Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Michelin ahead of the French Grand Prix:
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP set to come out fighting in France
Movistar Yamaha MotoGPs Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales have recharged their batteries after the Spanish GP and the Official MotoGP Jerez Test and are ready to continue challenging during the Grand Prix de France staged at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit this Sunday.
Rossi is looking to make a strong return at the front of the pack at the upcoming race, following some positive findings in last weeks Jerez Test. He continues to hold the lead in the championship and aims for a competitive start to the fifth round of the championship, at a track where he has a good record.
The Doctor has already claimed three premier class victories at Le Mans (2002, 2005 and 2008), six second places (2003, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016) and three third places (2000, 2001 and 2011), but there is always room for an extra trophy in his cabinet.
Viñales also stepped onto the Bugatti Grand Prix podium last year, which was his first MotoGP podium, and is eager to revisit the rostrum this year. As he likes the French circuit, he is confident he can add another top score this weekend, to equal his 125cc win in France in 2011 and Moto3 win in 2013.
The Spaniard currently holds second place in the championship, just two points behind his teammate. Having topped the time sheets of the Jerez test a little more than a week ago, he looks forward to being more competitive aboard his YZR-M1 over the upcoming weekend.
The Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit was built in 1965 and started hosting Grand Prix from the late sixties until 1996, and from 2000 after a serious accident in 1995 saw the track update its safety. The 4.2km lay-out of five left and nine right corners with a 674m longest straight, places the emphasis on late braking, hard acceleration and rear end traction, which plays into the hand of Yamaha and promises for a great show on Sunday.
Championship: 1st - Points: 62
After the difficulties during the Jerez weekend, the Le Mans GP will be very important. It is true that we are still first in the championship standings, and this is nice for us, but we need to improve the bike to be really competitive. The test in Jerez was important and we understood some positive things. Now we will have to work well from the first session in Le Mans and we have to try to be immediately competitive. We are feeling positive and we want to get back to working on the bike right away. I also hope that the weather conditions will be good, we need to test the bike in dry conditions.
Championship: 2nd - Points: 60
The race in Jerez was very difficult for us. Now we have to understand about what happened and try to improve this weekend at the Le Mans circuit. Luckily during the test on Monday in Jerez we had a totally different result, it was a really good test. For that reason we're arriving in France with a positive mind. Le Mans is a good track for us, it suits my riding style, and we can do a really good job there.
Were back in Le Mans after fifteen days when we came here for a test, organised by Michelin, of the new tarmac. In the meantime weve been able to work on the bikes setting thats most likely going to be our base set-up for Fridays FP1. Le Mans has been a track that suits our bike well. We are fully committed to confirm this over the upcoming weekend and this will help us come back strong from the Jerez race. It will be important for us to be prepared for both dry and wet conditions, because Le Mans is known to be a place where the weather plays a big role in the race. We are really looking forward to starting the French GP weekend!
Repsol Honda Team heads to Le Mans following back-to-back double-podium finishes
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are en route to France for round 5 of the MotoGP World Championship after each scoring one win and one additional podium finish in the last two races.
Marc and Dani, who have moved up in the standings to third (-4 points) and fourth (-10) respectively, aim to make the best of the progresses they’ve achieved on their RC213V in order to continue at the same level during another quite unpredictable season, which so far has seen three different winners in four races.
The next challenge for the Repsol Honda pair and their team comes at the historic, stop-and-go Le Mans Circuit, which has recently been resurfaced.
At the Gran Prix de France
Dani Pedrosa has 4 wins: 1 x 125 (2003), 2 x 250 (2004 and 2005), and 1 x MGP (2013), plus an additional 3 podiums and 6 pole positions.
Marc Marquez has 2 wins: 1 x Moto2 (2011), and 1 x MGP (2014), plus an additional 2 podiums and 5 pole positions.
“Le Mans is particular and different from many other layouts of the Championship. It’s a really narrow, short track with a lot of stop-and-go corners. To make an example, it’s the opposite of the Montmeló circuit [Circuit de Catalunya], but still quite enjoyable. The surface is new and we’ll discover it on Friday morning. The grip should be better and that’s positive for us riders and also for the fans as it means a better show. We must wait and see how it goes there—this year it’s even more difficult to make any predictions. We just have to continue like we’ve done in the last races, working hard, with the right mentality, because the Championship is once again very close.”
