Red Bull Ring: an abrasive challenge

Four straights, stress to one side of the tyre and an abrasive asphalt means Spielberg provides one of the toughest tests for Michelin

The latest stop on MotoGP™’s European tour is the picturesque hills of Spielberg and the Red Bull Ring. The track may be famed for its long straights but that doesn’t mean the circuit doesn’t provide a challenge for Michelin.

In fact, it provides one of the toughest challenges across the 19 venues MotoGP™ visits. A very abrasive track, the highest average speed lap on the calendar, seven right-hand corners and four straights make the Red Bull Ring a demanding circuit for the tyres. To combat those requirements, Michelin have brought asymmetric rubber for the rear slick tyre compounds, with the soft, medium and hard featuring a harder right-hand-side. But the rubber has a special construction specifically designed to manage the high temperatures which can build up around the Red Bull Ring, with the whole tyre coming under severe stress. For the front slicks, the soft, medium and hard will have a symmetric finish.

The Austrian layout is nestled in the mountains and this means it’s prone to experiencing some adverse weather conditions. The Michelin Power Rain tyres will be available in soft and medium, with the rear soft featuring an asymmetric design similar to its slick counterpart. The medium rear, along with the two front tyre compounds, will have a symmetric finish.

This weekend will also see the second staging of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup and Michelin will offer the 18 Energica Ego a slick medium front and soft rear, both of which are symmetric. If wet conditions prevail, then symmetric soft front and extra-soft rear Michelin Power Rain tyres will be in the allocation.

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager: “Spielberg really is a unique track, both from a location and layout point of view. It is one of only two tracks that we need to bring a specially constructed rear tyre to – the other being Buriram in Thailand – because due to all the straights the rear can build-up extreme temperatures, so this construction is designed to control the heat. The surface is also very abrasive, but we have the compounds to perform and give good consistency throughout the whole race and a selection of front compounds which will give the riders the control they need in the braking areas. This will also be the second weekend that we have had MotoE, after its debut at Sachsenring last month. Again we will supply just one compound of tyre for the front and rear and it will be very interesting to see how the bikes perform here at the fastest MotoGP track of the year.”

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