MICHELIN’S COLLECTION OF COMPOUNDS USED AT ARAGÓN AS MARQUEZ IS VICTORIOUS2017-09-24 19:12
Michelin had its full range of MICHELIN Power Slicks put through their paces during today’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón in Spain as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) raced to victory and regained the lead in the MotoGP™ World Championship.
With all versions of the front and rear MICHELIN Power Slicks being used in today’s race, this again highlighted the choice that the French firm is giving to all the competitors to make the most of whatever conditions prevent themselves over a weekend. With limited dry track-time, due to a wet Friday, all the riders still had options open to them as race-time approached and many made last-minute changes on the grid as temperatures rose. The option of three compounds for both the front and rear enabled every team to make informed and calculated choices, giving them the optimum performance and creating competitive battles throughout the field to excite the fans.
Starting from pole was Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), but he was soon passed by the fast-starting Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), as the Ducati man led into the first corner and took the race to the rest of the field. Using a MICHELIN Power Slick medium front and soft rear compound, the Ducati racer led for the next 15 of the 23-lap race, with Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) – who was returning to competitive racing action just 24-days after breaking his right leg in two places – all in close contention. Lorenzo came under scrutiny from Marquez, before the reigning World Champion – who had shod his bike with the hard front and rear option tyres – made his move on lap-16. Once in the lead Marquez pushed all the way to the line and finished almost a second ahead of his nearest rival, a result that increased his championship lead to 16-points. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) made his way from sixth on the grid – setting the fastest lap of the race in the process – to follow his team-mate home, the diminutive Spaniard chose the medium compound front and rear pairing, and once he had created enough heat in the tyres he was able to produce fast laps and push his way towards the front of the field. Lorenzo made up the trio of riders on the podium as he steered his machine to third. The choice of Michelin compounds was certainly evident on the podium as soft, medium, and hard rear versions were used by the top-three collectively.
Today’s race was held in warm and sunny conditions with a record race-day attendance of 70,541 filling the MotorLand Aragón circuit as air temperatures rose to 27°C and the track surface hit 40°C. With many battles throughout the field, the race had plenty of excitement for its duration. Pole-setter Viñales was the next across the line after the top-three, following a spirited fight with his team-mate Rossi. Sixth – and the title of First Independent Rider – went to Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), as he equalled his best result of the season so far. Dovizioso came home in seventh to consolidate his second position in the championship, with Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) in eighth. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took ninth and strengthened his lead in the Independent and Rookie of the Year title chases. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) rounded out the top-ten.
Michelin and the MotoGP paddock now prepare for the gruelling three-week fly-away tour, as the championship first heads to Motegi in Japan on Sunday 15th October, before embarking on a trip to the southern hemisphere and Australia the following weekend and then returning for a race in Malaysia the next Sunday. These three races will certainly go a long way towards deciding the title chase, but with only 56 points covering the top-four and a maximum of 100 points available, it is still a close race.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“Today was a very difficult race because during the weekend after the wet conditions on Friday we couldn’t try all the Michelin tyres in the proper way. That meant we couldn’t make lots of laps and see how the tyres would be in the second part of the race. Nobody knew how the soft, medium and hard would work then, but we kept pushing because we believe in our style, so I chose hard, hard today. The rear worked well for the whole race, the front was a bit more of an issue because the left side was perfect, but the right was a bit more difficult to warm-up and it did give me some warnings, but in the end I was able to manage it and I am happy to get this victory.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“Today has been yet another justification of what we are trying to do at Michelin within MotoGP. It has always been our intention to give a full choice to all riders, no matter what bike or riding style they have. So, to see all the compounds used today and to have a soft, medium and hard rear – along with medium and hard fronts – on the podium just re-iterates the philosophy we are pushing for to produce competition tyres within a control situation. With Friday’s weather we lost two dry set-up sessions and this meant that the teams didn’t have the usual amount of time to collect data, but by working closely with their Michelin Technicians they were able to make informed decisions as to the correct tyre choice. We are always working to give the best, and even when the track time has been limited – such as this weekend – we are confident that every rider can make a selection based on their knowledge of the tyres and the trust that that are showing in the product. We now move on to the three fly-away races for what is always a huge undertaking for us because we have to prepare the selection in advance due to the logistics, but we are ready for it and will be aiming to give the riders what they need to continue with this year’s close and superb championship.”
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