This weekend’s MotoGP free practice one and two sessions at the German Grand Prix will be extended by an extra ten minutes to allow riders more time to assess four instead of the usual three front and rear tyre options from series one-make manufacturer Michelin.
The French firm are bringing four tyres instead of the usual three each in an attempt to cover all bases as they go into the weekend’s race at the notoriously sore on tyres Sachsenring circuit with no data on it’s new surface.
The track was completely resurfaced since last year’s race, but with strict noise restrictions limiting its usage by 130db MotoGP bikes to only a few days a year – all of them used by the race - Michelin were unable to gather data in private testing like they have done already this year at other resurfaced tracks like their home race in Le Mans.
However, despite the trying conditions, Michelin boss Piero Taramasso says he’s confident that they’ll manage just fine throughout the weekend.
“Sachsenring is always a demanding circuit due to its unusual layout, and this year’s race will have the added challenge of a completely new surface. We have no data regarding the asphalt as it hasn’t been possible to test there due to the restrictions, so we are going a bit blind. We are sure we have the tyres to work well on the new layer and have prepared the compounds to the information we do have.
“The slick tyres will be asymmetric for the front and rear with a harder left-hand-side – as they were last year – this is to cope with the design of the track. The bikes spend a lot of time on the left on this track and Sachsenring needs a very special tyre, with a right that heats up quickly, to make sure the riders get good traction throughout the whole lap. It’s also a venue that can have some unsettled weather, as last year’s race showed where we had a wet start and then a drying track, so there were many types of tyres used in that race to get the best performance.”