MICHELIN HEADS TO MALAYSIA AND THE LAST STOP ON THE PACIFIC TOUR
Michelin and MotoGP™ are finishing the Pacific tour this weekend as the Sepang International Circuit hosts the final race of the three-week fly-away trip and the penultimate event of the season with the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix taking centre stage.
Malaysia signals the final race in a busy five-week schedule for the MotoGP paddock, which has seen races in Thailand, Japan, Australia and now the final venue at Sepang. With a mix of weather over the four races, Michelin has been prepared and met every eventuality and the Malaysian circuit will certainly add to the mix, as it is both a track which requires technical performance, as well as needing to meet the meteorological demands that can be faced there. The layout of the 5,543m track features five left- and ten right-hand turns, combined with two long straights, elevation changes and an abrasive surface where track temperatures are regularly above 50°C. This technical circuit – plus the high ambient temperatures and humidity – put huge requirements on riders, bikes and particularly the Michelin tyres.
Sepang is such a complete circuit for evaluating the extremes of the tyres, machinery and riders, that is has become the regular track for the pre-season test and with such knowledge, Michelin knows what to expect from this venue, but this does not mean it takes it easy, as it must produce a tyre which meets all the demands of the circuit and give the riders the performance, durability and consistency they require. The soft, medium and hard compound MICHELIN Power Slicks are selected to cope with these requirements and the tyres will have the specifications to combat the abrasivity and heat of the asphalt, without any compromise to performance. Supplied as symmetric for the front and asymmetric for the rear – which features a harder right-hand side to cope with the increased stresses that side of the tyre has to contend with at this demanding circuit. Malaysia’s tropical location means that rain is almost a daily feature, so there is every probability that a heavy downpour will cover the circuit at some point during the weekend. With this possibility and the complex demands of the track, the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres are carefully chosen to give optimum wet weather performance. A range of soft and medium compounds for both the front and rear will be available, with the latter featuring an asymmetric design with the harder right-hand side.
Michelin and MotoGP will begin the penultimate weekend of 2019 Grand Prix action on Friday 1st November with two free practice sessions, followed by two more the next day. Saturday afternoon will see qualifying for the 20-lap race take place to decide grid positions. The 18th round of the season will get underway at 15.00hrs local time (07.00hrs GMT/UTC, 08.00hrs CET) on Sunday 3rd November.
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“The end of this long and exhausting tour of Asia and Oceania is drawing to a close, but that does not mean we are ready to relax, because the Malaysian GP is a very important race and also one that requires the utmost respect. Over the last three events we have had a huge mix of weather, from torrential rain to high temperatures and we now expect to roll that all in to one weekend here in Malaysia, but without the chill we had in Australia! We have probably more data from Sepang than any other circuit, but it still is a track that demands total respect, as it’s very technical, has an abrasive surface and usually the asphalt can be very hot. This is one of the venues where the tyres face the possibility of the greatest difference in conditions, not only over the weekend, but hourly, as we can have torrential rain and then the track dries quickly. The correct rubber is needed to work in those situations and from our intensive testing and knowledge of the circuit we know we have that.”