Valencia Preview 2019

2019-11-12 08:58
Michelin is on the way to Valencia in Spain for the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana as the curtain comes down on another MotoGP™ season with the 19th and final round of the year taking place at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.

Now firmly established as the final race of the season, Valencia is the only stadium circuit on the calendar and this unique fact means that the track takes on an enclosed feel, with many tight and slow corners going in both directions, with the crowd overlooking the asphalt from grandstands that surround the venue. This unusual layout makes the need for asymmetric MICHELIN Power Slick tyres an absolute must and one of the reasons that this is one of three tracks during the whole calendar that features this range of rubber on both the front and rear. Valencia’s 4,005m circuit, with its nine left- and five right-hand turns, has a configuration set out in an anti-clockwise direction and this particular arrangement means the tyres spend a large amount of time on the edge and must be able to combat these demands. With these specifics to cope with, the supply of asymmetric soft, medium and hard compound MICHELIN Power Slicks for the front and rear of all motorcycles makes a third appearance of the season following outings at Sachsenring and Phillip Island. This time the harder rubber will appear on the left-hand side, to counter the extra stresses placed on that part of the tyre and to contend with the higher number of corners that travel in that direction.

With the race date so late in the season, wet conditions can be encountered at Valencia in November, as has been the situation in recent seasons. With this possibility in mind the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available to manage such situations. Available in soft and medium compounds for the front and rear, an asymmetric compound, with a harder left-hand edge, will feature on the rear tyres, with the front having a symmetric design.

Michelin and the MotoGP field will take to the track for the final Friday of the season on 15th November for two Free Practice sessions. Saturday will feature more practice, preceding the all-important Qualifying which will decide grid positions for the 27-lap race. The final event of the year will get underway at 14.00hrs local time (13.00hrs GMT/UTC) on Sunday 17th November.

Michelin will also be extending its operation at Valencia, as again the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup takes its place on the schedule with its second double-header of the year. This coming weekend will see the inaugural FIM Enel MotoE World Cup winner crowned as the 18-strong field on their respective ‘Energica Ego Corsa’ machines, all equipped with MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres, take to the track for two separate races on Saturday and Sunday. The two races will have been preceded by Free Practice on Thursday, and Friday’s E-Pole which will decide grid positions for both contests. The MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres have been specifically developed for these electric motorcycles and a single compound selection will be available with a medium front and a soft rear being the options, both of which will be symmetric and if wet weather arrives then symmetric soft front and extra-soft rear MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will be available. Saturday’s race is scheduled to get underway at 16.15hrs local time (15.15hrs GMT/UTC), with Sunday’s starting at 10.05hrs (09.05hrs GMT/UTC), both of which will be of a seven-lap duration and with 50-points up-for-grabs and only 49-points separating the top-12 positions, it is still a wide open race to the title, at the end of which Michelin will see its first FIM Enel MotoE World Cup winner crowned. To add to the workload even further Michelin will stay at Valencia for a two-day MotoGP test on Tuesday and Wednesday, where work for the 2020 season will commence.

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“Valencia is a very unique track as it is the only one inside a stadium, and this brings specific challenges from both the layout and also because of the time of year that we come here. This part of Spain can have some nice weather which is ideal for racing in November, but it can also be very cold in the mornings. To combat this, we need rubber that can warm-up quickly and work when the track heats up, as well as contending with the number of turns in quick succession. The left side never has much chance to cool down as the bikes spend a lot of time leant over on that side throughout a lap, so the asymmetry of the tyre has to be perfectly designed to meet those demands. This might be the last race of the year, but as a whole it is one of the most important as we will see the first MotoE World Cup winner and it also signals the real start of work for 2020, as we have a two-day test in the week after the main event.”

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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