Michelin has crossed the Franco-Spanish border to head to Aragón and the province of Teruel as MotoGP makes its third visit to Spain in 2016 this time for the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón and round 14 of the MotoGP World Championship.
Michelin will be making history when it arrives at the Spanish circuit as this will be the first time the French tyre manufacturer has raced in MotoGP at this ultra-modern facility. With this in mind tyre selection and choice has been carefully considered due the unusual demands of the technical track. The anti-clockwise layout and medium abrasiveness of the circuit will give their own stresses to the tyres, machines and riders alike, along with the mixture of variable weather that can be encountered at the 5,077m circuit.
Motorland Aragón, also known as the Ciudad del Motor de Aragón, has 17 turns – 10 left and 7 right – with a fast straight of just under a kilometre in length, rolling sections, blind crests, tight hairpins, downhill corners and a combination of turns that suit a flowing riding style, in fact a bit of everything is included on the circuit to make it very thought-provoking for riders, challenging for technicians and exciting for spectators. To meet this challenge Michelin has brought a full range of MICHELIN Power Slick front tyres covering soft (white band), medium (no band) and hard (yellow band) compounds. The hard version will also feature an asymmetric design with a harder left-hand shoulder. These will be paired with a rear selection of medium (no band) and hard (yellow band) compounds, both of which will be asymmetric versions of the MICHELIN Power Slick with a harder left-hand side designed to work over the circuit’s layout, which features more left corners than right. With wet weather also likely at the Spanish circuit, Michelin will also have the Power Rain tyres available in soft (blue band) and medium (no band) for both the front and rear and the Power Inters (silver band), also for the front and rear, for use in mixed conditions.
The Motorland Aragón circuit was constructed in 2009 and staged its first MotoGP race in 2010 as a last-minute replacement for the ill-fated Balatonring in Hungary. The Aragón round was an immediate success and was rewarded with the IRTA Best Grand Prix of the Year award, the first time a circuit had received the prize in its debut year and it has now become a regular feature on the calendar. Located near the town of Alcaniz – which hosted road-race events between 1963 and 2003 – the circuit is situated 90km south-east of Zaragoza, 150km west of Tarragona and 250km south-west of Barcelona.
The action gets underway on Friday 23rd September with the first two Free Practice sessions. Qualifying for the 23-lap race will take place on Saturday, with the racers lining up for the next chapter of this year’s exciting MotoGP season at 14.00hrs local time (14.00hrs CEST, 13.00hrs BST, 12.00UTC) on Sunday 25th September.
Piero Taramasso - Manager of the Two-Wheel Motorsport Group:
“This will be the first time that Michelin has raced at Aragón, so this is a totally new challenge for us. We did test there last year with the MotoGP riders, so we do have a base knowledge of what to expect, but the tyres have changed so much since then it will be like starting all over again. From what we have been told and seen before, Aragón can be a very unpredictable place with cold or hot conditions. It has some very fast sweeping corners and a long straight, plus some hard braking zones, so we need to have a selection of tyres that can cope in all situations. The temperature in Spain at this time of the year can be quite pleasant, but due to Aragón’s position we can expect cooler mornings so we will need to have tyres that can heat up quickly in those conditions, but also work well as the temperature increases throughout the day. We know this is quite a technically demanding circuit, but we’re up for the challenge and looking forward to continuing from where we left off at Misano following a very successful race. For sure we hope it will be another exciting race!”