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By Michelin

Michelin looks towards the title decider

The MotoGP™ tyre manufacturer heads back to Europe for the customary season-ending event at Valencia

Michelin returns to Spain for the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, and a race that takes on extra significance as the MotoGP™ World Championship will be decided this weekend. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) are separated by just 21-points at the head of the standings, so one of these two great competitors — both with six wins each this season — will be battling to be the second champion since Michelin’s return to MotoGP™ in 2016.

The setting is a unique circuit on the calendar, with it being the only stadium styled venue of the year. Its tight configuration with nine left-hand and five right-hand turns requires special attention and concentration to get a good lap. The anti-clockwise, snaking design set out over 4,005m, means the tyres will spend a lot of the lap on the edge and to counter this Michelin will take a range of front and rear asymmetric slick rubber to cope with the specific demands. The MICHELIN Power Slicks will be in soft, medium and hard compounds with a more durable left-hand side to combat the extra and faster corners which travel in that direction. The front selection will see the soft and hard compounds with the asymmetric pattern, whilst the medium will be symmetric. All three rear tyres will be asymmetric.

The Michelin tyres for the final round of the season will have the same meticulous attention that has been used to supply specific tyres for every circuit at the 17-rounds raced this season. All are aimed at supplying the riders, teams and manufacturers with the largest choice for a race weekend, and with the colder morning temperatures that are common at the circuit in November, right through to the warmer conditions expected on race-day, or with any wet weather that could be encountered, this weekend’s range has been designed and chosen with the vagaries of the Valencian track in mind.

The Circuit Ricardo Tormo has held a World Championship motorcycle event since 1999, when the construction of the circuit was completed, and wet weather is not unusual at this time of the year, so the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available to manage any inclement conditions. Available in extra soft and soft compounds for the front and rear, the asymmetric compound, with a harder left-hand edge, will feature on just the extra soft rear tyres, whereas the three others in the MICHELIN Power Rain range will have a symmetric design.

The event always has a festival feel to it and with up-to 150,000 fans expected to fill the stands around the circuit on race-day that will certainly be the case as the season decider reaches its exciting climax. The layout allows for spectators to view the action anywhere on the track from any of the grandstands, giving the event a unique and spectacular feel and atmosphere.

The final round of the season gets underway with two free practice sessions on Friday. The last Saturday of the year will have further practice sessions, allied with the excitement of qualifying to determine grid positions for Sunday’s 30-lap race. The main event gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT) on Sunday 12th November, when the title will go down to the wire and the traditional celebratory fireworks will be ignited when the chequered flag drops to signal the end of a fantastic season of MotoGP racing, in which Michelin has played an important and significant role.

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager: “It’s good to be back in Europe after the three-week tour of the Asia-Pacific, but it is also tinged with a bit of sadness as this is the final race of the season. It seems like no time since the pre-season tests, but we have had some amazing races this year and it has been a very good and successful season for Michelin. Valencia brings its own challenges as it can be very cool in the mornings, so we need tyres that can warm-up quickly and give good adhesion, especially on the right side. It’s also a track with lots of left turns over its short distance, so the left side of the tyre doesn’t have much chance to cool down and we have asymmetric tyres especially designed to take that into account. The final event is always a celebration for the fans and I’m sure this year will be the same, especially with the title going down to the wire.”