MICHELIN HELP THE TOP-TWO PROTAGONISTS PRODUCE A GRE2017-08-14 07:28
Michelin witnessed its full range of MotoGP™ slick compound tyres used today during the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich at the Red Bull Ring in Austria and a straight fight at the end between two great rivals before Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) came out the victor.
All six MICHELIN Power Slick race tyres were chosen by the 24-racers that lined up on today’s grid, with different pairings being used as the riders looked for the optimum performance from a range of tyres that gave many options over the weekend. Pole-setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) went with the medium front and hard rear pairing, whilst the early race leader Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) chose the medium front and soft rear option. Lorenzo got the hole-shot and led for the first 11-circulations of the 28-lap race around the 4,318m Austrian circuit, before Marquez took the lead on lap-12. The reigning champion tried to make a break, but was followed closely by Dovizioso, who was using the medium front and soft rear combination on his Ducati.
Watched at trackside by 90,411 fans, the two combatants then produced an incredible last few laps as they changed places numerous times. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) briefly joined in the fight at the front, but was unable to stay with Dovizioso and Marquez as the race continued, leaving the championship contenders to battle it out at the front. The two had different tyre compound choices from either end of the spectrum on the rear of their respective bikes, but grip, performance and durability never looked an issue for either man as they started the last-lap. Dovizioso led as the race approached the last corner, but Marquez made an audacious and exciting attempt to pass, using all the grip he could find and as much of the track as he could use, but he just couldn’t get the better of the Italian and Dovizioso crossed the line a mere one-tenth-of-a-second ahead of his rival – setting a new race duration record in the process. Marquez’s second place strengthened his championship lead, with Dovizioso now his closest rival, just 16-points behind.
Pedrosa, using the medium front and hard rear compound pairing crossed the line in third, with Lorenzo taking fourth. Fifth position and the title of First Independent Rider was taken by Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), the Frenchman used a soft front and rear MICHELIN Power Slick and this union also led to him setting the fastest lap and a new record on the sixth circulation with a time of 1’24.312, at an average speed of 184.3km/h around the 4.3km circuit. Sixth was Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), just ahead of team-mate Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in seventh. Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Racing) was eighth and had the honour of setting a new outright speed record for the circuit of 316.5km/h. Ninth went to Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) with wild-card Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Racing) rounding out the top-ten.
Today’s race was held in warmer conditions than had been experienced all weekend so tyre choice was an important factor and the selection given to all riders by Michelin was certainly an important factor. The available selection again highlighted Michelin’s continued dedication to supply all bikes, riders and manufacturers with tyres that work at all tracks and give them the best opportunity to match the correct rubber to their machinery and riding styles.
Michelin and the MotoGP Paddock now head across Europe and over the sea to England for the British Grand Prix which will be staged at Silverstone on Sunday 27th August.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team:
“It was quite difficult this weekend to make the right decision about the tyres, because with a different temperature every day it made it complicated. At the end, we understood the tyres and we made the right decision. I was able to save the tyre and finish the race in a good shape. I couldn’t start and push 100%, as well as finish 100% because you need to save tyres on this track, so I saved them for the end, but overall the feeling was really, really good during the race from the tyres.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“We are very pleased with the way the whole weekend has gone. There were many challenges with the track temperatures, so the riders never really had an opportunity to get a rhythm with the tyres they wanted to use, but this also meant they were able to try all the compounds, as that proved in today’s race. Again, we saw all six compounds chosen and a race at the end between one guy on a soft rear and one on a hard, which was a good advert for what we are trying to achieve and it produced a great show and one that we are pleased to have played a part in. It was also very pleasing to see the lap and race duration records broken today and for the top speed record to be set this weekend, this shows the tyres have durability, grip and can push to the limits. Just because we have had a good result here though we will not pat ourselves on the back, but we will see where we can continue to improve. We know that the next race is a particularly demanding track and on top of that there will probably be some unpredictable English weather to cope with, but that will be nothing new this season as we have had some unusual conditions to endure.”
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