MICHELIN IS OFF TO ITS NEWLY NAMED RACE AS ARAGON IS NEXT ON THE AGENDA2019-09-16 07:24
Michelin is heading to MotorLand Aragon as the Spanish track has the honour of being the inaugural European MotoGP™ race to bear the French company’s name as round 14 becomes the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon.
Situated near Alcañiz in the Teruel area of Spain, MotorLand Aragon is a rigorous test on tyres and like the previous named Michelin race at Phillip Island in Australia it needs a range of rubber that can cope with the demands of such a specific circuit. The 5,078m anti-clockwise layout features 10 left- and 7 right-hand corners, varying from fast flowing bends to tight hairpins, as well as a long straight of almost one-kilometre where the bikes can really push the power down on the asphalt and need a tyre that can deliver the performance in a straight-line, as well as through the numerous twists and turns. The track is also in a very dry location and is situated in a rocky and open area, so hot days are expected, but these can be interlaced with cool mornings, so a range of tyres that work through all the temperature spectrums are required. The allocation of MICHELIN Power Slicks that were selected for this weekend to meet those demands are a front selection in soft, medium and hard, which will all be symmetric in design, whilst the rears – also in soft, medium and hard – will feature an asymmetric finish with a harder left-hand shoulder. With the track’s open location, there is also a threat of rain and thunderstorms sweeping in from the surrounding countryside, so to counter this during the weekend the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available in soft and medium compounds for both the front and rear. The front will be symmetric whilst the rears will have an asymmetric design like their slick counterparts.
The Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon will be the fourth time that Michelin has been a title sponsor of a MotoGP race since it returned to the series in 2016. The previous three have been in Australia and have produced some very exciting racing and with the move to Europe, Michelin is hoping the riders that take home the spoils will have given an equally impressive show and demonstrated the performance of the tyres around the Spanish circuit. Specially commissioned trophies will be presented after Sunday’s MotoGP, Moto2™ and Moto3™ races, designed and 3D printed in titanium by AddUp (co-owned by Michelin) and Poly-Shape, leaders of the metal 3D printing industry. These unique pieces reflect the iconic MotorLand Aragon circuit and Michelin tyre designs, specifically 3D printed for this weekend’s race and will be unveiled during the podium celebrations on Sunday.
Michelin takes to the track at its own Grand Prix on Friday 20th September for two Free Practice sessions. More practice is available to the field on Saturday ahead of the important Qualifying to decide grid positions. The Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon is a 23-lap affair which is scheduled to get underway on Sunday 22nd September at a different start-time to usual for European races, as the lights will go out to signal the start at 13.00hrs local time (13.00hrs CEST, 12.00hrs BST, 11.00 UTC).
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“It is a very special thing to have the Michelin Grand Prix in Europe, it is closer to Clermont-Ferrand than Australia was, so there will be many people from the factory visiting us to understand more about MotoGP and see the excitement for themselves. Aragon is a very demanding circuit, its layout needs close attention and the surface can be cool in the mornings, very hot in the afternoon and can also be quite abrasive if the wind blows the dust over it from the surrounding area. We have to make a range to contend with these different factors and as was shown last year – when it was the hottest it had ever been at Aragon for MotoGP – we gave the riders an allocation that all could use and set some fast times. We have unfinished business at Aragon and will be looking to set some records and are determined to do that as it is ‘our Grand Prix’.”
Source: Michelin Motorsport
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