Moto2 Dunlop Aragón preview
Dunlop heads to Spain for the third time this season for the Aragón Grand Prix, the thirteenth round of the 2011 Moto2 Championship, held on September 16-18 at the Motorland Aragón circuit.
MotoGP first visited Aragón in 2010 and found a track surface similar in composition to that of Misano, allied to a layout which has longer corners and elevation changes over its 5.078km anti-clockwise duration.
Dunlop will bring the front tyre allocation of the 717 hard compound which has been used at all rounds so far this year. The other front compound is the 302 medium. This offers a similar level of grip to the 753 medium which it replaced from the Sachsenring onwards – but with added stability.
For the rear, the 4886 and 3854 compounds will be brought, both in the favoured ATR05 construction which has softer edges to enable greater rider confidence.
“Aragón presented us with quite a challenge as a new venue for us last year,” explains Dunlop Motorsport’s Moto2 co-ordinator, Clinton Howe.
“We tested at the venue prior to the race and experienced extreme track temperatures of up to 56˚C, which is as hot as you’ll find anywhere. We then visited the circuit for the race and experienced track temperatures of 16˚C – a massive 40˚C cooler. This was a very different scenario and our tyres faced an unexpected challenge because of this.
“This experience of the circuit makes our tyre allocation choice very difficult as we could be faced with the hottest track of the season, or the coolest.
“The long corners put high forces through the tyres and create a lot of energy as the construction and compounds react to this energy, which creates heat. This is intensified if there are very high ambient and track temperatures, of the likes we experienced at the 2010 test.
“If the track temperatures are much lower, and you have a scenario where the tyre compound does not work as it should have this can cause high levels of wear through abrasion.
“This means you need a tyre allocation capable of reacting to a range of conditions, which is quite a tough request. We feel that by bringing two rear tyres with the ATR05 construction we are giving our riders the best tools at their disposal.
“Aragón has an even layout in terms of demands on both sides of the tyres, but with fast downhill sections, with right hand turns, and a couple of high braking demands especially the downhill turns 14/15 where riders practically stand the bike on its nose. All in all, there is plenty for our tyres to do at this track.”
Dunlop Motorsport’s Senior Tyre Engineer (Motorcycle Race), Chris Valentine gives his insight into Aragón:
“Having opened last year the surface is still very abrasive with even our hardest compound being heavily abraded by the end of last season, but we would expect that the surface will have started to wear slightly and abrasion will be less of an issue this year.”
The thirteenth round of the Moto2 world championship at Aragón starts with practice on Friday 16 September, followed by qualifying on Saturday and then the race at 12:15 local time on Sunday.
Source: Dunlop Motorsport Media