Preview – Motul TT Assen 2023 – R82023-08-21 08:49
The FIM MotoGP World Championship™ continues its series of back-to-back race weekends from 23 to 25 June at the TT Circuit Assen. In 2022 the Dutch race was the 11th round on the calendar, but even though it takes place during the same weekend in 2023, this year it is the 8th meeting of the season.
Located in the north of the country, close to the North Sea beaches, the Assen circuit is a historic venue for motor sports, where the Dutch TT began on public roads in 1925, before the construction of the TT Circuit Assen in 1955. The Motorcycle World Championship has been held there every year since it was created in 1949 (the only exception being 2020 due to the pandemic).
At 4.542 km long, the circuit has 18 corners, with 12 right-handers and 6 left. Although slower than Mugello, where the MotoGP bikes topped 370 km/h two weeks ago, Assen is nicknamed the “Cathedral of Speed”. However, it is its sequence of very fast turns that earned it this nickname.
Last year, three new records were set here: Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) beat the all-time circuit lap record with a time of 1min31s504,
Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) set the race lap record of 1min32s500, and the Grand Prix was completed in the shortest race time ever recorded here at 40min25s205 (175.297 km/h average speed), almost 10s quicker than in 2021. The 2022 race was won by Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), ahead of Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team).
The 2023 Motul TT Assen will take place with ever more efficient motorcycles and the optimum tyre allocation to help the riders push their performance to the maximum, whatever the conditions. However, there remains one unknown factor, and that is the weather, which can be unpredictable in northern Europe, even at this time of year.
“A bit like in Germany last week, the weather is very difficult to anticipate because it changes often,” said Piero Taramasso, manager of two-wheel competition at Michelin. “We will be even further north than at the Sachsenring, not far from the sea, with possible temperature variations, potential precipitation and certainly wind. That won’t stop our tyres from performing well, but since the track was resurfaced in 2020, we were starting from scratch to update our databases. This year, thanks to the data collected last season, we were able to prepare our allocation and determine the best types of rubber for our partners. For the rear tyres (asymmetric), the riders will be able to refine their set-up using the performance of our Soft and Medium compounds. At the front (symmetrical tyres), we will bring a new Hard compound in addition to the usual Soft and Medium. This is not a new tyre construction, but a new rubber compound that we started developing in 2022, and which we validated during the tests in Sepang (Malaysia) and Portimao (Portugal). This compound has already demonstrated its performance credentials this season at the Gran Premio Michelin de la República Argentina, and the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, and we’re sure it will be a great option for the Assen circuit.”
In the event of rain, Michelin will provide its partners with the MICHELIN Power Rain tyre range in Soft and Medium compounds for the front (symmetrical tyres) and the rear (asymmetrical tyres).
Fourth round of the MotoE™ World Championship
After breaking records and setting new benchmarks in the first six races of the season (three rounds), the new electric race bikes developed by Ducati, with their specially designed Michelin tyres, will tackle the TT Circuit Assen with the goal of constant improvement. Last week at the Sachsenring, despite the weather, the fifth and sixth rounds (out of 16) saw the 18 riders able to push their machines with confidence due to the technical characteristics and performance offered by the tyres.
For Michelin, the MotoE World Championship is a real-life research and development laboratory. The tyres fitted to the electric Ducatis in this series incorporate 52% sustainable materials at the rear and 34% at the front, highlighting Michelin’s environmental commitment. As its research progresses, Michelin intends to increase these percentages while preserving or improving the performance of the tyres, and then to apply all or part of the results of this research to its MotoGP tyres, as well as its commercial tyres in the coming years.
At the Motul TT Assen, on-track events will begin on Friday 23 June with two practice sessions that will allow the 10 fastest riders to move directly into the second qualifying phase (Q2), the next day.
After the free practice session on Saturday morning, Q1 will allow the two fastest riders to also progress to Q2, during which the starting grid for the whole weekend will be decided. The Sprint race will take place on Saturday at 3:00 p.m., and the Grand Prix on Sunday 25 June at 2:00 p.m. The two MotoE races will take place during the day on Saturday, after their two practice sessions and two qualifying sessions on Friday.
Michelin’s ambition is to sustainably improve its customers’ mobility. The leader in the mobility sector, Michelin designs, manufactures, and distributes the tires best suited to their requirements and uses as well as services and solutions to improve transport efficacy. Michelin also puts forward offers that allow its customers to enjoy unique moments when traveling. Michelin also develops high-technology equipment intended for multiple fields. Based in Clermont-Ferrand, Michelin is present in 175 countries, employs 132,200 people and operates 67 tire factories that, together, produced approximately 167 million tires in 2022. (www.michelin.com).
Source: Michelin Motorsport
Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story