“After a great weekend in Jerez we now head to Le Mans in a very positive mood. The French GP is always challenging. To begin with the weather is usually quite changeable which makes it difficult to find rhythm in the practice sessions or to plan how to improve run by run as it may be too cold or the total opposite, very hot. The track itself is very short and the smallest differences in the lap times can make a great difference in the standings. I hope the bike works well on the new asphalt. You need good acceleration and good braking, but consistency is the real key. We are working well with the team and we’ll try to maintain the same level also there”.
Ducati Team arrives at Le Mans for French Grand Prix
After completing a one-day test at Mugello on Monday 15th May, the Ducati Team has now arrived in France for the fifth round of the championship, which will take place at the legendary Le Mans circuit.
The track where the French GP is held – the Bugatti Circuit – forms part of bike racing history and even though it only shares a small part with the Circuit de la Sarthe, where every year the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour car race takes place, it offers a superb spectacle for the massive numbers of fans who pack the grandstands every year.
Jorge Lorenzo, coming off the back of his first podium of the year at Jerez, has an extraordinary record at Le Mans. Since his debut in MotoGP he has notched up a total of five wins at this circuit, two of which in the last two editions. In addition, in nine French GP races here he has qualified on the front row on five occasions, including pole position for last year’s race.
Andrea Dovizioso has also been able to score some good results at Le Mans, qualifying on the front row five times in nine years. Dovi has stepped onto the French podium three times in MotoGP, the last one in 2015 when he finished third, while last year a crash put paid to his race while he was in third place.
The French GP weekend gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 28-lap race is scheduled for 2 pm on Sunday.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 5th (41 points)
“After a fifth place in Spain, we now go to Le Mans with more optimism and confidence. In Argentina but above all in Texas we were in a bit of difficulty, but at Jerez, on a notoriously insidious track for us, we were quite competitive even though we finished the race at quite a big gap from Pedrosa. I think that Le Mans could be a more favourable circuit for us, especially because we will be racing on a new track surface which means good grip and so I think we can do well there.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 9th (28 points)
“Following the good vibrations we had at Jerez, we are now at Le Mans which is another circuit where I have good memories because I have managed to win a number of times and in different categories. I have to say however that every circuit has its own story, and here we’ll have to see how my Desmosedici goes with the new tarmac. The most important thing however is to maintain the positive spirit that helped us to get onto the podium at Jerez. I am optimistic for this race, because from Austin onwards there has been considerable improvement, especially in terms of sensations, and I’m starting to feel the Desmosedici increasingly mine.”
APRILIA AT LE MANS TO REAP THE FRUITS OF THE GROWTH DEMONSTRATED IN THE FIRST PART OF THE SEASON
The fifth round on the 2017 MotoGP calendar will be held in France on the historic Le Mans circuit that was recently resurfaced. The Aprilia riders have already had the chance to test the new configuration a few weeks ago, taking away a positive impression in preparation for the upcoming race weekend.
Aleix Espargaró and Sam Lowes can also count on the data collected after the Spanish Jerez round on an extremely positive day of testing for the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini for the RS-GP's development. The Italian V4 showed tangible signs of growth and, above all, significant margins for improvement in this first part of the season. The French race will be called on to confirm this trend.
“After the test in Jerez, we understood our bike better with different front tyres. We also improved the front end on the bike, so I think that in Le Mans with the new surface, and with the private test that we did 2 weeks ago, we should be competitive again. Le Mans is not one of my favourites tracks, but I like the layout and I will try to ride a good race.”
“I can't wait for France. We had a nice test there recently where I felt quite good with the bike. In Jerez we had a bad race day, but the weekend and test afterwards were rather encouraging. That's what I'm looking to take with me to Le Mans. It's time for us to make a good step.”
ROMANO ALBESIANO - APRILIA RACING MANAGER
“In the recent tests on this track, both of our riders said that they were satisfied. Historically there were grip problems on the French tarmac, but they seem to have been solved now. The unknown is still the weather, which has a heavy impact on performance. The track layout has a few very delicate points where the rider's feeling on the bike is fundamental, such as going into the first corner, whereas the acceleration points from low speed make wheelie control essential.”
