This weekend marks not only the last round of the 2016 MotoGP season for single-make tyre manufacturer Michelin but also the start of the 2017 one, according to boss Piero Taramasso.
The comments come as they return to one of the track they’ve had the chance to learn best in their year back in the sport, both from pre-season testing there and through development work with teams like new entries KTM.
“Valencia signifies our last race of 2016, but it also means it’s the start of 2017 because we have an important test in the week after the race. We have had an interesting season with lots of different challenges, mostly from the weather, so we are hoping that will not play a part this weekend.
“We learned a lot from the post-race test at Valencia last year and that set us on our way for 2016 and we will be going to this race with very different tyres to what we had this time last year. The circuit can be cold in the mornings and it doesn’t give much grip, so we have a range that we hope will cope with these conditions.
“That said though, with so many corners the edges of the tyres don’t have much chance to cool down and with the extra number of left-hand corners, including the fast final turn, we have asymmetric tyres with harder left-hand shoulders for front and rear to cope with those kinds of stresses.”
To cope with those stresses, Michelin will bring a range of tyres with an asymmetric design – with a harder left-hand shoulder on both front and rear options. The range will include soft and medium rears and medium and hard fronts, along with extra-soft, soft and medium rain tyres and the intermediate options.