This coming weekend, Michelin and the MotoGP paddock are headed for Germany and the famous Sachsenring Circuit, where series leader Marc Marquez emerged victorious last year.
Behind Marquez last season was Jonas Folger on the Tech 3, with the then rookie setting a race lap record of 1m21.442s as he came close to taking a premier class win on home soil.
Sachsenring is by no means the longest circuit on the MotoGP calendar, but it does pose it’s own set of unique problems for the team at Michelin.
The German track has a total of thirteen corners, but only three of those are right-handers. The remaining ten left handers include a number of fast, sweeping bends which really test the grip and durability of a rider’s tyres as the heat builds up to very high levels in the left-hand shoulder.
With that in mind, Michelin will be supplying asymmetric front and rear Power Slick tyres in all compound options. Should it rain, the front Power Rain option will be symmetric, and the rear asymmetric with the harder compound on the left.
Ahead of this weekend’s GP, Michelin Motorsport Two Wheel Manager Piero Taramasso commented:
“We are going to Sachsenring much better prepared this year than we did in 2017. We had no opportunity to test the surface last year, but now we have a lot of data and we have been able to make tyres that are specifically matched to the demands of such a unique circuit.
It’s anti-clockwise design, excessive left hand corners and very fast turns make it a technical and demanding track. The riders spend a lot of time on the left edge, so when they get to a right turn that side has lost a lot of heat and has to warm-up quickly, so we need a tyre that acts very differently on both sides and gives the riders the confidence they need.
It’s also a track that can be very cold at times, but can also get very hot when the sun shines, so we need an allocation to cover that. What we selected at the start of the year is based on all those factors and we are confident we have the right rubber for all eventualities.”