MotoGP: Michelin rush tyres to meet Sachsenring challenges

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Michelin have once again shown the level to which they’re prepared to push in MotoGP after rushing special tyres from their headquarters in southern France to the Sachsenring after conditions changed at the last minute during lat weekend’s German Grand Prix.

With weather forecasts giving the possibility of rain but with much higher track temperatures for the weekend, the original allocation of wet tyres was similar to that used last time out at Assen – and which immediately resulted in a series of crashes during Friday morning’s opening wet sessions.

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But, having learned lessons from the Dutch TT where many of the front-runners complained about the front wet tyre not working properly, the firm prepared a batch of super-soft fronts that were hand delivered from Clermont-Ferrand in time for Sunday’s race, as project boss Nicolas Goubert explained afterwards.

“For us the weekend was very challenging due to the extreme weather conditions, from a very cold track on Friday, to warm and bright sunshine on Saturday and then heavy rain and changeable conditions on Sunday; we have had to cope with everything and we are very pleased with the results from all of our tyres.

“We saw the weather forecast for the weekend on Thursday and took the decision to ship in an even softer front wet than we had in the original allocation and that worked very well in the first part of the race. The riders then made different choices as they swapped bikes and we saw the inters used for the first time in a race, so this will give use some valuable data.

“Marc’s decision to go to slicks was a very brave one and as we saw it was correct for him to do it. His ride in those conditions was one of the best I have seen. We will now re-group during the break and assess the direction in which we are going and how the tyres are working, so that we can continue to supply the best options for all conditions and all riders.”

 

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer