From a red-hot Barcelona to a (normally) rainy Assen, the test bench continues to change for Michelin and the aim is to please all the riders, which hasn't been easily recently. The Dutch track combines fast and slow turns and hard braking, putting particularly the front tyre to the test.
Except for the three front and rear solutions brought in accordance with the regulation, the French manufacturer will being only symmetrical front tyres, contrary to what it did in Spain. At the rear, tyres will be asymmetrical with a harder right side, considering that at Assen there are 12 right-hand corners to just 6 left-handers.
Of course, they are also ready with soft and medium wet tyres.
Michelin manager Piero Taramasso provides more insight as to the upcoming Grand Prix: “Assen is always a difficult race to gauge for because you never know what the weather will be like there. We have had very cold and extremely hot, and last year it was so wet the race had to be stopped – so we must be ready for any eventuality, because Assen is one of motorcycle racing’s most historic tracks and it is always a big event."
There are no shortage of difficulties around the 4.5 kilometre track.
“The surface is inconsistent and the mix of newer and older asphalt offers differing levels of grip and abrasion. The new sections are slippery and the older parts abrasive, this makes it hard for riders to get a consistent feeling throughout a lap, and very tricky in the wet. The track is still a favourite with the riders, despite the changes over the past years, but even with those alterations it still retains its unique feel. The layout has fast bends and slow corners, so the tyres are forced to cope with all different stresses. It is also a track that sees riders use different lines and this can make for some very exciting racing. We have tyres that provide effective grip and durability in dry conditions and wet as well and we are looking forward to an exciting weekend.”