The heavily revised MotoGP calendar meant most of this year’s races have taken place many months after their usual date, with a resulting change in weather.
But that won’t be the case for the upcoming Valencia double-header which, although no longer the season finale, will be held at almost the exact same time as last season’s race (November 15-17).
That means Michelin is more than prepared for notoriously chilly mornings and the possibility of rain, while the difference in left/right corners means Valencia will be the only track this season where all the slicks provided – soft, medium and hard – will feature asymmetric compounds.
That means harder rubber on the left-hand side to cope with the higher number of corners in that direction and increased stress on the tyre. Meanwhile, the right side will feature a compound designed to heat-up quickly in the demanding conditions.
The wet front tyres will be symmetric, in soft and medium compounds, while the rear will again have a harder left-hand edge. Tyre allocation remains the same for both Valencia rounds.
“This has been an unusual season and one that has been complicated with some very strange weather, but now as we reach the tail-end of the year we are heading to a circuit that we know what can be expected, as we visit Valencia at this time of the year in a normal calendar,” said Piero Taramasso, Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager.
“We anticipate very cold mornings and the specific layout of the track with its tight turns and short straights, means it is one of the few tracks that we have a full asymmetric range of slicks for the front and rear, in fact it is the only one this season after the cancellation of Sachsenring and Phillip Island.
“The tyre spends a lot of time on the left, so never really cools down, but conversely the right is not used much so needs to heat up quickly when it is needed, so we have to blend the perfect combination of compounds to give the best pairing to satisfy all riders, as well as coping with the challenge of the weather and the characteristics of the track.
“These will be two very demanding weekends, but with past experience we know what to expect, come rain, shine or cold.”
Following the pair of Valencia races, MotoGP heads for the new challenge of Portimao and the season finale on November 20-22.