MICHELIN MAKES THE PILGRIMAGE TO THE CATHEDRAL

2019-06-24 09:56
Michelin’s next stop on the 2019 MotoGP™ world tour is a trip to the only circuit to have held a Grand Prix since the start of the championship as Assen in The Netherlands stages the Motul TT Assen.

MotoGP is celebrating its 70th birthday this year and along with Italy, The Netherlands is the only country to have held a race in every one of those seasons, but the exception is that Assen has been the permanent Dutch venue for all the previous 70 races, whereas Italy has seen many different circuits put to use. The TT Assen Circuit has had many configuration changes to its layout through the years, but the 4,542m long track, with its mix of six left and twelve right corners, is still one of the most revered and loved circuits in the world. It is held in such high regard that it is known as ‘The Cathedral’ of motorcycle racing and is a track that has a history of producing highly exciting and close racing.

Michelin will have a range of tyres ideally suited to a track that still features old style high speed curves and banked corners over its technical layout, whilst incorporating the safety requirements of modern-day racing throughout its configuration. It is this arrangement of 18-corners that makes the demands on the rear tyres much greater than those of the front, which means that the soft, medium and hard MICHELIN Powers Slicks, with their asymmetric design of a harder right-hand-side, will have a lot of work to do to contend with the increased temperatures and stresses that the tyre faces through the fast rights which are a main feature of the track. The fronts have a less stressful time, but the demands placed upon them are equally important, so the soft, medium and hard slick compounds in a symmetric finish, are chosen to work to the optimum of performance with their rear counterparts,

Assen is currently the most northern track on the calendar – this will change in 2020 when Finland joins the championship – and it is this position on the globe which has also brought its share of wet weather to the event. If these conditions arise then the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres in soft and medium compounds will be available for the front, with the rears coming in an extra-soft symmetric and a soft asymmetric with a harder right-hand-side.

Michelin and the MotoGP paddock will start the preparations for the eighth race of the season with two Free Practice sessions on Friday, before two further practices on Saturday, which will be followed by two sessions of Qualifying on the same day to decide grid positions. The Sunday service at ‘The Cathedral’ will take place on a traditional June date – after last year’s race was held in July – as the 26-lap race gets underway at 14.00hrs local time (14.00CEST, 13.00hrsBST, 12.00hrsGMT/UST) on Sunday 30th June.

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“Assen is an extremely technical track and one that we prepare for in a slightly different way. The rear tyre does the majority of the work due to the demands placed upon it through the fast, flowing corners, so all the riders need a good, consistent grip, as what they do in one turn can easily influence the rest of the lap. It is also a circuit where riders like to push for the whole race and with the extra consistency and grip that the tyres are providing this year with the technology we have introduced into the compounds, we expect them to be able to use the extra drive and durability to produce a close and fast race. Assen is also a track where weather can change quickly and play an important part, so we need to be prepared for that, we have had one wet race there since our return to MotoGP and the tyres worked really well, since then the compounds have improved, so if it is wet we expect an equally close and thrilling race as we are hoping for in the dry.”

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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