Although the stars of MotoGP were the ones who made the highlight reels last weekend at Sepang (particularly Marc Marquez, with his new lap record), they weren’t the only ones testing – Michelin was hard at work as well on Saturday.
This season will be Bridgestone’s last year as official MotoGP tire supplier under their current contract – Michelin takes over next year. As a result, the company is taking the 2015 campaign to make sure they have rubber that’s suited for the excesses of MotoGP, and that testing started at Sepang last week.
After the next Sepang test, in two weeks’ time, MotoGP riders will actually run the new rubber, and again after the Qatar test. After the first race, there will be nine more tests for the new tires and wheels, including one more opportunity for the whole grid. Marquez and his cronies weren’t testing the tires last week, though – that was the job of a group of test riders (including representatives from all factories – names like Colin Edwards, Randy de Puniet, Michelle Pirro and Michael Laverty).
MotoGP is moving to 17-inch wheels next year, and the tests will also look at the way that changes bike handling.