Penultimate Rollercoaster Ride
Due to the Covid-affected race calendar this year, the MotoGP™ paddock will be returning to Portimao for the second time this season, for the penultimate round of the 2021 championship in the Grande Prémio do Algarve.
Situated in the south-west of Portugal, the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve saw action in April in the third round of the series and will now welcome the riders back onto its 4.6kms (2.85 miles) of asphalt, with nine right- and six left-hand corners and a 968m (0.6 miles) front straight. The elevation changes of its rolling layout are quite dramatic, and it features a unique descent into Turn 1 which gives the circuit its fairground ride reference as a ‘high speed rollercoaster’.
Michelin’s allocation will comprise the usual three compounds of front and rear MICHELIN Power Slicks. The front tyres will feature Soft, Medium and Hard compounds which are all symmetric, while the rears will be Soft, Medium and Hard, but with a Medium compound symmetric and the Soft and Hard compounds being asymmetric – with the harder compound on the right to cope with the higher number of right-hand corners.
The temperatures in the Algarve in November should be fairly similar to April, but due to the time of year and its location close to the Atlantic, there is an increased chance of rain compared to the Spring. With this in mind, MICHELIN Power Rain tyres will also be available, and the allocation will be Soft and Medium symmetric fronts, and Soft and Medium rears with an asymmetric design featuring a harder compound on the right, the same as their slick counterparts.
Speaking ahead of the race, Piero Taramasso, Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager, said: “After the emotional rollercoaster of Misano, with its incredible highs and lows, we are now back at the physical rollercoaster of Portimao with its elevation changes.
“The allocation for this race is slightly different to the previous race back in April. We took onboard the feedback from the riders regarding the Hard compound asymmetric front option and have replaced that tyre with a symmetric version to give them improved feedback and confidence when turning into corners”.
The riders will take to the track on Friday 5 November for the first two Free Practice sessions. Saturday’s schedule will include the usual FP3 session in the morning, followed by the FP4 and two Qualifying sessions in the afternoon. Sunday’s race will be 25 laps, and the lights will go out to signal the start at 13:00 local time.