Jerez Review 2019

2019-05-06 16:38
Michelin’s range of MotoGP™ tyres for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto in Spain this weekend produced record-breaking displays that saw the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres break every existing lap and race record.

Following a partial resurface to the Jerez circuit in the pre-season, Michelin had very little information about the new asphalt that had been laid, but the skill and knowledge of the technicians and designers in Clermont-Ferrand produced a range of rubber that not only matched the surface, but gave the riders the performance to push to the limit. The overall fastest-lap and all-time two-wheel lap-record for the 4,423m Spanish circuit was the first to go on Saturday, when a number of riders used the Michelin rubber to propel themselves under the time set last year by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) of 1’37.653, before rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) became not only the youngest pole-setter of all-time at just 20-years and 14-days-old, but also the new outright lap-record holder at Jerez with a time of 1’36.880, a huge 0.773-seconds inside the existing best. The next record broken was the race lap, as again a number of riders went inside the previous best before Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took 0.684-seconds off the record on his way to victory. It was this success for the reigning World Champion, which gave Michelin its third record of the weekend and probably most important one, as the race duration was smashed by over 30-seconds, a result which actually saw all point scorers – the top-15 riders – go underneath the time set last year by Marquez.

The race itself saw Frenchman Quartararo begin from pole and although he started well, it was Marquez who got the holeshot and led for the first lap, a position he never relinquished as he stretched his lead and commanded the race to get the very best from this hard front and hard rear combination of MICHELIN Power Slick tyres on his way to his second victory of the season. Behind him the battle continued with Quartararo looking good in second, before he was forced to retire with a machine issue. This left an enthralling race for the podium, before Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) followed up his victory in America last time out, with a second here in Jerez. Third across the line was Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) to fill the top-three, as a hard-chasing Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) crossed the line in a close fourth, a result which signalled four different manufacturers in the first four positions, again showing the extent that the Michelin tyres can perform at the highest level with all types of bikes. Fifth was Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati) and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) came from thirteenth on the grid to take sixth. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) finished in seventh and took the honour of First Independent Rider. Crutchlow was eighth and his team-mate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) followed him home to take ninth, with wild-card Stefan Bradl (Team HRC) rounding out the top-ten.

Today’s race started in much warmer conditions than had been expected and as the lights changed to signal go the track was at 45°C, this led to tyre choice being less of a mix than usual, with most riders favouring the hard front and rear rubber, although a number went for the medium front and medium rear and mixed them accordingly to what they felt would give them optimum performance, with all tyres performing well throughout the duration of the 25-lap race.

Following today’s event in-front of a crowd of 75,047, Marquez moves to the head of the championship standings, but with just nine-points separating the top-four, everything is still wide open as MotoGP heads to Michelin’s home Grand Prix at Le Mans in France on Sunday 19th May, but only after a one-day Official Test is completed at Jerez tomorrow.

Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:

“It was a critical and important weekend for Michelin as it was a new surface, so there was a question mark for everybody and Michelin brought a full range of tyres that all worked in a very good way. From the start of the weekend I felt very good with the hard front and hard rear, even today when the temperature was higher, but the most important thing was the tyres worked good in the morning with colder temperatures and in the afternoon with the warmer temperatures. During the race the tyres were consistent which we saw in the lap-times and I’m happy because they gave me the confidence to open a gap and keep going until the end and win the race. It was a fast race, already yesterday we were fast, the new asphalt helped, but it was good that the tyres worked so well with it. It is not always like this, but all the riders had amazing grip and amazing performance through the whole race, so this created a very fast and consistent race.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“This has been a great weekend for Michelin. From Friday onwards all the compounds worked well here at Jerez and depending on the temperatures today, all were race-able. As it was it was very warm so only the hard and medium front and rears were used, but they performed exceptionally well. We were faster in every single session than last year and then in the race we saw a huge improvement on the race duration record. This is the most important thing for us as it shows the grip and consistency from the tyres, so to be more than 30-seconds quicker than 2018 is especially pleasing. We also saw the outright lap-record broken in qualifying, which also demonstrates the ability of the race tyres over one lap to set a quick time. The race lap-record was also broken and to see this happen on lap-15 – and then have an almost identical time on the last-lap from Dovizioso – is again a very satisfying aspect as it shows the tyres are still performing well as the race draws to a close. This has put us in a very good place, but we cannot sit-back, as we have to go to Le Mans and do it all again!”

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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