MotoGP: Michelin set for flyaway challenge

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Michelin’s Two-Wheel Motorsport group manager Piero Taramasso has admitted that the next few weeks, which see back-to-back MotoGP races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia, will be a challenge for the French firm logistically.

Coming into the flyaway trip for the first time as the class’s sole tyre supplier, he nonetheless says that their prior planning means they don’t foresee any issues despite the sheer amount of rubber that needs shipped from France.

“Motegi signals the start of three very intense weeks where we will travel to Japan, Australia and Malaysia. All three of these races bring their own individual challenges, but also a huge logistical task. We will need to have over 4,000 tyres available for the three races, so to make this happen we have had to send some by sea and the rest will be air-freighted to each venue in readiness for the races.”

Looking to this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, the firm will bring soft, medium and hard compound front tyres, with soft and medium rears with an asymmetric harder right shoulder to cope with the challenges of Motegi.

“The track at Motegi is a really technical circuit with a medium abrasive surface that gives good grip levels. It has some very hard-braking zones and acceleration areas that all create intense stresses on the middle of the tyre. To cope with this we have taken a range of tyres that we believe will cope with the stability that is needed for heavy braking. 

“We have not had much testing at Motegi with the GP riders, so we will be working with our usual detailed process with each and every team and rider to make sure they are in the best position for Sunday.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer