MICHELIN COMBAT THE ARAGÓN HEAT AS MARQUEZ TRIUMPHS

2018-09-24 06:35
Michelin witnessed its range of MotoGP™ tyres produce a strong performance during today’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón from the MotorLand Aragón circuit in Spain as the heat rose on raceday before Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) took victory.

Temperatures soared to their highest point of the weekend as the riders lined up on the grid, causing many teams to make last minute changes to their chosen selection of MICHELIN Power Slicks, in readiness to combat the heat. As the race began the track thermometer was reading 45°C – higher than it has ever been at the Aragón circuit for a MotoGP event – and following all the changes, five of the six tyre compounds were now featured in different combinations throughout the field.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was on pole after an exciting qualifying session on Saturday, which saw him take the first grid spot in the very last moment of the session, unfortunately for the Spaniard his race was short-lived as he crashed out on the first corner. This immediately handed the lead to his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), a position he held for the next 13-laps, before coming under pressure from Marquez. The pair then duelled out the remaining 10-laps of the 23-lap race, with the lead frequently changing hands as they pushed the Michelin tyres to the limit on a track that now had diminished grip levels due to the increased heat. Marquez was using a hard front and soft rear pairing, whilst Dovizioso had gone for a hard/hard combination and the two battled it out for the final laps as the characteristics of their respective bikes gave them the opportunity to use different tyres, but still extract maximum performance. Marquez eventually crossed the line first, giving him a double celebration, because earlier in the week the MotorLand Aragón circuit had named a corner in his honour. He now leads the championship by 72 points with just five races remaining.

Dovizioso came across the line in second and following him home was Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR). The Italian used a medium front and soft rear on his machine – meaning all three podium places were filled by assorted manufacturers using different tyre combinations. Iannone had briefly been involved in the battle for first and at one point momentarily led the race, but had to settle for third, just ahead of his team-mate Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) at his home-race. Fifth was Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) taking his and Aprilia’s best MotoGP finish of the season so far, as he took sixth and the position of First Independent Rider. Seventh went to Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in eighth. Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) was ninth and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) rounded out the top-ten.

Michelin and the whole MotoGP paddock now packs all the tyres, bikes and equipment and heads overseas for the first of four fly-away races, as the championship heads initially to Asia and its first visit to Thailand, when the Chang International Circuit in Buriram will stage the inaugural Thai Grand Prix on Sunday 7th October.

Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda:

“Today, maybe the tyre decided the race! I took a bit of a gamble, but it was not really a gamble for me because it was what I felt was best. I chose the soft rear tyre, because during the practice when I used the hard I was fast, but I didn’t quite feel good enough. The soft was also working in a good way, but it was a bit of a gamble because I had not tried it in the very high temperatures like today. It worked really well for the race distance and I was able to manage it in a good way. I think we did a great job with the Michelin Technician, Clement, and with the whole team, because we found the best tyre, pace and solution for the race distance.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“The heat this weekend has been our biggest opponent, it has been much warmer than we have ever encountered here at Aragon for the whole weekend and as we had to choose the tyres back in March, we had no way of knowing it would be this warm. Today the temperatures rose again and the track surface became quite slippery, but our range of tyres coped very well with the conditions and it was testament to what we are doing that there were three alternative combinations of tyres on three different manufacturers on the podium. Again, five of the six tyres were used and to have a soft and hard rear in first and second place respectively gives more credibility to our ethos of supplying a whole range that can be used in race conditions and also throughout the whole weekend, and the lap-times have improved a lot from our previous two visits to prove that. We now have a new challenge as we head to Thailand for the first Grand Prix there and the start of the fly-away tour.”

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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