With two wins under his belt Maverick Viñales heads to Texas and what is arguably reinging champion Marc Marquez’s strongest circuit this weekend at the head of the points table.
Marquez has dominated the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas in recent years, with four pole positions and four wins, and he’ll be looking to add to that tally this weekend and reduce the 37-point deficit that stands between himself and his compatriot.
Last year Marquez was joined on the podium by Jorge Lorenzo who has had a poor start to the year with Ducati, and Andrea Iannone, of whom the same could be said at Suzuki despite promising form in testing. Rossi, who is currently second in the championship behind his teammate, crashed out in Texas in 2016.
Despite having fewer right hand corners, The Circuit of the Americas is slightly more demanding of the right hand side of the tyre, so all Michelin Power Slick rears will feature a harder compound on the right shoulder to control heat build up and provide greater resistance to abrasion.
Armed with the data collected during last year’s race, Michelin say this years tyre allocation will offer far greater performance at the circuit.
Piero Taramasso – Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group commented:
“COTA is another very demanding circuit and features many changes of direction, slow turns, fast bends and a long straight. There are also hard braking areas and all this together makes for a big challenge for a tyre to cope with. The riders are always demanding the very best and that is always our target- to be able to give the optimum tyre for all riders and bikes to use. We were unable to produce the very good performance that we had hoped for in 2016, but this season we are going there fully prepared – thanks to data we got after last year’s race – and with a range of rubber that will work well around the Texan circuit. With three fly-away tests and then the three long-haul races to start the season, it has certainly been a busy time, but we are all totally focused and will arrive in Austin fresh and ready for the task-in-hand.”
The race gets underway at 8pm UK time on Sunday, so don’t miss it!