The beautiful KAWASAKI ZX-10 RR, which was fitted with its N°1 in the very first practice session and is now equipped with MICHELIN, is back on track.
In top-level motorcycle racing, it's never easy to change manufacturers, especially during the season. A new and difficult challenge therefore presented itself to Gilles STAFLER's (team manager) entire team, who spent two days on July 16 and 17 discovering the new tyres that are as effective as they are promising.
Even if there is still a long way to go to take another victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours, we have to admit that our new tyre partner has excellent products adapted to the specificities of motorcycle endurance racing. The three riders Jérémy GUARNONI, Erwan NIGON and David CHECA confirm this together and are full of praise for the Clermont products.
Confirmation also from Gilles STAFLER for whom these tests were of the utmost importance for the reasons mentioned above but also to gauge the state of form of his riders after a long period of inactivity on the bike (for the record, the team's last ride was in March in Spain) and to validate other technical choices on the bike:
MICHELIN and me, it's a big first ! Given the two days of testing, the slicks have good potential for this new collaboration, but it's important not to get carried away because we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that the osmosis is perfect. 10 hours of riding may seem like a lot to some people, but when you have to adapt the suspension, the chain kit or the gearbox ratios, it's still not enough. The connection to the track is a considerable amount of work and it’s not "plug and play", the tyre heights and profiles are totally different. Having said that, at this stage we are really satisfied because these tyres are both high performance, constant in wear and tear but also really versatile.
Today, confidence is high and even if for the moment we are not faster than before, we legitimately hope to be at our best lap times during the official practices of the race. I am also very satisfied with the state of form of my riders. Jérémy has been able to drive in Spain since the confinement on another KAWASAKI but equipped with MICHELIN, so he's not out of place.
In addition to his endurance program, Erwan is a MICHELIN development rider. He therefore knows the product better than anyone else.
As for David, who hadn't ridden a MICHELIN since 2014, he simply clocked his best time since he started riding for us. David is the only one of them who hasn't been able to ride on tracks since March, but he is an accomplished and very sharp athlete, and his huge experience has also been of invaluable help to him after this long break.
This precious testing also made it possible to highlight the exhaust system of our partner TRICKSTAR which will make its debut in competition alongside us. The whole team is working hard to prepare this next meeting of the utmost importance: the 24 Hours of Le Mans on August 29th
OFFCOURSE, for KAWASAKI FRANCE