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
“Le Mans is a nice track where I think the characteristics of the RS-GP will shine. The goal is to improve compared to Jerez, where the result, although good, did not reflect our full potential. The tests done here confirmed the good feeling with the track. It will be fundamental to earn a good spot on the starting grid because it is not easy to overtake here. Usually at Le Mans, whoever starts from the front has a certain advantage. We are pumped up and motivated, as always.”
GUINTOLI AND IANNONE READY FOR THE FRENCH GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – May 17.
A special feeling is running through Team SUZUKI ECSTAR on their approach to the 2017 French GP, as the Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli will be participating in place of the injured Alex Rins. Having a local rider debut on the GSX-RR in his home GP is a further positive boost for the Team who want to get over the tough beginning to the season.
Andrea Iannone for his part will try to use his appreciation for the French track to look for a positive weekend. The crash in Jerez left him without any further points in the Championship, but the progress made in the two days of testing last week gave him more confidence for the French GP. The Bugatti circuit is also the track where the GSX-RR got its first podium in MotoGP last year, which give the team more hope because of its adaptability to the tight and technical layout.
The Le Mans circuit is a tight track dominated by first gear corners that place the emphasis on late braking and hard acceleration, whilst rear end traction is also a key area. It is the typical circuit of a 'stop&go' style. The first part of the circuit is used by cars in the famous Le Mans 24 hour race, and is one of the oldest European tracks still holding racing events. Last year’s third place in the GP there resulted in the first podium for Suzuki since their comeback. The track is 4.2 km long with an average width of 16 metres and with a 674 metre-long straight.
“Le Mans is a circuit I like, so I hope I will enjoy it and, most importantly, we will be able to be competitive from the very start. It will be important for us to get some points and get back some positive momentum. Last week in Jerez we did very intense work testing many things on the GSX-RR. This gave us some important direction on what we can work on. Hopefully this will also help us to finalize a good setup in Le Mans, which is a tight track with many ‘stop&go’s.”
“The test in Jerez last week was very positive for me, especially on the second day. I was able to work intensively with the tyres and get to know them a little bit better. We focused a lot on the hard tyres, likely the ones we will use in the race, and I improved on the pace quite a bit so I’m happy about that. It was really great to experience the Suzuki GSX-RR and do this testing. I have a better understanding of the bike and the tyres. That will be useful in France. Also the connection that we created with the team is very positive. We shared a lot of information and the feeling is very good. I’m really looking forward to Le Mans. The testing got rid of some of my apprehension and I feel more confident, so I can’t wait to meet all the French fans and enjoy this amazing experience.”
Zarco and Folger ready to shine at Tech3 Home Grand Prix in Le Mans
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo keenly await the Grand Prix de France where they fully intend to complete the team’s home event with two top tier results in front of the passionate French crowd. All eyes will be on home hero Johann Zarco who will aim to storm to glory and carry on his impressive run of results as he currently sits as the leading independent rider in the championship standings. Whilst Jonas Folger will seek to continue his notable momentum and score his fourth top ten finish in 2017. The event kicks off with Free Practice One at 09:55 this Friday.
Championship: 6th - Points: 35
"The French Grand Prix is coming up and for sure, it will be a very interesting weekend. I am excited about racing in my home country because the beginning of this season has been superb so far in MotoGP with the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. As a result, I think that the French fans are waiting for me and for this event. There is some pressure but I tried to manage it at home, in the week before the GP, where I rested and saved the positive energy. The first three venues that we have visited this year are much bigger than Le Mans, but the Bugatti circuit is small like the Jerez track. In addition, I have the advantage of knowing that because I had a good feeling in Spain, I can have a great feeling in France. I will fight for the best position and possibly even a top three because I am always getting closer and closer to the rostrum, which is the main target. I aim to have a strong race and then fight for the podium to make the Tech3 team, myself and all the French fans happy."
