2018’s Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya saw a new surface and a new track layout for all of the MotoGP™ teams and in particular Michelin to get their heads around. Twelve months on, the new circuit records set by Jorge Lorenzo aboard his 2018 Ducati look set to tumble with Michelin having brought soft, medium and hard compounds in order to tackle that challenge.
The soft and medium fronts brought to the Catalan GP by the French factory will be symmetric, with the front hard and all of the rear tyres having an asymmetric finish, featuring a harder right-hand-side, to cope with the eight turns which go in that direction, compared to just the six that go left.
Despite the favourable climate at this time of the year in Catalonia, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya can still suffer with some inclement weather. To combat any wet conditions, Michelin will have wet tyres available with a front soft and medium compound. The rears will also come in soft and medium but feature the asymmetric design with a harder right-hand-side.
Piero Taramasso, Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager: “This is one of the tracks that gives an overall test for the tyres and the bikes and because of this it has firmly established itself as one of the important test venues on the calendar, as well as one of the best races.
“It has a complete mix of corners, a long straight and it is quite severe on the right side of the tyre, which means we need a tyre for here that does everything. It can also get quite warm, so the rubber has to work on higher track temperatures as well. Last year it was a brand-new surface and from the race weekend and the Monday test we got a huge amount of data which has assisted in selecting the best compounds for this season.
“This is an event that riders and fans enjoy, the atmosphere is always good, and we are relishing the chance to break our own records from last year, especially as we are now armed with more information as to what to expect from the asphalt.”