One-make tyre manufacturer Michelin have frozen this year’s MotoGP tyre allocation ahead of the start of the season this weekend in Qatar, informing teams and riders of what compounds will be made available at each of the championship’s 19 rounds.
They have also promised not to introduce new compounds or constructions mid-season like they did last year (a move that helped derail the factory Yamaha title charge), in a move that boss Piero Taramasso says will give teams and riders greater stability after three successful pre-season tests on this year’s rubber.
“We have had three positive tests leading up to the first race here at Qatar. From Sepang we tested two new front tyres which the riders liked and they gave them confidence, so much so that they will be used this season. We were also pleased with results obtained in Thailand. It was the first time we had been and the results were very good and it gives us some valuable information about tracks with that kind of severity and in those conditions, which we will be able to use as we move forward and will give us a good idea of what is required when we return to race in October, although that is the monsoon season so things might be quite different.
“One big thing we have completed before the season starts is to supply Dorna with the allocation of all tyres for each event this season, ahead of the first race. This will give the teams and riders a greater degree of stability as they plan for each event, as they will know what tyres they will have and can plan each session accordingly in advance.
“As always, safety and performance are Michelin’s main considerations and if there are ever any issues that we need to combat, such as weather conditions or track alterations, we will make careful evaluation and then decide as to any changes, but not without prior consultation between all parties first.
“Regarding the first race, the surface at Losail is very abrasive so we have brought a selection of tyres to cope with that, we learnt a lot during the three-day test as to what to expect between the day to night changes, so we believe we have the right tyres to manage all situations. The asphalt will obviously have a lot more grip as both Moto2™ and Moto3™ will be there, so the track will have more usage. We are really looking forward to racing again and we’re expecting a promising start to the season.”