Championship: 8th - Points: 29
"I am really looking forward to the fifth round of the World Championship which will take place at the legendary Le Mans circuit. It’s the home Grand Prix for the team so of course, it’s a special race and there will be a lot of fans supporting us trackside in France. The circuit has recently been resurfaced so we will be able to experience the new asphalt, which I am excited about. I remember that it was a bit bumpy in the last few years and I had some trouble with this, plus I had a few crashes. However, it’s going to be great this year because I really like this circuit and combined with the fact that there will be new tarmac, it will be fun. I hope that we can continue working in the same way that we did in Jerez, and I will do my absolute best to get a strong result for the team in France."
"Obviously the weekend will be very important for us as it’s the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. This year we have extra motivation as well as some additional pressure but it will be an even more special race because we have a French rider in our MotoGP team. He is the double Moto2 World Champion and the man who is leading the ‘Rookie of the year’ fight, plus he is the top independent rider in the championship standings and his name is Johann Zarco! We have always had a lot of support in Le Mans, but this time we will have more, because of Johann. This is really exciting but it goes without saying that there’s pressure on everyone. We know that the French Grand Prix will not bring us more points than any another round, but for us, it’s the place where we want to do well and put on a good show for our home crowd. There are a lot of people who just come to this race and for sure most of them will be behind Johann and Tech3 so this is a round where we would really like to get a great result. We know that the Yamaha is always good at the Bugatti circuit and the track has been resurfaced so it will have more grip and no more big bumps. Clearly, the lap time will be quicker but we have to see how we get on. The weather is always difficult in Le Mans, and it looks like we could have rain showers on all three days, which is another tricky thing to handle. Yet, we fully trust Michelin to bring the best tyres and the right compounds to match the new track surface and the weather conditions which we may encounter. I have spoken about Johann who will be the home hero, but we also have Jonas Folger who is doing an exceptional job in his rookie season and we are happy with his work and determination. So the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is delighted to go to Le Mans and for sure you can rely on us to give 120% in order to achieve the best result. We will see you all there and we hope there will be a big crowd who will all enjoy a great weekend of MotoGP racing."
Reale Avintia Racing riders feel strong ahead of Le Mans
Reale Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz head to Le Mans this weekend for the fifth round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship. The Grand Prix of France is the home race for Loris Baz, who looks forward to a good result and to celebrate with his home crowd at the legendary French race track. He was not happy the last time out at Jerez, but he improved his feelings with the bike on the Monday test after the race and he is determined to fight for a good result at home.
Le Mans is the home race for Loris, but his Reale Avintia teammate Hector Barbera also arrives at the French circuit highly motivated following a positive one-day-test at Jerez. The Spanish rider recovered his feeling for the front end after modifying his riding position on his Ducati Desmosedici GP16 and he expects to confirm this positive feeling with a good result this weekend.
The 4.185km track has been completely resurfaced over winter, so Friday will be crucial for the riders to evaluate the grip level of the new tarmac and to fine-tune the set-up of the bikes in order to achieve the best possible performance.
“We head to the Grand Prix of France in a positive mood after finding the right feeling with the front during the Jerez test. I think that the track characteristics will suit our bikes even though we have to see how we perform on the new asphalt. The most important thing for me is the step we made to get a better feeling, because this weekend we have the chance to turn things around. The first few races have been really tough and I struggled too much with front end feel, but in Jerez we modified the bike and now I’m able to push harder and ride faster. I think we found the right direction and I hope we can confirm our progress at Le Mans.”
“A home race is always special and it is exciting for me to race in front of the massive crowd coming to this Grand Prix. It is a great feeling. Obviously, I will have more commitments and distractions over the weekend, since all my sponsors will come to Le Mans and I will be very busy shaking hands and talking to supporters and friends. It will be crucial to manage my time over the race weekend and to stay focused. The weather forecast for the weekend is good and the track has been resurfaced, so all references will change. Jerez was not the best race weekend for us, but Le Mans is different and it features hard braking areas, which is my strongest point with this bike. I hope to give my home crowd a reason to celebrate on Sunday.”
CRUTCHLOW HOPING FOR IMPROVED FORTUNE IN FRANCE
PRESS RELEASE: 16 May 2017 | Le Mans GP Preview
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow will be looking to put a disappointing sequence behind him when competes at the French Grand Prix this weekend. The Briton has failed to finish for the past two seasons in Le Mans, but is confident of a much-improved result back on French soil for the fifth round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship.
Crutchlow arrives following an ultimately frustrating stop-off in Jerez, having crashed out in the early stages of the Spanish Grand Prix after a promising time in practice and qualifying. But the 31-year-old – who already has third and fourth-placed finishes under his belt this term - remains in positive mood and managed to complete a useful day of testing in Jerez last Monday.
Although his recent record at Le Mans is patchy, Crutchlow did finish second behind Dani Pedrosa at the historic French venue back in 2013 and will be looking to feed off those happy memories this weekend.
"In the last two years I did not finish the French GP so the goal is to end the race in a strong position and get some useful points for the standing. I felt strong in Jerez and I was very disappointed to not finish the race. I missed the opportunity to be on the podium. But we have to keep our confidence ahead this weekend - I got my first MotoGP podium in Le Mans in 2013 so this circuit suits my riding style".
Speaking after the test in Jerez last week, Crutchlow added: “Today was a long day and we had many things that we wanted to try on small runs. We were not testing any new parts, just what we were running over the weekend to see if could improve and overall it was quite positive. Our pace was good, the lap times were consistently fast.
“We’re pleased with the way the team worked. Our electronic engineer had some late nights here and he had a busy day again, but we’re happy with what we’ve done and we can now focus on getting a positive result in Le Mans.”
Rabat and Miller ready to make amends in Le Mans
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS head to this weekend's French Grand Prix at Le Mans determined to get their 2017 championship campaign back on track, after Jack Miller and Tito Rabat both crashed out of the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez two weeks ago.
Miller and Rabat arrive in Le Mans with confidence renewed after a successful post race test at the Jerez circuit, which was followed by a productive one-day wet test with Michelin in Valencia.
Miller was the innocent victim in Alvaro Bautista's crash in Jerez, but it saw the Australian drop out of the top ten in the championship standings for the first time this season. Miller arrives in France determined to reclaim his top ten position with a good result at the resurfaced Le Mans circuit.
Rabat was disappointed not to finish in Jerez, but left his home race buoyed by the fact that he'd been closer to the frontrunners in both practice and the race than ever before in his MotoGP career. The Spaniard is determined to build on this progress this weekend in France, on a track at which he has twice finished on the Moto2 podium.
"Jerez was bad only because of the crash in the race, but I was happy with the fact that all weekend I was closer to the frontrunners than I've been since I stepped up to MotoGP. We also had a good test on the Monday, where I equalled my qualifying time on the race tyre, so I head to Le Mans with some optimism. The weather is always a factor at Le Mans, but after a day wet weather testing with Michelin at Valencia; I'm ready regardless of whether it's wet or dry. We've made a lot of progress with the bike over the last few races and I'm looking forward to continuing in this way this weekend in France."
"I'm feeling really positive, as we had good pace in Jerez before I was taken out of the race. We also found a few more things during the post race test on Monday, which was good for us. We learnt a lot during the wet test with Michelin at Valencia that could help us this weekend at Le Mans, where the weather is typically unpredictable this early in the year. Since then I've been able to do some solid training at home and I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead in France where, hopefully, we can rediscover our pace from Jerez."
Pull&Bear Aspar Team hoping for smooth weekend at Le Mans
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 09:13
Álvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham hope to build on strong recent pace with the results their speed warrants
The MotoGP World Championship heads into the fifth of eighteen rounds this weekend with the top four riders separated by just ten points, with Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales now closely followed by Dani Pedrosa and Marc Márquez after a one-two for the Spanish team-mates at Jerez. All four riders will be in the hunt for a rare victory at Le Mans, a circuit that has traditionally been the territory of Jorge Lorenzo, who has six victories there and arrives in France on the back of a morale-boosting first podium with Ducati. Home hero Johann Zarco will also be keen to shine in the Grand Prix de France.
The Pull&Bear Aspar Team are hoping that a smooth weekend on the newly re-laid French asphalt can see them back up their strong pace shown already this season with some equally strong results. Since Karel Abraham qualified second on the grid in Argentina and Álvaro Bautista took a solid fourth in the race, the pair have been dogged by a series of crashes. The Spaniard knows he needs to get back to the form he showed in the opening four rounds as soon as possible, whilst the Czech rider is approaching full fitness again after struggling with a leg injury.
