Austin Preview2018-04-16 07:45
Michelin’s transatlantic tour continues this coming weekend when the MotoGP™ paddock descends on the northern part of the American continent as the championship heads to Austin in Texas for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
The Circuit of The Americas is one of the most modern venues of the MotoGP tour and has been on the calendar since its inaugural race in 2013. The 5,513m track features 11 left and 9 right turns over its anti-clockwise circulation, with parts of the track mirroring other famous circuits in their design, such as a recreation of Silverstone’s Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel sequence, Istanbul Park’s turn-eight and the Arena Bends from Hockenheim, with other corners taking inspiration from Interlagos and Österreichring. This incredible array of corners, allied to a 1,200m long straight, makes this one of the most demanding circuits of the year and one the puts extreme stress and attrition on the tyres.
Michelin’s range for the weekend will feature soft, medium and hard compound MICHELIN Power Slick tyres for the front and rear to contend with this challenging layout. These will be symmetrical for the front, whilst all three rears will be of an asymmetric design, featuring a harder right-hand side to combat the added work which that section must contend with. The CoTA track also has a notoriety for having a vey bumpy surface, which the organisers have tried to rectify for this year’s race by using industrial smoothing machines to grind the bumps away, this alteration to improve the surface is yet another unknown entity that Michelin, the teams and the riders will have to face over the weekend.
The weather at the Texan circuit is usually very favourable – with only two sessions in its five-year history ever being classed as wet – but that doesn’t dismiss the chance of rain, so Michelin will be prepared with soft and medium MICHELIN Power Rain tyres for the front and rear, with the rears having an asymmetrical design featuring a harder right-side.
Round three of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship will get underway on Friday 20th April with the first two Free Practice sessions. More practice will follow on the Saturday before the excitement of qualifying to determine grid positions for Sunday’s main event. This year’s race is one of the contests that has had its duration shortened and instead of the usual 21-laps, the 2018 version will only be 20 circulations in length and is scheduled to proceed at 14.00hrs (21.00hrs CEST, 20.00hrs BST, 19.00UTC) on Sunday 22nd April.
Piero Taramasso – Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group:
“This is another demanding track and one that deserves respect. It has many aspects to it and we have to make a tyre that can cope with all the different turns, hard-braking zones and the challenge of the surface. The circuit has tried hard to get rid of the bumps that have been caused by other events using the track, so it will be very interesting and important for us to understand how this will affect the tyres. CoTA is one of the circuits where we are determined to make improvements at, as we believe we have not demonstrated the true potential of our tyres around there, so we are looking for some positive results and a chance to show what we can do.”
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