Lorenzo Utterly Destroys His Bike in a Crash during Michelin Tests, Many Others Fall, Too

Some teams remained at the circuit of Sepang in Malaysia to test the first tires Michelin delivered as part of the pre-2016 tests. We remind you that Bridgestone pulled out of the MotoGP deal in 2014, but agreed to develop and supply high-performance tires for the 2015 season, allowing Michelin time to come up with their new lot, as well as providing enough test sessions for the teams.
Jorge Lorenzo's destroyed bike at Sepang, Michelin test 7 photos
Andrea Dovizioso's mauled Ducati being carried awayJorge Lorenzo's bike after the crashJorge Lorenzo's bike after the crashSepang track layoutJorge Lorenzo's bike after the crashJorge Lorenzo's severely mauled bike
The tests have been difficult because of the very hot weather at Sepang, with track temperatures once more riding close to 60 C (140 F). Funny thing or not, there was not too much publicity around these tests, and the scarce info which transpired arrives thanks to some keen journalists who remained at the venue to see what was going on.

No official timing for the tests

So far no official timing was provided by either teams of Michelin and frankly we don’t even expect to see it. However, rumors have it that several riders managed to do high 2:00’s, including Pol Espargaro, Jorge Lorenzo, Marc Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi, who also appears to have even attempted a short race simulation of 10 laps.

According to the scarce sources, the front tire seems to be less grippy than the rear one, and forcing the riders to alter their style quite a lot. Michelin brought 3 front tire compounds at Sepang and 4 rear ones. The first runs however are encouraging, despite the novelty factor of the tires and the not-exactly-ideal weather during these tests. We might look at a promising new generation of tires, even though Michelin still has a lot of work ahead.

Multiple crashes at turns 3 and 5

The hot weather and grip differences between front and rear have caused several crashes, some of them occurring at very high speeds. None of the riders have been injured in these crashes, but in certain cases, the bikes have been totaled. Interesting enough, the most dangerous place wasn’t Turn 5, one of the “special” places when it comes to crashing at Sepang, and where Jack Miller and Aleix Espargaro bit the dust.

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo have both crashed at very high speed in Turn 3, but they both walked away. Ducati apparently suspects that a mechanical failure was behind Dovi’s crash, rather than Michelin tires. On the other hand, Lorenzo’s Yamaha was destroyed to the point where the entire rear subframe was detached from the chassis, as can be observed in the attached photos.

Hopefully the next time MotoGP riders go out testing Michelin tires, we won’t get to see such nasty crashes. Having one of the top riders sidelined because such an injury may be indeed come with their job, but the sport would have little to gain, if anything at all from this.
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