It’s almost time the start of the 2019 MotoGP season!
The first of this year’s nineteen races will take place under floodlight in Qatar, at the unique Losail International Circuit which is surrounded by sand just to the north of the capital city of Doha.
In use by MotoGP since 2004, when Sete Gibernau took the inaugural victory during a daylight race, the circuit stands a 5.4km in length, with 10 right-handers and 6 left-handers.
This slightly unbalanced layout has led Michelin to allocate a full complement of asymmetric rear tyres in both it’s Power Slick and Power Rain ranges, with a harder rubber compound on the right-hand shoulder to make it more resistant to wear and control the build up of heat.
Last season the opening race saw three manufacturers on the podium, as Dovizioso took the race win ahead of Marquez and Rossi in second and third place respectively.
Marc’s new teammate Jorge Lorenzo currently holds both the race lap and race duration records, both of which he set in 2016.
Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager Piero Taramasso looked forward to the opening weekend, stating:
“We have had a very successful off-season, as we introduced some new slick compounds that we had been developing and the riders were very pleased with the performance, so these have been added to the range for 2019.
These are aimed more at European tracks, but we have added them to the allocation at Losail as we believe they are ideal for what the track has to offer.
We are looking forward to the new season, there are new riders, bikes, and teams that have changed manufacturers, so there’s a huge amount for all of our technicians to work on.
We are up for the challenge and everyone is ready to get back into the racing environment. Losail has been a good track for Michelin since we returned, even though it is a very unique circuit with particular demands, so we are determined to push the performance on again this year, as we plan to do at every track we visit.”