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GP Week : Issue 27
>>Moto GPnews Pedrosa blitzes Rossi record in first Bridgestone test DANI Pedrosa lopped more than two- tenths of a second off Valentino Rossi’s new lap record at the Misano circuit in his first test on Bridgestone tyres, and almost a full second off his own best race lap, on the day after the race. In his first test of the latest version of the pneumatic-valve machine and on the Japanese tyres, Dani ran at 1’34.652, 0.252s faster than Rossi’s race record. But the time was more than a second slower than Stoner’s best practice lap, set on Bridgestone qualifying tyres. In a busy day of testing, Dani took his first runs on his new rubber on the steel-valve- sspring bike he has ridden until now, but really got going when he switched to the air- sprung version, as raced by Nicky Hayden. “Today was only the first day of this new challenge, and of course there is a lot of work to do. But I am determined to win again this year,” said the diminutive rider. “The feeling with the new tyres is different, both for the settings and for riding style, but I just tried to follow my feelings and adjust the set-up accordingly.” Of the pneumatic-valve engine, he echoed the remarks of previous riders Tadayuki Okada and Hayden: “The engine character is different, the power delivery a bit more aggressive, but the engine has some good points,” he said, adding: “This was just the start, but it was a good start.” Championship leader Rossi warned at Misano that putting a Bridgestone sticker on the bike was not a way to go faster “like magic”. Even after testing in winter, it had taken him until the fourth race before he had been able to win, and he was still adjusting the Yamaha’s settings to the tyres. Michelin tests new Indy asphalt Michelin has been testing again at Indianapolis, updating information obtained at official test sessions in July, as the company prepares to fight back after the setbacks of recent races and the loss of factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa to Bridgestone. AMA privateer Scott Jensen tested at the track on Friday, aiming to give the beleaguered French tyre technicians a head start before the inaugural race at the track. Jensen’s tests reversed the situation at the earlier US GP at Laguna Seca, when Michelin declined the opportunity to run similar pre-tests at the track. The company faced blistering criticism from American riders Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards for the lapse. In the event, the range of Michelins at Laguna proved dramatically unsuitable, and riders even switched to intermediate tyres in practice, in a search for meaningful lap times. At the time, chief Jean- Philippe Weber promised Michelin would consult more with teams in the future, and this is a first example. Riders for the beleaguered company faced more tyre problems at the following round, at Brno in the Czech Republic. Even though fortunes improved at the San Marino GP, with Lorenzo second and Pedrosa fourth, by then Honda had already agreed to switch the latter rider to Bridgestone for the rest of the year, citing a catastrophic loss of rider confidence. With MotoGP riders banned from pre-testing, endurance racers Erwan Nigon and William Costes rode at those tests. Suzuki wild card for the race, Ben Spies, was the only one at the tests who will take part in the race … but he is on Bridgestones.