Michelin ready for a quick-change as it heads to the race at...

Michelin ready for a quick-change as it heads to the race at the Ring

Red Bull Ring
photo: Michelin

Michelin is making a swift cross-border journey for the 11th round of this season’s MotoGP World Championship. Back-to-back scheduling between the Czech Republic and Austrian events means that the eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich will take place just seven days after the previous race.

Michelin heads to the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg in Austria

The tyre supplier is fully prepared for one of the most unusual tracks, and challenging events of the season. The layout of the 4,318m circuit features just two definite left-hand tuns, along with a slight, but very fast curve, which also goes in a left direction, as opposed to seven right-hand bends that put huge stresses on that side of the tyre. The fast nature of the track – it has the highest average lap speed on the MotoGP calendar – and the severe abrasivity of the asphalt, all aligned to the configuration, makes this track one to stand out from a tyre performance point of view.

With the extreme demands that the rear rubber has to face, Michelin will have a selection of Michelin Power Slicks. They will be in an asymmetrical design in soft, medium and hard compounds. All will be also with a harder right-hand-side. That is to contend with the extra workload that influences part of the tyre. The tyres have a construction with a special design to manage the high temperatures which can build-up over a lap of this demanding track.

Drive is an important factor to a fast and consistent lap of the Red Bull Ring. Thus there is more emphasis on the rear by the teams and riders. But the fronts also have an important job to do. The choice of compounds in soft, medium and hard for the front will be symmetrical. All have a design to match the rears to give the best braking and turning performance to complement the rear drive.

Situated in the stunning mountainous region of Styria in Austria, this has to be one of the most picturesque circuits in the world

But it’s not only the layout that can be challenging, so can the weather. With the possibility of 50°C track temperature one day, then wet and windy the next, Michelin must have tyres for all conditions. So if there is any precipitation, then the range of Michelin Power Rain tyres will be available to cope with such conditions. Available in soft and medium compounds, the fronts will be symmetric. The rears will feature a harder right-hand side like their slick counterparts.

Michelin and the MotoGP field will take to the track on Friday for two Free Practice sessions, followed by further practice and Qualifying on Saturday. Round 11 gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs BST, 12.00hrsGMT/UST) on Sunday 12th August.

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“This is one of the tracks on the calendar that creates the highest heat in the tyres. It’s the fastest circuit and one that demands a different approach. We use a carcass that is designed to control the temperature, so that it doesn’t overheat and still gives optimum performance over the race distance. We know this construction works as we have had successful results with it and are convinced it will deliver what all the riders and teams need. Despite the track being very abrasive, we have suitable compounds for the surface. In the two previous visits we have been very pleased with how the tyres have behaved throughout the whole race and we are confident that will be the case this year and we’ll have as good a race as there was in 2017.”