The Motegi track is the perfect ‘stop-and-go’ circuit, to use the riders' terminology: some hard braking, not so high mid-corner speed and then violent acceleration. Michelin is well aware of this and knows that riders at this track seek stability to wring the brakes and good grip to be able to unleash the horsepower of their MotoGP bikes.
Motegi is one of the tracks that stresses tyres the most, also because the asphalt is very abrasive and the weather can often bring rain and typically autumnal temperatures.
The Michelin technicians have gone for symmetrical front tyres for the Japanese GP, while rear solutions have a harder right side, with three compounds: soft, medium and hard, as usual.
They are also ready with rain tyres, soft and medium for both front and rear (the latter with an asymmetric construction).
“Japan signals the start of the three week back-to-back tour and after being in Thailand just one week ago, this is certainly a very busy part of the season - states manager Piero Taramasso - Motegi is a circuit with some very hard-braking zones, so the riders demand stability from the front tyre to push deep into the corner, but they also need a rear tyre that can put the power down when needed, so we have to supply a range to meet both of these specific demands."
And then there is the weather to deal with.
"Last year we had a full weekend of rain and although we don’t want that again, it was very beneficial for Michelin to have such a long period of sustained wet track time, so we could fully assess and analyse the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres, but one weekend was enough, we certainly don’t want a repeat!”