MICHELIN PLAYS ITS PART AS RECORDS TUMBLE WHILST DOVIZIOSO AND MARQUEZ ACT OUT A SPIELBERG THRILLER

2019-08-11 16:24
Michelin was a major player in today’s thrilling MotoGP™ race as Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) fought with each other throughout the 28-laps of the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich at Spielberg in Austria before Dovizioso took victory on the last corner.

Almost perfect conditions on Friday and Saturday had seen the riders produce fast and consistent lap-times, all of which pointed to the possibility of a quick race today and the prospect of Michelin breaking the lap and duration records. With these conditions the first record to go was the outright lap-record, this was broken on Saturday afternoon, as Marquez set a new zenith in qualifying by recording a time of 1’23.027, a feat which also saw him rise to the top-spot in all-time premier class pole positions chart, as he took the 59th of his career, surpassing Mick Doohan in the process.

Starting from pole, Marquez got to the first corner at the head of the pack, but as the field settled down it was Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) that led over the line on the first circulation. The two main protagonists soon got to the front and shared the lead as the race progressed, with Dovizioso setting a new race fastest lap on the fifth time around with a time of 1’23.827, almost half-a-second quicker than the previous best. As the race drew to a dramatic climax the MICHELIN Power Slicks gave the riders the grip and control to push hard on the fastest track of the year, with the front two trading places with numerous overtaking manoeuvres. Marquez using a pairing of medium front and rear slicks looked to have made the decisive move, but Dovizioso used all the grip and drive from his medium front and soft rear tyres on the final corner to score a thrilling victory. His race time of 39’34.771 was a new duration record, nearly six-seconds better than 2018’s race. The top-two also both broke the top speed record, with a new best speed of 316.7Km/h, which the pair recorded through the speed trap during the race.

Overnight rain and more precipitation this morning meant that warm-up was wet, meaning the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres were used for the second week running, following a similar weather pattern at Brno last weekend. All the front and rear rain compounds were used, which signified that again every single tyre was tested – slick and rain – as the riders worked to find the peak performance from the different Michelin tyres for their respective bikes. When the lights went out to signal the start of the race around the 4,318m circuit, it had dried fully and track temperatures were 32°C, all of which helped to produce the spectacle witnessed trackside by a crowd of 87,595. Taking the third place on the podium – and First Independent Rider – was Quatararo, a position which strengthens his lead at the top of the Rookie Championship and the Independent Rider standings. Fourth went to Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), just ahead of his team-mate Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who in turn crossed the line just 0.021 seconds in-front of Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR). Seventh saw Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) score his best result of the season so far, a feat that was repeated by Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), as he took eighth in front of KTM’s home crowd. Ninth was Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) rounding out the top-ten.

Today also witnessed the second round of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup. Following yesterday’s E-Pole, Frenchman Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took the honours in the dry conditions as the Energica Ego Corsa machines produced faster lap-times than the Moto3™ bikes around the Austrian circuit. Following a heavy downpour just prior to the start of the race meant all the riders lined-up on the grid with symmetric soft front and extra-soft rear MICHELIN Power Rain tyres. An exciting race followed with many overtaking manoeuvres and changes at the front as the riders placed their trust in the grip of the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres, before Di Meglio took control and pulled a small lead over the chasing pack, he held off any pursuers and crossed the line to take victory and move to first place in the championship standings. Second went to Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), with Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) in third. The next outing for MotoE will be at Misano in Italy next month, when a double-header will see a race of MotoGP’s newest format on Saturday and Sunday.

Michelin and MotoGP will next head over the English Channel to the recently resurfaced Silverstone Circuit in England for the British Grand Prix which is scheduled for Sunday 25th August.

Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team:

“I am happy with the tyres because there was more grip than last year and this was better for us, so this is positive. We worked in the right way during the practice to be ready for the race and we were very consistent. I’m happy because we had a good grip at the end on the right side on the rear. I’m pleased to take the victory; it was important for us to get it and it to be here.”

Mike Di Meglio – EG 0,0 Marc VDS:

“Michelin brought a harder slick rear tyre here to Austria and I did not know how it would work, but I was very happy with the grip as it was the same feeling as the soft one we have used. In the rain the condition was very peculiar as there was not quite enough water to make it fully wet and we had some spinning in the exit, but I was able to control it and take the win. I am happy with the result and I am looking forward to Misano.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“The range of tyres we brought here have worked well all weekend in all conditions. In the high temperatures of Friday, we saw fast and consistent laps from all the slick compounds and on Saturday with the track at 51°C the whole field produced some impressive lap-times in Free Practice 4 and then Qualifying, before Marc broke the outright record. Then this morning it rained and on the wet track and then with a drying surface, the rain tyres performed well. During the race, which saw a much cooler track from the previous days, we thought that records could be broken and they were, we have reached new heights for the four different records we aim for – best overall lap, fastest race lap, race duration and top speed – so this is fantastic result for Michelin and when you also see the durability of the tyres, so the top-two can push that hard on the last-lap, it again underlines what we are trying to do to provide better grip, more consistency and durability and to align this to performance. This has been one of our best weekend’s and now we must continue this as we go forward this season.

“The MotoE race gave the riders their first experience of our wet tyres in a racing situation and they all adapted to them very quickly and were able to push right from the start. The race was again an exciting event and shows that a series featuring motorcycles that provide sustainable energy is shaping up to be thrilling racing series and provides the fans with a different category to enjoy. We provided a harder tyre for the dry conditions, due to the harder braking and faster nature of the track and it worked very well with some faster times, which were quicker than Moto3, so that was a very pleasing aspect for us as it was something we were aiming to achieve. We will now have two races at Misano, so will see how the bikes perform there.”

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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