Sachsenring and tyres: left, left and left again

The shortest circuit on the calendar hosts Round 9 of the season, with 10 of its 13 corners left-handed

Michelin are set for the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland and Round 9 of the 2018 MotoGP™ season, with the Sachsenring providing a unique challenge for the Official MotoGP™ Class Tyre.

Michelin GER Prev - en

Formerly a road based circuit in-and-around the city of Chemnitz, Eastern Germany, Sachsenring’s purpose built track was opened in 1996 and hosted its first motorcycle Grand Prix in 1998. The circuit was then updated in 2001, with the Sachsenring sitting as the shortest track on the MotoGP™ calendar, as well as having 10 of its 13 corners left-handed.

After last season’s resurfacing, Michelin come into this year’s German GP well equipped after compiling the data from 2017’s race. As expected, Michelin’s soft, medium and hard front and rear tyre compounds will be asymmetric in design. The tyres will have a harder left-hand side to cope with the added stress that part will go through, with the right-hand side having softer rubber in order for that side of the tyre to gather heat quicker – something that often catches the riders out at the top of the famous ‘Waterfall’ section.

Michelin GER Prev - en

Piero Taramasso, Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager, shared his thoughts ahead of the 2018 German GP: “We are going to Sachsenring much better prepared this year than we did in 2017. We had no opportunity to test the surface last year, but now we have a lot of data and we have been able to make tyres that are specifically matched to the demands of such a unique circuit. Its anti-clockwise design, excessive left-hand corners and very fast turns make it a technical and demanding track. The riders spend a lot of time of the left edge, so when they get to a right turn that side has lost a lot of heat and has to warm-up quickly, so we need a tyre that acts very differently on both sides and gives the riders the confidence they need. It’s also a track that can be very cold at times, but can also get very hot when the sun shines, so we need an allocation to cover that. What we selected at the start of the year is based on all those factors and we are confident we have the right rubber for all eventualities.”