MotoGP: Michelin out to break records at home

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MotoGP sole tyre manufacturer Michelin say they’re out to break records this weekend at their home race, as the 2018 season gets back underway at the French Grand Prix in Le Mans.

The French firm will bring soft, medium and hard slick tyres to the event with symmetrical fronts but an asymmetric rear that will feature a harder right shoulder to cope with the extra demands that side of the tyre must contend with. That pattern will be mirrored in their wet tyres, always a possibility given the circuit’s unpredictable weather.

And with lessons learned from twelve months ago when the track was fully resurfaced, Michelin boss Piero Taramasso says his target for the weekend is simple – to go even faster than they did last year.

“After the last three races, where we have had to prepare for completely new surfaces, it is good to head to a track where we have some knowledge and race experience. Le Mans was resurfaced last year and we were able to test there before the race, so that assisted with the data and we had a very successful weekend, the tyres performed well and we broke a couple of records.

“That is obviously our target this year and it something very important to Michelin to perform well in front of the home crowd and all the members of the Michelin workforce that will be present. Le Mans is not the most demanding circuit, but it does need a tyre that can give good control and stability at the front under heavy braking, along with drivability out of the slower corners so the riders can put the power down, this is what we have prepared for and the allocation meets those requirements.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer