suzuki.
Most of the laps were put in by the satellite riders, though, with the two Tech 3 riders, Cal Crutchlow and the Pramac men circulating sporadically. The Pramac Ducati riders appeared to do the most laps, though given the absence of timing, this is more judging by appearance than by actual numbers.
Fortunately, the next time there is a public test of the Michelins, there will be full live timing available. That will be at the Valencia test, the Monday after the 2015 season ends. That sees the dawning of the new Michelin era, and a rather sad goodbye to Bridgestone.