Sachsenring, 17 July 2016: Michelin saw its tyre range used to the full extent today at Sachsenring in Germany during the GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland as changing conditions produced an exciting race that was won by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) after an inspired and brave pit-stop.
Heavy rain early this morning meant all riders started today’s 30-lap flag-to-flag MotoGP™ race with the latest MICHELIN Power Rain tyres. These two new compounds had been developed and produced after the last race at Assen, with originally a soft version being made available in this weekend’s allocation. When it was a likely situation with the weather forecast that it would be cold and wet on race-day, Michelin took the decision to bring the super-soft tyre from the factory in readiness for today. It arrived overnight and the riders were able to use it in this morning’s wet warm-up session to assess its abilities. When the race started, 16 bikes were fitted with the tyre that arrived today, with the other six on the soft version.
As the lights changed to signal the start, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) made the hole-shot and led for the first two-laps before being passed by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), who was subsequently overtaken by Danilo Petrucci (OCTO
Pramac Yakhnich). Petrucci held first place for seven-laps before crashing out unhurt on lap-11 and Dovizioso inherited the lead on what was now a fast-drying track. A tremendous battle both with the elements and each other ensued, before riders started to come into the pits to change to their other bikes, which had tyres more suited to the track conditions. Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) became the first rider to use MICHELIN Power Inters in a competitive situation and Marquez took a courageous, but ultimately calculated gamble to change to MICHELIN Power Slicks on what was still quite a damp track outside of the full dry line which had appeared. The decision was inspired and the Spaniard carved his way through the field to take a stunning victory, his seventh successive race win at Sachsenring across all classes.
The race for the other podium places certainly began to heat up after the bike swaps and the crowd of 93,213 were treated to great battles all the way through the field. Cal Crutchlow – also on slicks – (LCR Honda) produced a fantastic ride to take second place, along with the position of First Independent Team Rider. Dovizioso took third with a front inter and rear slick, as he just edged out Scott Redding (OCTO Pramac Yakhnich) on the line, after the Englishman had changed to inters. Iannone was fifth, followed home by Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) using slicks in sixth, with Assen winner Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS) swapping to slicks to take seventh. Rossi crossed the line eighth on inters, with the top-ten being rounded out by the Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) using an inter front and a slick rear in ninth and Alvaro Bautista (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) on inters in tenth. This spread of different tyre choices shows the wide-ranging way the Michelin rubber performed during the race.
MotoGP now takes a short summer break when Michelin will assess the data and performances from the first half of the season, before the paddock re-convenes for the next race of 2016, which will be at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on Sunday 14th August.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“Today was certainly a good race to test the tyres! We started with the wets and after the experience in Assen, Michelin has improved the front tyre and it was working very well. I chose the extra soft at the start and it was probably too soft for these conditions, but that was my mistake to choose it. This was the first flag-to-flag race in these conditions – where we started in the wet and it dries. I was a little bit scared when I changed the bike, because to be on the slicks on the wet parts is really dangerous. It was an option to use intermediates, but for me it is better to go directly to a slick and I chose the best strategy. During all weekend I have felt good and it was great to finish with 25-points.”
Nicolas Goubert – Deputy Director, Technical Director and Supervisor of the MotoGP Programme:
“Firstly I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Michelin MotoGP team to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to the people of Nice after the tragedy there this week. We are a French company so have been deeply upset by what happened and were very moved by the minute’s silence that was observed by the Grand Prix family at Sachsenring today.
“As for the race I don’t know where to start. For us the weekend has been very challenging due to the extreme weather conditions, from a very cold track on Friday, to warm and bright sunshine yesterday and then heavy rain and changeable conditions today, we have had to cope with everything and we are very pleased with the results from all of our tyres. We saw the weather forecast for the weekend on Thursday and took the decision to ship in an even softer front wet than we had in the original allocation and that worked very well in the first part of the race. The riders then made different choices as they swapped bikes and we saw the Inters used for the first time in a race, so this will give use some valuable data. Marc’s decision to go to slicks was a very brave one and as we saw it was correct for him to do it. His ride in those conditions was one of the best I have seen. We will now re-group during the break and assess the direction in which we are going and how the tyres are working, so that we can continue to supply the best options for all conditions and all riders.”
eom/Michellin press release