Michelin will be travelling to Jerez in Spain as the fourth round of the MotoGP™ Championship takes place at one of the most visited and eagerly anticipated events of the year.
The French tyre manufacturer has already spent a number of days testing at the Spanish circuit during the lead-up to this season and will arrive at Jerez with tyres specifically designed to meet the demands of the wide-ranging layout of the circuit. Using data gathered from tests held last November and December, and the information acquired from three challenging races so far this season. Michelin will supply range of tyres which are designed to provide good handling and performance, whilst still providing stability, durability and safety. The front tyre allocation will feature all three compounds – soft, medium and hard – which can be identified by their white, no colour and yellow bands respectively.
The 4.4km circuit is not as severe on tyres as previous tracks visited this season, but it still needs some distinct solutions to give the bikes the best performance options. With this in mind the rear tyres will feature the stiffer construction – as used for the first time in Austin last time out – along with a softer compound especially tailored for the Jerez circuit. The rear MICHELIN Power Slicks will be available in a soft compound which will be a symmetrical design, whilst the medium version will feature an asymmetrical compound, with a harder right-hand-side to the tyre to take into account the number of longer right-hand corners. The rear tyres will be identified by a white band on the tyre sidewall of the softer version and no band on the medium. If the weather should turn wet at any point during the weekend there will also be the front and rear soft and hard compound MICHELIN Power Rain tyres available.
Although it is the first of four rounds held in Spain during the MotoGP season, Jerez is the only one that carries the name ‘Spanish Grand Prix’. As one of the best spectator circuits on the calendar, almost a quarter-of-a-million fans crammed into the viewing areas during last year’s three-day event and a similar sized crowd is expected this year. The passionate and colourful crowd at trackside makes this one of the events of the year and a race that many regard as the true start of the season. Located in Andalucía in the heart of Spain’s Sherry making region, the undulating layout of the Jerez circuit, with fast and slow corners, long straights and hard-braking areas, has a tradition of delivering memorable battles throughout its illustrious history, including numerous Michelin victories by many famous champions.
Michelin and the MotoGP field will take to the track on Friday for two 45-minute Free Practice sessions, followed by another practice the following morning. The all-important qualifying session takes place on Saturday afternoon to decide grid positions for Sunday’s 27-lap race which gets underway at 14.00hrs(local time).