Michelin Schedules Extra December Tests To Prepare For 2016

Michelin is stepping up preparations for 2016 by scheduling an extra tire test in December. The French tire maker has invited the MotoGP factories to spend two days at Jerez before Christmas, testing new front tires in cold conditions, according to GPOne.com.

Three manufacturers have accepted, Ducati, Honda and Aprilia preparing to send their test riders to put in some laps on the latest iteration of tires at the Spanish circuit on 21st and 22nd of December. As the test falls in the middle of the winter test ban period, contracted riders - that is, riders who will be permanent MotoGP entries for 2016 - are forbidden from riding, and only the official test riders can take part. As a result, Michele Pirro will be attending for Ducati, Mike Di Meglio for Aprilia, and Honda will send both Hiroshi Aoyama and Takumi Takahashi.

The main objective of the test is to try out new tires in cold conditions, the situation in which the Michelins are struggling most at the moment. Michelin are keen to collect as much data as possible ahead of the winter break, in order to have tires ready to test at Sepang, and more importantly, at Qatar, where track and ambient temperatures are always relatively low due to it being a night race.

Michelin's biggest problem at the moment is that the riders, used to the relatively forgiving Bridgestone front, are finding it hard to understand where the limit of the front tire is. That has led to a spate of crashes in both private and public testing so far, with nobody immune from the front end lowsides. The data Michelin hopes to collect at Jerez will be used to try to improve that issue. It will also be useful for the factories to gain a better understanding of how the front Michelin works, and work towards a weight distribution and bike set up better able to produce feedback from the front tire.

Testing with the contracted riders resumes again at Sepang, on 1st February.

Back to top


Is Rossi the only current member of the pack to have previously raced on Michelins..?

I don't think it's at all relevant as a guide to future performance, but it's interesting. In a geeky kind of way.

Of the front runners, only Marquez hasn't raced on Michelins. Both Lorenzo and Pedrosa were on Michelins when they started in motogp.

The rest of the moto2 graduates also haven't, that's Smith, Iannone, Pol Espargaro (and Aleix), Redding, etc.

The disadvantage of not having raced on Michelins is probably offset by being young enough to learn as well.

Pedrosa used them 2006-2008, Lorenzo and Dovi in 2008.

I think DeAngelis and West are the only of the pre-2009 lower order who are still there or thereabouts. Speaking of which, Krop, any update on DeAngelis and his recovery? Is he in MGP next year?

Why is it that all contracted factory riders are forbidden to drive their motorcycle during the winter ban, and HRC lets its drivers rider their RCV213 during HRC's Thanks Day?

I have to admit that this is not your typical "test day", but isn't it cutting it a little close? Where's the line between a test and just taking the bike out for some fun?

For me, a test ban for contracted riders means that they can't test, full stop. That includes just sitting on the bike to test if the ride height is OK or just starting the engine and taking the bike for a stroll.
I don't have the rules book in front of me, could just be my crooked ideas about it but put a rider, motogp bike and a track together and you're talking about getting data. To me that's what a test is all about.

I think I only saw that Alonso rode the current factory bike. The factory riders rode and drove other cool stuff.

My understanding is that though Stoner is an official brand ambassador for Ducati, he's also their new test rider, so why is he not pairing up with Michele Pirro to participate in this test?

As I understand it, Stoner is under contract to Honda until 31st December. No testing for Ducati until next year.

Shame on Honda then for not releasing Stoner after the end of the racing season rather than making him sit out until the beginning of the new calendar year. If I remember correctly, Ducati didn't exercise that right over Rossi and allowed him to begin testing the Yamaha immediately after the 2012(?) season so Kudos to them for good sportsman ship. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Honda type of dude, still have my 2001 RC51 after all these years, but sometimes how they do business just seems shady.

Thanks for the quick response Dave!!!

The same with Rossi when he quit Honda for yamaha. Made him wait until the end of contract so that he doesn't test. Well... Rossi Gave one hell of a reply at next race at South Africa though...