MotoGP, Michelin: “Heat and cold, the two enemies of tires in Valencia”

Valencia is a turning point that marks both the end of the current season with the final round and the start of the next with the tests on Tuesday and Wednesday. A last day of school, quickly followed by a first day of no vacation that comes in December instead.

Due to the increasing number of races, the race in Valencia will now take place later in November, which creates additional problems for the drivers and the tire supplier. The mild climate of southern Spain can give way to an autumnal cold and even rain is currently possible.

All the contingencies that Michelin carefully considered when deciding which tires to bring to the race. They opted for asymmetrical front tires (like on the Sachsenring and Phillip Island) as well as asymmetrical rear wheels in soft, medium and hard components in order to cope with this unique route with their 9 left and 5 right-handers. When it rains, soft and medium solutions are available, only the backs are asymmetrical.

Michelin is also the sole supplier to MotoE, which will have a choice between medium-sized front slicks and soft rear wheels, both with symmetrical construction.

“Valencia is a very unique circuit as it is the only one in a stadium and this presents particular challenges in terms of both the layout and the time of year we come here – explains Michelin manager Piero Taramasso – This part of Spain can have fine weather in November, which is ideal for racing, but it can also be very cold in the mornings. To fight this We need rubber that can warm up quickly and work when the track gets hot and that can handle the number of corners in quick succession. ”

“The left side hardly has a chance to cool off, as the bikes spend a lot of time on this side during a lap. Therefore, the asymmetry of the tire must be perfectly designed to meet these requirements. This may be the last race of the year but overall it is one of the most important as we will see the first MotoE World Cup winner and it also signals the real start of work for 2020 as we have two days of testing in the week after the main event . “