Michelin’s transatlantic tour continues this coming weekend when the MotoGP paddock descends on the northern part of the American continent as the championship heads to Austin in Texas for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas (CoTA).
The Circuit of The Americas is one of the most modern venues of the MotoGP tour. It has been on the calendar since its inaugural race in 2013. The 5,513m track features 11 left and 9 right turns over its anti-clockwise circulation. There are parts of the track mirroring other famous circuits in their design. Such is the recreation of Silverstone’s Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel sequence, Istanbul Park’s turn-eight and the Arena Bends from Hockenheim, with other corners taking inspiration from Interlagos and Österreichring. This incredible array of corners, allied to a 1,200m long straight, makes this one of the most demanding circuits of the year. And it also puts extreme stress and attrition on the tyres.
— Circuit of The Americas (@COTA) April 15, 2018
Michelin’s range for the weekend will feature soft, medium and hard compound tyres for the front and rear to contend with this challenging layout
These will be symmetrical for the front, whilst all three rears will be of an asymmetric design. They feature a harder right-hand side to combat the added work which that section must contend with. The CoTA track also has a notoriety for having a very bumpy surface. The organisers have tried to rectify for this year’s race by using industrial smoothing machines to grind the bumps away. This alteration is yet another unknown entity that Michelin, the teams and the riders will have to face over the weekend.
The weather at the Texan circuit is usually nice – only two sessions in its five-year history were ever wet. But that doesn’t dismiss the chance of rain. So Michelin has prepared soft and medium Michelin Power Rain tyres for the front and rear. The rears have an asymmetrical design featuring a harder right-side.
Round three of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship will get underway on Friday 20th April with the first two Free Practice sessions. of More practice will follow on the Saturday before the excitement of qualifying to determine grid positions for Sunday’s main event. This year’s race is one of the contests that has had a shorter duration. Instead of the usual 21-laps, the 2018 version will only be 20 circulations in length. The schedule is for a start at 14.00hrs (21.00hrs CEST, 20.00hrs BST, 19.00UTC) on Sunday 22nd April.
Piero Taramasso – Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group:
“This is another demanding track and one that deserves respect. It has many aspects to it and we have to make a tyre that can cope with all the different turns, hard-braking zones and the challenge of the surface. The circuit has tried hard to get rid of the bumps that have been caused by other events using the track, so it will be very interesting and important for us to understand how this will affect the tyres. CoTA is one of the circuits where we are determined to make improvements at, as we believe we have not demonstrated the true potential of our tyres around there, so we are looking for some positive results and a chance to show what we can do.”
— MotoGP™? (@MotoGP) April 15, 2018