The winter proved useful, allowing Michelin to test some of its new tyre compounds, in order to meet riders' needs. Some of these new products will already be brought to the inaugural Qatar round.
The Losail GP is very particular, in that the race runs at nigh and so temperatures can drop dramatically, making the asphalt damp and slippery. In addition, the desert sand, which deposits around the track, makes for a very abrasive surface.
Like last year, the Michelin technicians will provide riders with three different compounds (soft, medium and hard) at both the front (with a symmetrical construction) and the rear (asymmetrical, with a stiffer right side).
The hard front tyre has a new compound that riders were able to use during testing, while the soft rear is part of a family of tyres created with a new technology that should guarantee both better grip and better consistency. In case of rain, the rain tyres are available as either a soft or medium compound, the rear solutions having an asymmetrical construction.
“We have had a very successful off-season, as we introduced some new slick compounds that we had been developing and the riders were very pleased with the performance, so these have been added to the range for 2019 - explains Michelin manager Piero Taramasso - These are aimed more at European tracks, but we have added them to the allocation at Losail as we believe they are ideal for what that track has to offer."
“We are looking forward to the new season - he continues - there are new riders, bikes, and teams that have changed manufacturers, so there is a huge amount for all of our technicians to work on. We are up for the challenge and everyone is ready to get back into the racing environment. Losail has been a good track for Michelin since we returned, even though it is a very unique circuit with particular demands, so we are determined to push the performance on again this year, as we plan to do at every track we visit.”