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Michelin’s next stop on the global tour that is the MotoGP™ World Championship sees the paddock head to the picturesque Mugello circuit in Italy for round six of the season and the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley.
Mugello staged its first motorcycle Grand Prix in 1976 and the stunning mountain setting gives the circuit a special atmosphere, which is heightened by the fervent and patriotic supporters that congregate on the banks and in the grandstands around the track. The 5,245m layout features an inviting recipe of fast and slow turns, elevation changes, sweeping curves and one of the fastest straights in MotoGP, which can see riders hit speeds more than 350km/h as they exit the last corner on to the start/finish straight. Heavy braking and off-camber turns are also features of this challenging circuit and makes the set-up of the bike, and the demands on the tyres, a complicated and demanding science.
To cope with the requirements of the circuit Michelin will bring a range of tyres with compounds suited to the asphalt. This means the rear MICHELIN Power Slicks will feature both symmetric and asymmetric designs. The soft (white band) will have the single compound across its design, while the medium (no band) and hard (yellow band) will have a harder right-hand-side designed to give increased grip and durability throughout the race. All these tyres will need to work very hard to give the best performance as the riders load the power coming out of the slower corners and through the faster bends where edge grip is pushed to the extreme.
For the first time this season the front MICHELIN Power slicks will feature a stiffer construction. This has been introduced following the recent test at Jerez in Spain where a comparison assessment was conducted between this tyre and the current incarnation of front tyre. After this test the riders were consulted on their preference and a majority chose to go with the stiffer construction. This different carcass will be available in soft (white band), medium (no band) and hard (yellow band) compounds and this will be the direction of the construction as the season progresses. The medium will be an asymmetric design with the right-hand shoulder having a harder compound. To finalise the collection will be the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres in a soft (blue band) and medium (no band) compound, but with conditions usually dry at this time of year in Mugello, there will hopefully be no need to put these tyres into operation.
Located approximately 35km north-east of Florence in the beautiful Tuscan countryside, the weekend’s action at Mugello will commence on Friday with two Free Practice sessions. Qualifying for Sunday’s 23-lap race will take place on Saturday afternoon to decide the grid positions for the following day’s main event. Round six of the season will be held on Sunday 4th June at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs BST, 12.00hrsGMT/UST).
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“Mugello is an amazing event and a very complex circuit to overcome. We had a good race there in 2016 and set a race duration record, so we will certainly be looking to at least repeat that, if not improve on what we achieved last season and after the results last time out at Le Mans – where we had new lap and race duration records – we are in a determined mood to continue in that mode. This race will see us changing the construction of the front tyre to a stiffer version from what we have used so far this year. We had a request from several riders to test this tyre again after the decision had been made following the pre-season tests to use the current spec. So we supplied it at the recent Jerez test for a comparison – this stiffer construction tyre was originally used with a lot of success at the final race last season in Valencia and partly in the winter tests along with the current one, so the riders already had knowledge of it. Following this test all riders and teams were consulted by Dorna and a majority decision was taken to introduce this tyre from Mugello and onwards for the rest of the season. We are happy with this decision because it again gives us a clear direction for the year, and again highlights how Michelin is working to give the best solutions for the MotoGP field.”
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