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Round 19 of the MotoGP™ World Championship provides one final test to Michelin because of the Circuit Ricardo Tormo’s unique style. The unusual layout means it is one of just three tracks during 2019 that requires asymmetric front and rear tyres.
Valencia’s four-kilometre circuit, with its nine left and five right-hand turns, has a configuration set out in an anti-clockwise direction and, therefore, tyres spend a large amount of time on the edge and must be able to combat these demands.
Circuit setup: tight, twisting and technical...
Asymmetric soft, medium and hard compound tyres for both the front and rear are available to all MotoGP™ teams this weekend, similar to what we saw at the Sachsenring and Phillip Island. This time though, the harder rubber will appear on the left-hand side, to counter the extra stresses placed on that part of the tyre and to contend with the higher number of corners that travel in that direction.
Wet conditions are always possible, as we saw last year, and if rain is forecast soft and medium compounds for the front and rear will be made available. The rear is an asymmetric compound containing a harder left-hand edge, with the front having a symmetric design.
Piero Taramasso, Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager: “Valencia is a very unique track as it is the only one inside a stadium, and this brings specific challenges from both the layout and also because of the time of year that we come here. This part of Spain can have some nice weather which is ideal for racing in November, but it can also be very cold in the mornings. To combat this, we need rubber that can warm-up quickly and works when the track heats up, as well as contending with the number of turns in quick succession.
“The left side never has much chance to cool down as the bikes spend a lot of time leant over on that side throughout a lap, so the asymmetry of the tyre has to be perfectly designed to meet those demands. This might be the last race of the year, but as a whole, it is one of the most important as we will see the first MotoE™ World Cup winner and it also signals the real start of work for 2020, as we have a two-day test in the week after the main event.”
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