New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Phillip Island challenge for tyres

Phillip Island challenge for tyres

Phillip Island challenge for tyres

Michelin's chief of motorcycling competitions Nicolas Goubert says that the Phillip Island circuit is one of the most demanding venues on the MotoGP World Championship calendar for the tyre manufacturers, thanks largely to high lean angles combined with extensive throttle usage.

Whilst Bridgestone scored their first ever pole position at this track with Jeremy McWilliams in 2002, Michelin have taken victory on every one of their nine visits to the Australian track and will look to extend that record this weekend.

"I think this is the most interesting race for us because it is one of the biggest challenges for the tyre manufacturers," says Goubert. "We also love Phillip Island because the track is very fast and open, so it tends to encourage close and exciting racing.

"The circuit is very demanding on tyres because of all the long, fast corners. The bikes spend a lot of time on their sides, with the riders using a lot of throttle, so the temperatures generated can be the highest we see all season, depending on track temperature.

"Conditions aren't generally that warm at Phillip Island at this time of year, though you never know. One thing is almost certain though – it may feel a little cold after Qatar and Malaysia!

"We tested here during the off-season and it soon became clear that our 2004 rear offers real advantages in the long left-handers. The tyre increases traction and therefore delivers extra drive and less wheelspin.

"Our 16.5in front should also help because it offers excellent feedback. Good feedback gives riders more confidence to use the front tyre to the limit, so they can attack corners more aggressively. Corner-entry speed and mid-corner speed are important here because this track is all about maintaining momentum. It's not a stop-and-go track like many other places.

"The good thing about Phillip Island is that the track surface doesn't change its condition during the weekend. Unlike places like Losail and Welkom, it's pretty consistent throughout the weekend."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Other updates you may be interested in ›