A couple of more days and then the long summer break will be behind us for the MotoGP. The engines will come back to life in Austria, where the World Championship will stop for the next two races. The first, the Styrian Grand Prix, will also have a special flavor for Michelin, which will be the title sponsor of the event and therefore is keen to make a good impression on a particular track like the Red Bull Ring, which last year had gave great thrills, fortunately without consequences for the protagonists of the high-speed crashes, but also very spectacular races.
“This is a special race for us, because it is the Michelin Grand Prix. It should have been that of Finland, which was then canceled, so our name was associated with that of Styria which replaces it on the calendar”, he explained. Piero Taramasso, head of the French company in the premier class.
The Austrian track has practically unique characteristics, with very long straights and very high speeds. This clearly requires special precautions also from the point of view of the tires …
“The Red Bull Ring is a demanding track, especially for the rear tire. It is the circuit with the highest average speed in MotoGP. Not surprisingly, we have a specific construction that we only use there and in Thailand and it is a tire designed to keep the temperature lower. There are a lot of straights and long accelerations, so there is a lot of load on the rear tire and this tends to generate a lot of heat. “
As for the compounds, are there any news?
“In terms of compounds, we confirmed the same centering as last year. The only novelty compared to 2020 concerns the hard front: we will bring an asymmetrical tire, harder on the right side, always designed with a view to guaranteeing more consistency during the race. race and not have a degradation of performance. It can also help in braking, because in Austria the phenomenon of ‘front locking’ is typical, and compared to the 2020 hard one, it offers more grip also in the central part as well as more resistance on the side Moving on to soft and medium, these are exactly the tires of last year, while at the rear we will wear three asymmetrical tires, which are the same as in 2020 at the compound level. both races, the medium and the soft had performed very well in the race “.
At the moment, however, it seems very difficult to make predictions from the weather point of view …
“The weather could be quite capricious: we could find anything from cold to rain. In any case, it would not be a problem for the high temperature construction, because we have already used it in cold conditions. If the temperatures were to be very low , you can always work on the pressures to generate more temperature and maybe increase the load on the rear a bit, but I don’t think we will find ourselves in a situation of this type “.
If it rains, the asphalt of the Red Bull Ring has already proven in the past to be rather treacherous in wet conditions …
“Yes, in the wet there is not so much grip. The braking of turn 1 is rather difficult because there is a lot of rubber left by the cars and this makes the asphalt very slippery at that point. We had already found ourselves in those conditions even with our rain and we had not had too many problems, so we are not worried. It was more the pilots of the lower classes who were asking questions about safety. convinced that the drivers will find solutions suitable for all conditions. Also because this is a particular circuit, with many ups and downs, but also lightly banking corners, so the asphalt can dry very quickly, but rivulets can also form of water, so you have to be ready for anything “.
If everything were to be regular, which ones do you think could be the most suitable choices for the race?
“In the dry, I believe that at the rear the choice will be between soft and medium, because they can cover the distance with a good performance. At the front, on the other hand, I think it is more between medium and hard to have good support on the front. . Last year, however, there were also those who had chosen the soft, so I think all three solutions are able to make the race, but I think most will choose between these two. “