Valencia is a watershed, marking both the end of the current season, with the final round, and the start of the next with testing on Tuesday and Wednesday. A last day of school quickly followed by a first day, without any vacation time, which will come in December instead.
With an increase in the number of races, the Valencia round now takes place later in November, causing some additional issues for the riders and tyre supplier. The mild climate of southern Spain can give way to an autumnal chill and even rain is a possibility right now.
All eventualities that Michelin has carefully considered when deciding on which tyres to bring to the race. They have opted for asymmetric front tyres (as at the Sachsenring and Phillip Island) as well as asymmetric rears, in soft, medium and hard components to deal with this rather unique track and its 9 left-handers and 5 right-handers. In case of rain, soft and medium solutions are available, only the rears asymmetric.
Michelin is also the sole supplier for MotoE, which will have the option of medium front slicks and soft rears, both with a symmetrical construction.
"Valencia is a very unique track as it is the only one inside a stadium, and this brings specific challenges from both the layout and also because of the time of year that we come here - explains Michelin manager Piero Taramasso - This part of Spain can have some nice weather which is ideal for racing in November, but it can also be very cold in the mornings. To combat this, we need rubber that can warm-up quickly and work when the track heats up, as well as contending with the number of turns in quick succession."
"The left side never has much chance to cool down as the bikes spend a lot of time leant over on that side throughout a lap, so the asymmetry of the tyre has to be perfectly designed to meet those demands. This might be the last race of the year, but as a whole it is one of the most important as we will see the first MotoE World Cup winner and it also signals the real start of work for 2020, as we have a two-day test in the week after the main event."