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LORENZO AND MICHELIN ARE THE KINGS OF THE MOUNTAINS AT MUGELLO

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Jorge Lorenzo raced to stunning on-the-line victory at Mugello in Italy today as he used his new hard and soft compound Michelin tyres to the full and pushed to the limit on the last-lap to take victory as he crossed the finishing line.

Starting from fifth on the grid, Lorenzo chose the new hard compound MICHELIN Power Slick for the front of his Yamaha and paired this with the soft compound rear, which was also being used for the first time this season. The Spaniard got a good start and led for the early laps despite constant pressure from nine-time World Champion and yesterday’s pole-setter Valentino Rossi. The Yamaha team-mates fought hard over eight-laps until an unfortunate technical issue forced Rossi to retire, leaving Lorenzo out front on his own. The race was far from over though, as Honda´s Marc Marquez chased down the current World Champion and caught Lorenzo with several laps to go. The two riders were then locked in a monumental battle amongst the mountains of Mugello, which culminated in a breath-taking final lap. Marquez made a pass on Lorenzo to take the lead, before the championship leader snatched it back, only to see Marquez come straight back at him and re-take the lead yet again. Marquez looked to have secured victory, but Lorenzo got fantastic drive from the last corner from his Michelin tyres and pulled himself past Marquez on the line to win by only 0.019 seconds.  Lorenzo´s winning race time of 41’36.535 was also over two-and-a-half seconds quicker than last year´s race and an outright race-record for the Mugello circuit – beating the existing record from 2012 by almost a second. His victory today was his third of the season and increased his championship lead over Marquez to 10 points.

Third place was taken by a home favourite Andrea Iannone on a Ducati. The Italian fought his way to a podium finish after a poor start which cost him five places from third on the grid. Iannone finished the race very strongly as he set the fastest lap of the day on the final circulation to establish the durability of the MICHELIN Power Slicks on this demanding circuit. Dani Pedrosa on a Honda rode a solid race, as he too finished strongly securing fourth place, just in front of the second Ducati, this time ridden by Andrea Dovizioso. Sixth went to the Suzuki of Maverick Viñales, with Bradley Smith taking a well-deserved seventh – and the plaudits of being the First Independent Team Rider. Another home favourite Danilo Petrucci on a satellite Ducati was eighth with Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) and Michele Pirro (Ducati) rounding out the top-ten in ninth and tenth respectively.

The huge and colourful crowd of 100,640 – the largest ever on race day at Mugello – filled the hillsides around the track and baked in the Italian sun as temperatures rose to 26°, which also saw track temperatures hit 40°C – the warmest of the weekend. The latest versions of the MICHELIN Power Slicks performed well in the extreme conditions, at a track that is notoriously difficult for tyres. The technicians will now analyse all the data from what has been a successful weekend, as Michelin moves on through the season and continues to strive to improve its performance at each circuit as the year progresses

Next stop for Michelin will be the Catalonian Grand Prix at the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona, when the whole MotoGP paddock will reconvene their rivalries at round seven of the championship on Sunday 5th June.

Jorge Lorenzo – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP:

“I am very, very happy with the tyres and how they performed today. During the last laps they started sliding a little bit more than in the previous laps, but now we don’t have anything like the problem that we had in Jerez on the straights. It has been a great weekend, it was a very close race, a great show for all and I am now 10-points above Marquez in the championship, so I am very happy.”

Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:

“It has been a very good race weekend for us. The race time was shorter that the record race time, with the fastest lap at the end of the race by Iannone which was very close to the race lap-record.  It was the same yesterday with Rossi in qualification when he was one-hundredth-of-a-second off the outright track record. Everything went really well for us and there were no crashes that could be contributed to the front tyre, which was an important thing as nearly everybody used the new front, so this gives us confidence as we move forward with more technological advancements. We made a step here and now we head to the next race in Catalunya, where we also have a test on the Monday following the race, but if all the races are like this one we will be very happy.”

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