Michelin targeting the right direction at Spielberg
Michelin and the MotoGP™ field makes its return after the summer break to a new addition on this season’s calendar as the paddock heads to the Red Bull Ring in Austria for round nine of the championship and the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.
The Red Bull Ring is located in Spielberg in the stunning Murtal region of Austria and approximately 200km from the country’s capital Vienna. Originally constructed in 1969, the track was rebuilt in 1996 and uses the design from that reconstruction as its racing configuration today. The sloping terrain- set amongst stunning mountain scenery – is one of the track’s trademark features, along with its unusual layout which features only two distinct left-hand corners, and a slight left curve, along with seven right-handers. Following a recent test at the 4.318km Red Bull Ring, Michelin has gathered important data about the track and produced tyres aimed at giving the best performance around this unusual circuit.
To cope with the layout and highly-abrasive track surface, Michelin will supply tyres that are directed at providing the optimum performance and longevity over the 28-lap race. The range of MICHELIN Power Slicks will include three front tyres, which will be soft (identifiable by a white band), medium (no band) and hard (yellow band) all intended to give the riders the best options available to suit the circuit and their various riding styles.
For the rear of the bikes, two new compounds of the MICHELIN Power slick will be available in medium (no band) and hard (yellow band) options. These will both be an asymmetrical design with a harder compound on the right shoulder to take into account the greater number of right turns and the increased loads that are expected to be exerted on that side of the tyre. To complete the range there will be the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres and MICHELIN Power Inters for any changeable weather that may make an appearance.
Michelin and the rest of the MotoGP paddock will begin track action on Friday 12th August with two Free Practice sessions, followed by another Free Practice on the Saturday morning. Qualifying will take place in the afternoon to decide grid positions for Sunday’s 28-lap race, which is scheduled to get underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs BST, 12.00hrsGMT/UST). Sunday’s race will signal the return of motorcycle Grand Prix racing to Austria for the first time since 1997 and will mark the start of a hectic schedule which will see nine races over fourteen weekends.
Piero Taramasso – Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group:
“The Red Bull Ring is going to be a completely new experience, not just for Michelin, but the whole paddock as no-one has raced there before in MotoGP. The only rider with any experience in a Grand Prix is Valentino Rossi, but that was on a lower class bike and the track has been completely refurbished since then. We have had a test there recently and learned quite a lot, so we think we have a good idea how the tyres will work. It is an interesting layout with just two left-hand corners and only seven rights, so we have brought tyres to cope with this unusual layout. Hopefully we won’t have all the weather issues we have had in the last two races, but if we do we will be ready for whatever comes our way. It will be good to experience a new circuit and I’m sure the Austrian fans will pack the grandstands for the first Grand Prix there in almost 20-years.”