The switch from Bridgestone to Michelin as the official tire supplier for MotoGP promises to be perhaps the most important change to the class for 2016, though the change to spec-ECU software runs it a close second.
Up until the Valencia tests, held after the final race of the year, the performance of the Michelins was still shrouded in mystery, the official riders contractually obliged to keep quiet about the French tires while Bridgestone was still the official tire supplier.
That all changed on the Tuesday after Valencia. With the handover to Michelin, the riders were free to speak, as were the principal players inside the French tire manufacturer.
The teams had a lot of work to do, their job not made any easier by the fact that so many riders crashed at Valencia. Riding styles needed to change, as did the weight distribution of the bikes.
But question marks remained over the performance of the Michelin front tire, especially, with so many riders lowsiding over the two days of the test.
On the Tuesday at Valencia, we got a chance to speak with Nicolas Goubert, the head of Michelin’s motorsports program, alongside Israeli TV5 commentator Tammy Gorali.
Goubert gave an update on the progress of their MotoGP program so far, and addressed several of the issues they had faced during testing. Of course, Michelin was delighted to be back in the premier class again.