At weather affected Mugello
The Grand Prix of Italy at the picturesque Mugello layout in the Tuscan hills proved to be a difficult weekend with changeable weather conditions over the entire three days.
Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 riders, Sylvain Guintoli and Makoto Tamada
finished 14th and 15th respectively.
The circumstances of the weekend with limited dry track time made finding an optimum race set up challenging but nonetheless, the weekend provided several steps forward that will surely benefit the team in the remaining 12 rounds of the MotoGP world Championship.
Particularly, these included the first use of the new generation of Dunlop's 16" front tyre in a race situation after testing at Istanbul and Le Mans. Also, based on the experience gained in the wet at both the Le Mans race and subsequent test, new wet tyres were brought and tested with positive results during practice.
“That was another good weekend as I have to keep in mind that we had not so much dry practice and also that we were using the 16" front wheel for the first time in a race plus new rears because of the track temperature so we had to take a bit of a gamble but it was a good gamble. It wasn't the best of starts but I settled into a rhythm and eventually passed Olivier Jacque and my teammate Makoto - that is always the first priority. We had a good battle during the entire race so it was a lot of fun as well but it was very good for me to finish in front of them. I'm looking forward to Barcelona next week as I have had some good races there as I am normally fast there so hopefully we can have a good weekend like Le Mans.
“That was a very difficult weekend for everybody with the conditions as we had everything from full sun to heavy rains so it made it very hard to decide on a final setup. In the end the race was not so bad. For the opening laps I had a very good feeling but then the grip of the tyre dropped off a little but then remained pretty constant. I am very happy with the new 16in front tyre and have a much better feeling than before so I feel that I am progressing and getting faster with the bike and the tyres and it is getting better every race. Now we move on to Barcelona at a track that I like so I am hoping next week will be very good for me and the team.”
Herve Poncharal - Dunlop Yamaha Tech 3 Team Manager
“The changeable weather conditions this weekend made it very difficult so we had to make many decisions on what might happen in the race. Unfortunately due to the variable conditions during the qualifying session we ended up not where we wanted to be on the grid. Thank heavens the day remained dry - great for the show, the team and the spectators. Both our riders made bad starts today but they recovered well and picked up the pace to pass Olivier Jacque and Carlos Checa. It is nothing to be too excited about finishing 14th and 15th but we finished with both our riders in the points again. We are still behind the others but with the new 16" front we took another positive step forward. It was a very good performance by Sylvain as he continues to learn and get faster as he battled and beat a MotoGP winner as well as an ex-250cc world champion and he does this in his rookie year. He is pushing everytime he is on the bike which to me is satisfying. Makoto also did pretty well keeping his head down after his start and with our riders results we are now just two points off Kawasaki in the teams' championship.”