The Catalunya Grand Prix will be no leap in the dark for the Michelin technicians, who can count on precious data collected ruing the recent tests, in which almost all MotoGP riders took part. The Montmelò track has been completely resurfaced and has also returned to its old layout (with the elimination of the chicane), after work to increase the run-off areas.
Wisely, the French technicians had asked Dorna for permission to increase the front and rear tyre options to 4 for Barcelona, but following the tests this was reduced to the standard 3.
So the slick front solutions will be symmetrical, while the rears are asymmetric, with a harder right side. The same construction for the rain tyres, available as a soft and medium compound.
One final fact: the Catalunya race will now run over 24 laps, one lap less than in previous years.
“Catalunya was another track that we had little knowledge of what to expect when we made the plan for tyre allocation before the season had started - comments manager Piero Taramasso - The recent test we had there – which featured almost the whole MotoGP field – has changed that and given us a clear plan, this has allowed us to make the decision of what tyres we need to bring to cope with the new surface and layout.
It was a very positive test and the riders gave some good feedback, which has enabled us to choose the specific compounds which are ideally matched to the new asphalt. The times were very fast, even though we were comparing them to the older layout, so we expect some very quick laps this weekend."