Álvaro Bautista:“Our mind is focused on Le Mans after an unfortunate race at Jerez that didn’t turn out how we wanted. I am still frustrated by what happened because I believe we would have scored a good result there but the first thing you have to make sure of is to finish the race. We go to Le Mans feeling fully recharged after a few days off, ready to get back to work and show our level. The surface is new and seemingly has a lot of grip so we’ll have to wait and see what it’s like. We will also have an eye on the weather because the rain is never too far away there so we’ll have to make sure we are ready to react in practice. It is a stop and go circuit with a lot of direction changes so we need to find a feeling quickly to prepare for the race. We need to work well from the start to make sure we come away from this one with good points, as we have had bad luck in the last two races and it is up to us to turn it around.”
Karel Abraham: “We’re already on our way to Le Mans, which in the past has not been one of my favourite tracks although I do like the layout and I think with the new asphalt I will like it even more. I am really looking forward to this weekend after a busy week for me. I have had some race schools in Brno as well as a lot of training and physiotherapy after what happened at Jerez. My leg is still giving me some pain so I can’t run but I have been doing plenty of cycling, gym work and supermoto which is a lot of fun.”
MICHELIN IS HOMEWARD BOUND AS MOTOGP HEADS TO LE MANS
Michelin will see its range of MotoGP™ tyres put through their paces on home soil as the championship heads to France and one of the world’s spiritual racing homes at Le Mans for the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France.
The 4,185m Bugatti Circuit is within the famous 24-hour track and uses a part of that legendary layout in conjunction with a purpose-built facility to create a circuit which features nine right-hand and five left-hand corners over its configuration. The stop-go design of the track makes it less stressful on tyres than some other circuits, with late braking and drivability two determining factors that need to be mastered to give a good lap. Michelin recently visited the circuit for a test to appraise the new asphalt that was laid earlier this year and a positive assessment led to valuable data being collected in preparation for this weekend’s event. The one-day test was used to evaluate the best compounds for the new surface and with this information Michelin has brought a series of tyres that will be suited to the track’s improved grip levels.
The range for the Le Mans race will feature a soft, medium and hard front and rear MICHELIN Power Slick – as is the case at all races this season. These will all be identified with a white band, no band and yellow band respectively to donate the tyre compound being used. Although the circuit is not particularly hard on the tyres, the new surface provides a greater amount of grip and to cope with this, and the extra right-hand turns, the rear tyres – and the hard front compound – will be an asymmetric design with the right-hand shoulder having a harder compound. The MICHELIN Power Rain tyres in soft (blue band) and medium (no band) will be available for use if conditions dictate, which with the mixed weather that has struck MotoGP this season, and the expected climate at Le Mans, might very well be used at some point during the weekend.
The famous French circuit has held a motorcycle Grand Prix since 1969, with the modern track being a stable fixture on the calendar since 2000. Situated just on the outskirts on the town of Le Mans, approximately 200km south-west of the country’s capital Paris, the circuit always attracts a lively and boisterous crowd that will certainly be taking a keen interest in France’s exploits on the track.
Michelin will begin the proceedings for its home race with the rest of the MotoGP paddock on Friday 19th May with two Free Practice sessions, followed by another Free Practice the following morning. Qualifying is on Saturday afternoon to decide grid positions for Sunday’s 28-lap race, which is scheduled to get underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs BST, 12.00hrsGMT/UST).
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“This is a very important weekend for us as the home Grand Prix always has a special meaning, as well as the added expectation. The French people are very partisan and will certainly be right behind us, so we must perform for them as well as all the Michelin personnel that will be trackside. We had a good test at Le Mans earlier this month to try the new surface and gather as much data as possible about which compounds we will use. This has enabled us to go back to Clermont-Ferrand and prepare a range of tyres that will give optimum performance around this famous circuit. The new asphalt will provide grip in the dry and as we found at the test – because it rained in the morning – it also has very impressive adhesion in the wet, which could prove important as the weather can certainly be changeable at Le Mans.”