Spanish GP, Jerez: Michelin preview

 In MotoGP, News

Michelin and MotoGP™ have returned from the season-opening fly-away tour and now set-up camp in Europe for the next 11-races as the championship heads first of all to Spain and the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto.

This will be another big challenge for the Michelin Technicians as the Jerez circuit has undergone massive repair work during the close-season to fix the issues with the surface following last year’s resurfacing. Substantial parts of the track have again been resurfaced and this will give another aspect in the preparations for the 25-lap race for all concerned.

Michelin has been kept involved in the latest work that has been carried out on the 4,423m circuit, but due to the nature of the MotoGP calendar it has had no chance to test the new surface, so the French company will be bringing a larger allocation of tyres to Jerez than is usually made available to the teams. This weekend’s selection will feature four front and four rear MICHELIN Power Slick tyres, designed to give as much choice for the teams and riders to get the optimum performance from the bikes on the asphalt. The front range will be available in soft, medium and two hard compounds, all in a symmetric design, with the same mixture available for the rear, but this time featuring an asymmetric finish with a harder right-hand-side to cope with the eight right turns which give extra demands to the tyre, compared to just five left corners.

Located just outside of Jerez de la Frontera in the Andalusian region of southern Spain, the Circuit de Jerez – Angel Nieto was constructed in 1986 and staged its first Grand Prix the following year. It has become the traditional first European Grand Prix of the season and as such is a very popular and colourful event, with huge crowds in attendance the whole weekend. It is an area that is noted for consistently pleasant weather, but wet weather is always a possibility, so Michelin will have a range of MICHELIN Power Rain tyres to combat such conditions. These will be in a soft and medium compound for both the front and rear, with the rears having an asymmetric design with a harder right-hand-side.

Michelin and the MotoGP field will kick-off track action on Friday 3rd May with two Free Practice sessions; this will be followed by two further sessions on the Saturday ahead of the all-important Qualifying in the afternoon. Sunday’s first European Grand Prix of the season will get underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs BST, 14.00hrs CEST, 12.00hrs UTC).

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“This weekend is another big test for us and has echoes of our return to MotoGP in 2016. Then we were going to many tracks where we had no data and this weekend is similar as the track has had a lot of resurfacing since we tested there last November. Because of this we are permitted by the regulations to take four front and four rear specifications of slick tyre, so we have selected a range we believe will be ideally matched to the circuit’s asphalt from the information we have from last year and have received from the company that has done the work, and from the circuit. We are confident we have the right compounds for the new surface and are looking forward to racing in Europe after a hectic start to the season with the two fly-away tests and three fly-away races.”

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