New Michelin to make MotoGP faster in 2020
Michelin is aiming to cut MotoGP lap times by around half-a-second at certain tracks next season, thanks to a new rear casing.
Of the 19 rounds on the current calendar, nine of the race lap records still date from the pre-2016 Bridgestone era: Argentina, Austin, Mugello, Assen, Brno, Aragon, Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang.
However, Michelin's 2020 rear tyre construction has been designed specifically to increase performance and lived up to that billing on its debut at the Barcelona post-race test.
"The goal was to improve grip. 18 riders tried it and all 18 said it was better for grip and feeling," said Michelin's Piero Taramasso.
"The riders felt the tyre is a little bit softer so you gain especially when leaning the bike.
"Some riders improved their lap time by 0.2s compared to the standard tyre. But some improved by 0.8s.
"When we made an average, the improvement was 0.4-0.5s. So almost half-a-second quicker.
"We were looking for at least 0.4s. If it had been less than that we would have stopped working on that tyre."
The new casing continues a general trend towards 'softer' MotoGP tyres.
To date, this has been achieved by using a 'new technology' for mixing the compounds, plus an ever-growing archive of track data.
"In general we've gone softer because with this new technology we gain in consistency and grip, so we are able to go one step softer compared to last year," Taramasso said.
"Sometimes we also make this choice because last year the soft tyre reached the end of the race still with a lot of rubber, very little consumption, so we know we can go one step softer [this year]."
The next official MotoGP post-race test will be held after the Czech Republic Grand Prix, at Brno next month.