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MotoGP, Austin: Michelin selected right-shoulder reinforced tires

Piero Taramasso: "The sequence of Turns 16, 17, and 18 generates very high stress on the tires. We know the COTA circuit very well, but we’re bringing our new compounds this year."

MotoGP: Austin: Michelin selected right-shoulder reinforced tires

The COTA (Circuit of the Americas) has a capacity of 120,000 spectators and was inaugurated in 2012 in the town of Elroy (Travis County) near Austin, the capital of Texas. It is 5,513 km long, with 20 turns (9 right-hand and 11 left), and also fairly significant elevation changes, which measure almost 40 meters, including an impressive uphill run to Turn 1. The other highlights are its long straight, which measures more than 1,200 meters, where MotoGP bikes exceed 350 km/h, and also its 49-meter high cobra-shaped tower inside Turn 17. The MotoGP World Championship has raced at the  COTA annually since 2013, and it is, once again, the third round of the season, following two very competitive races on the circuits of Losail (Qatar) and Portimão (Portugal).

The circuit, which is located in the south of the United States, also has some characteristics which directly impact tires, starting with the lack of grip on the asphalt. There’s also the bumpy nature of the track to take into consideration, due to it being built on ground which is subject to deformation over time. The circuit’s technical services are well aware of this problem, and occasionally flatten it out. But, if the surface of the asphalt then becomes flatter, it’s also more ribbed, which generates changes in grip levels in these modified areas.

We know the COTA circuit very well, but we’re bringing our new compounds this year, which creates some variables,” Piero Taramasso, Michelin’s Two-Wheel Motorsport Manager, emphasized. “On the other hand, we know that the grip will be low, and that the surface will be uneven in places. Based on our data, and taking into account the configuration of the circuit, we selected symmetrical tires for the front, in three compounds (soft, medium, hard) and two asymmetrical options for the rear, in soft and medium. The right shoulder of the rear tires will be harder, but this isn’t to compensate for the number of turns. It is for the sequence of the triple right-handers (Turns 16, 17 and 18), which generates very high stresses on the tires. We intend to provide the perfect technical package to our partners, that have broken numerous records on this track last year, and that, of course, intend  to do better this year, partly thanks to our tires.


Translated by Leila Myftija

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