MICHELIN AND MARQUEZ MAKE RECORDS AT THE ‘RING’ AS ELECTRIC BIKES PREMIERE2019-07-08 07:30
Michelin and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) have graced the HJC Helmets Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland with outright- and race-lap records during this weekend’s MotoGP™ event from Sachsenring with Marquez taking his 10th win in succession at the German circuit.
Starting from pole on the grid after breaking the outright lap-record twice in Saturday’s qualifying using the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres, Marquez got a good start on a track that he has been so dominant at in recent years. With a pairing of a hard front slick and a medium rear, he pushed from the start setting fast laps in the early stages, which saw him break the lap-record on the fourth circulation and then improve on that time on the next lap. He continued to strengthen his lead as the 30-lap race progressed, before taking the chequered flag to record his 10th consecutive victory across all classes here at Sachsenring, to add to his 10 successive pole positions.
Behind Marquez the battle raged for the other positions as the field employed five of the six compounds available to them. Warm and sunny weather on Friday and Saturday had given way to overnight rain which led to cooler and overcast conditions today, and with track temperature at 32°C at the start, many riders changed their initial tyre selections on the grid, ably assisted by their respective Michelin Technicians to give them the best possible performance from what was now greasy asphalt, with less grip than the previous days. A trackside crowd of 91,131 saw Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) follow up his victory last time out at Assen, with a second place on his Yamaha M1 fitted with a medium front and hard rear and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) took the position of First Independent Rider as he came home third using a pairing of MICHELIN Power Slicks the same as Marquez. Fourth place went all the way to the line as Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) just held off his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) and Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) as the group took fourth to eighth respectively. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was a close ninth and replacement rider Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) – deputising for the injured Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team) – finished tenth. Marquez’s fifth victory of the season saw him increase his championship lead to 58 points.
Sachsenring also had the honour today of staging the very first FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup race. This all-new single-make series sees 18 racers compete on identical electric ‘Energica Ego Corsa’ motorcycles, all shod with Michelin tyres. Following yesterday’s E-Pole – where riders get one flying lap to set the fastest time to decide grid positions – Niki Tuuli (AJO MotoE) took pole position for today’s eight-lap race. The overnight rain meant the race was declared wet and reduced to seven laps, but it had dried enough for all riders to equip their bikes with the specially designed MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres, which are supplied in just one compound for the whole weekend, with a medium front and soft rear being this weekend’s allocation. As the lights went out to signal the start, Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) took an early lead, but was then overtaken by Tuuli as the Finnish rider set a number of fastest laps. The race was shaping up to an exciting climax, but a rider crashed at turn eight causing a safety air-fence to deflate and a result was declared after five completed laps. Tulli took the victory with Smith second and a hard charging Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completing the podium. The next round of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will be at Spielberg in Austria next month.
Michelin will now return to France to assess the results and performance of the tyres from the first-half of the season, as MotoGP takes a three-week sabbatical before resuming the championship at Brno in the Czech Republic on Sunday 4th August.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“Today the tyres were one of the most important things of the weekend, like every weekend, but especially today though! I was convinced about using the hard rear, but we checked the pace from FP4 and from warm-up and then on the grid we changed to the medium. This was our final decision, but we played our cards close to our chests because we knew that the opponents were a little bit confused about which tyre to use and we chose the correct option. This was one of those races where you cannot push at 100% from the beginning to the end, so it was very nice to manage the tyres and the slides and good to see how the bike is changing, we definitely did a great job.”
Niki Tuuli – AJO MotoE:
“Today the weather wasn’t the best, but yesterday and Friday the tyres were really good in the warmer weather. I never had any problems with the front, no slides or chatter or anything. Today in the race I didn’t push as much because of the conditions, but the tyres stayed consistent and the grip was the same for the whole race. I never felt like I would lose any grip and the front is unbelievable, I don’t know where the limit is, because it is so good.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“This weekend has been quite difficult to predict as it has been hard to understand what the weather was going to do and how the track was going to behave. Friday it was quite abrasive, but we still saw some fast times as the riders tested all six compounds, then on Saturday the grip levels improved and the lap-times reduced further, as we saw in Qualifying when Marc set a new outright record. Last night’s rain made conditions difficult and tyre decisions were made at the last moment, five options were taken, so again it shows we are making a range that can all be used. The race saw our rubber help Marc to set a new lap-record and we were pleased with the overall performance throughout the field.
“The first MotoE race was a very exciting affair and showed how close the racing can be. All the testing and preparation we have done to supply specific tyres for these machines came to fruition today, as they were used in a racing situation for the first time. There was lots of overtaking through the field and this showed the riders had the confidence to push on the MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres. Congratulations to Niki Tuuli for taking the first MotoE victory and to all the other riders for putting on a show in some tricky conditions. Michelin was pleased to be a part of this project from the beginning and today was an historic moment with the first all-electric race at a MotoGP event. Energica and Enel have done a great job to deliver racing motorcycles which are more economical and more environmentally friendly for all, and Michelin has relished this new challenge as a technical partner in a project to provide sustainable mobility and one which has given us an opportunity to show what can be achieved for the potential future of motorcycle racing.
“We now have three-weeks away from the track, but the team will continue to work and we will be ready when we come back for Brno, which will not only see a race weekend, but also a one-day test on the Monday where we will continue to evaluate tyres for 2020, before we then head straight to Austria for a race the following weekend.”
Source: Michelin Motorsport
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