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Michelin has made the short trek across the mountainous region of Austria to arrive at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg for the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich and the 11th round of the 2017 MotoGP™ World Championship.
Following last weekend’s race at Brno and then a one-day test at the same circuit on Monday, the turnaround for the next race is very short and the back-to-back races always add an extra degree of complexity to the racing schedule. The Red Bull Ring makes its second appearance on the calendar after an 18-year absence from motorcycle Grand Prix racing. The unusual layout of the track with its two distinct left-hand corners and a fast left curve, allied to seven right-handers, over 4,318m of abrasive asphalt makes this a very demanding track for tyres, especially the right shoulder, so Michelin will have a range of rubber to cope with those demands.
Michelin had an excellent debut at Spielberg last year and will use the information from that event to provide tyres ideally suited to the configuration. The selection of MICHELIN Power Slicks will include three front tyres, all a symmetrical design, which will be available in soft, medium and hard compounds, all designed to give the riders the best options for optimum performance. The rear choices will be asymmetric in design, also in soft, medium and hard compounds, with the harder right-hand shoulder on all versions to cope with the greater number of corners which that side of the tyre must contend with. Due to its position in the mountainous Styria area of Austria, wet weather could be an issue during the race weekend, so to cope with any precipitation the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres in soft and medium compounds for the front and rear will be available, with both rears featuring an asymmetrical design with a harder right-hand-side.
The Red Bull ring was originally constructed in 1969 and was then known as the Österreichring. The circuit made a spectacular return to MotoGP™ in 2016 when over 200,000 people packed the grandstands and mountainsides around the track during the weekend for some stunning racing set against breath-taking scenery. This package combined with the circuit’s impressive infrastructure and advanced facilities, led to the event being awarded Grand Prix of the Year for 2016 from the Grand Prix Commission, a title that it will no doubt try to retain this year.
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager: “This is a very busy time for us, after the race in Brno we had a one-day test and then it is straight to Austria for the next event. We had a very positive weekend at the Red Bull Ring last year, our tyres worked in some extremes of temperatures, it was cold on the first day and for the race the track was almost 50°C and the tyres performed really well. The durability was especially pleasing as the lap-record was set as the race drew to a close. It is a very unique track design with only two real left-hand corners, but we brought tyres last year that matched the layout and we will have the rubber this year to cope with the interesting design. The whole event last year was very impressive and I’m sure this will be the same and we will be making sure our tyres make the race as entertaining and exciting as possible.”
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