Montmelo Grand Prix Review 20202020-09-30 06:22
Michelin faced incredibly difficult conditions all weekend during the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya from Montmelo in Spain as Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) rode a mature race to take his third MotoGP™ victory of the year and move to the head of the championship.
Strong winds and colder than expected track temperatures for the time of the year were very evident over the weekend, which had a detrimental effect on the grip provided by the asphalt. Today’s weather followed a similar trend with cloudy skies and an ambient temperature of 17°C – the September average for the area is 27°C – giving a track high of just 20°C, but the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres performed to the utmost of their ability to find the best grip from cold and slippery surface. With adhesion severely diminished due to the conditions, all riders opted for the soft rear slick, with the majority pairing it with a soft front to get the maximum grip available.
On Saturday afternoon Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) took pole position after setting the fastest time in qualifying around the 4,627m Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and as the lights changed to signal the start of the 24-lap race he got the best start and led in to the first turn, holding that position for eight-laps, before being passed by Quartararo on lap-nine, as he set the fastest lap of the race in the process. The Frenchman then took control of the race and pushed his MICHELIN Power Slick tyres to the limit to take victory at the end of the race, and the position of First Independent Rider. Behind the winner an incredible battle for the podium unfolded, before Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) took second, with his team-mate Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) – who started from 13th on the grid – made his way through to take third and give Suzuki its first double-podium since 2007.
Despite the conditions, the race produced many overtaking manoeuvres and exciting moments for the fans at home, with the Michelin tyres giving the riders the confidence to push despite the conditions. Early-leader – and Misano winner – Morbidelli finished fourth, with Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) in fifth. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) – who set a new Event Best Maximum Speed record this weekend, as he recorded 352.9Km/h on his MICHELIN Power Slick tyres – was sixth, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) in seventh, a position that gave him the honour of being the only rider to finish every race this season and also do it every time in the top-ten. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) was eighth and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) ninth, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) – on his return from injury – finished tenth.
Michelin will be heading home for the next round of the championship on Sunday 11th October, as MotoGP moves to Le Mans in France and will be joined by the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup as the all-electric series comes to a climax with two rounds over the weekend. Le Mans also signals the start of the penultimate three-week trip in this season’s calendar and after the French race, Michelin will travel to Spain where Aragon will host the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragón on Sunday 18th October.
Fabio Quartararo – Petronas Yamaha SRT:
“I am so happy about today after having a long time not on the podium, The race was really good and I had a great feeling with the tyres at the start of the race, but from the mid-point we had to take care of them as we expected a drop towards the end. I was really happy about the choice of soft-soft tyres, nearly everybody took these tyres, but I felt great with them and also in qualifying, just not quite as good as Franco (Morbidelli). The most important thing is that we got 25-points and now I can’t wait to be in Le Mans and have at least 10-degrees more there to make the bike work and hopefully have another interview with Michelin for winning in France!”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“This has been a very demanding weekend for all concerned. We have to choose the tyres before the season and we were coming to Barcelona in September instead of the usual June, but after looking at historical weather and seeing that both times of the year are similar, we picked a range of tyres with that in mind. Unfortunately, we have had unseasonally cold conditions and this made it very difficult to get the heat in the tyres and for the riders to get the grip from the track. Our Technicians worked tirelessly with every rider all weekend to assist with advice for the optimum compound for the set-ups they were using, in an aim to give the best grip that could be extracted from the asphalt. I feel that we did very well under these exceptional circumstances and stand by the choice of tyres, it is not easy to guess the weather for a track when you have not been to the circuit at that time before, with all this in mind the range provided four raceable tyres for Sunday, of which three were used, so we didn’t go far wrong with our selection. We now head home to Le Mans and another busy weekend where MotoE will join us and we will see that title decided, hopefully it will be a bit warmer than it was this weekend!”
Source: Michelin Motorsport
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