Michelin is off to the Island and its titled Grand prix

Michelin is off to the Island and its titled Grand prix

Phillip Island
photo: Michelin

Michelin has headed south for the second leg of the three-week flyaway tour. MotoGP goes to a race that holds special significance for the French company as it is the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix which will be held at Phillip Island this weekend.

Round 17 of the MotoGP World Championship sees the paddock travel over the equator for only the second time this season

It has a date with one of the most spectacular and demanding circuits on the whole calendar. The 4,448m layout is one of the fastest tracks of the year. Its high-speed nature makes it one of the most extreme tests for tyres that Michelin visits. Fast, flowing turns produce huge amounts of heat. The final corner is the bend which shows the highest temperature of any of the 278 turns that the MotoGP field face during the 19-race season.

There are numerous challenges at this track. One is the high stresses generated, another – the anti-clockwise layout covering seven left- and five right-hand bends. It is also necessary for a tyre to warm-up quickly due to the cool temperatures that can be encountered at this time of the year. All that means that Michelin has to deliver a special tyre to work to its full potential at its named Grand Prix. The so-called ‘Phillip Island’ tyre meets all those demands. It delivers the riders with a confidence-inspiring tyre to push to the extreme and give close and exciting racing.

Phillip Island
photo: Michelin

The Michelin Power Slicks for both the front and rear will all be asymmetric in design

That is one of only three times the full range is available in such a selection throughout the season. The others are with Sachsenring and Valencia being the others. The soft, medium and hard compounds ideally match the rigours of the track. The left-hand side has a harder compound to cope with the extra demands faced by that side of the tyre and the increased heat. Meanwhile, the right will be a softer rubber designed to warm up quickly and give the riders the grip they require for those corners.

The spectacular racing nature of the Phillip Island track also has an equally breath-taking setting

It nestles on the cliffs of Phillip Island. The track looks directly out over the Bass Strait and on to the Tasman Sea. But this stunning backdrop can also provide extremely inclement weather, from heavy rain to wintry showers. With this heightened possibility at this time of the year – its spring in Australia – the Michelin Power Rain tyres will be available to counter the wet conditions. This allocation will be as finely tuned as their slick counterparts to meet the demands of the circuit. It will be available in a soft and medium symmetric for the front, with an asymmetric soft and medium for the rear.

The Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix weekend begins on Friday 26th October. Saturday will have two more practice periods, followed by Qualifying to decide grid positions for the 27-lap race. Sunday 28th October will see the third running of the Michelin Australian Grand Prix. The lights will change to signal the start of the race at 16.00hrs local time (06.00hrs CET, 05.00hrs GMT).

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“Phillip Island has a special significance for all involved with Michelin, as it is the one race of the season where we have the title sponsorship, so it feels very much like ‘our’ race and with the whole Asian-Pacific market being so important to Michelin, it gives the event an added meaning”

“The track is one of the most challenging throughout the year, it puts stresses on the tyres that we do not see anywhere else. Our tyres need to contend with high lap-times, a very asymmetric layout and some extremely fast corners, so they need to perform at all those levels, as well as having the ability to warm-up quickly, because it can be very cool there, as we have seen in recent seasons.”

“This is a circuit we are always very respectful of and one that we don’t take lightly, that is why we have a tyre that is particular to Phillip Island, it is important for us to perform to the best of our ability at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix and we will certainly be doing that – and although last year’s race was extremely exciting, we will be trying to make it even better!”