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Michelin's Goubert on the Sachsenring

Michelin's Goubert on the Sachsenring

Michelin's Goubert on the Sachsenring

Michelin has enjoyed unprecedented success at the German Grand Prix. Since reunification, the French tyre brand has won 13 of the country's 14 premier-class GPs, beaten only at the first German GP in 1991.

These victories have been achieved at three different circuits – Hockenheim, Nurburgring and Sachsenring. The modern Sachsenring hosted its first GP in 1998 but has since undergone major revisions. The current circuit layout was first used in 2001, the last year of the 500s. Since then the super-quick four- strokes have slashed one minute and ten seconds from the race record!

"It's one of the slowest circuits and the first section is so slow that it's not really meant for a MotoGP bike," says Nicolas Goubert, Michelin's chief of motorcycle competitions. "A few years ago (in 2000), before the track was enlarged, the 250 lap record was actually faster than the 500 record. So power is not crucial at this track, it's all about agility and corner speed."

"And our 2005 rear construction, which has really improved race times this season, should help at the Sachsenring, because there are so many long corners, with riders on the edge of the tyres for a long time. Edge grip is therefore the most crucial aspect of tyre performance at this track, acceleration traction isn't so important. Our 2005 construction offers better stability and greater endurance on the edge of the tyre. But we still have to improve here – riders always ask for more edge grip, because they always want to go fast. It's a permanent request!"

"We run dual compound tyres here, really quite asymmetric, because there are ten left-handers and only four rights. Although endurance can be quite crucial on the left side of the tyre we would like to get another lap record at the end of the race but I think it will be very difficult, just because all the lefts work both the tyres so hard. The rear definitely gets the biggest workout, because there's not a lot of heavy braking or trail-braking into corners, so the front isn't a real concern."

"After this race our MotoGP crew takes a well-earned holiday, and we think it's important that MotoGP has a compulsory break in the middle of the season. We will plan our tyres for Brno immediately after Sunday's racing, then our people at the factory will work at making them while we go on holiday!"


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