Michelin saw lap and race duration records broken during today’s eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich from the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg in Austria as Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) took victory in yet another exciting MotoGP ™ race.
Michelin’s range of tyres were put to impressive use today as all six versions of the MICHELIN Power Slicks lined – up in different configurations on the 23 bikes that started the race. Pole – setter Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) chose a medium front and hard rear compound pairing, but as the lights changed to signal the start of the 28 – lap race, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team ) got the holeshot on his machine fitted with medium front and rear slicks and led into the first corner.
This pair were joined in close contention by Lorenzo, who had chosen to go with the soft front and rear selection and he led the field home at the end of lap – one. Marquez soon took over at the front and set about trying to build a lead , as the Ducati pair battled for positions behind him.
The reigning champion was soon drawn into combat with his two closest competitors and as the race wore on it became a two – rider contest between himself and Lorenzo. The pair swapped places as the race drew to a close with some exciting and outrageous overtaking manoeuvres, as they used their respective Michelin tyres to the peak of their performance and the rubber gave them all they needed to produce a spectacular race.
The pair were neck – and – neck on the last lap, but Lorenzo found the extra drive and took victory, setting a new race – duration record in the process, taking over two – and – a – half seconds off the previous best. Dovizioso took third and the consolation of setting a new lap – record, as he produced the best time on the eighth circulation.
Today’s race was held in bright sunshine and track temperatures reached the highest point of the event, as the 45 °C that was recorded was 10 degrees higher than any other time this weekend., Michelin and the whole field also had to cope with torrential downpours on Friday afternoon, meaning the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres were required and these produced impressive grip in the difficult conditions, giving the riders total confidence which was shown by quick lap – times and no crashes on the very wet track.
A large Austrian crowd of 92,955 also witnessed battles throughout the field, with the exception of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) who rode quite a lonely race to take fourth and the honour of First Independent Rider. His paring of a hard front and medium rear meant that all six compounds were fitted in various ways to the first four bikes to cross the line, again endorsing Mich elin’s ethos to supply tyres for all riders and manufacturers.
Behind him was Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Ducati), with a hard – charging – he came from 14 th on the grid – Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in sixth. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) took seventh, just ahead of Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR ) in eighth. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was ninth, narrowly edging out Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) by less than one – tenth – of – a – second as the Spaniard closed out the top – ten. Today’s resul t sees Marquez strengthen his championship lead, with Rossi in second and Lorenzo now moving up to third.
Michelin will now move on to Silverstone in England for the British Grand Prix which is scheduled for Sunday 26 th August, where the newly surfaced tra ck will present another challenge that Michelin is more than prepared to face.
Jorge Lorenzo – Ducati Team: “It was a risky decision to use the soft rear tyre as the track was much warmer, but I had a great feeling with it and I could stop the bike in a straight line under braking, so I decided to choose this tyre and to manage it in the first 10 – laps. I could not manage it that much though as Marc was pushing with the hard rear tyre, but it was enough to stay one – second behind him and save energy and my Michelin tyres until the end. I was catching him lap – by – lap, but the problem was that when I overtook him he stayed there, so I knew I had to fight and I did. The front and the rear stayed good until the end and I am happy with the performance and the win. ”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two – Wheel Manager: “This has been an interesting weekend and a very positive one. We had a mix of weather and track temperatures and all of our tyres worked well in every condition. In the torrential rain the full we ts gave the riders confidence to push and then in the drying conditions , after the rain , the medium compound wets showed the potential of how they can perform and their durability on what finally became a dry track. All of the slicks were used in the race an d as temperatures were much higher today than we had experienced all weekend, the performance from every compound was another vindication that we can supply tyres for all to use. The race produced a lap record for Andrea and a race duration record from Jor ge, with Marc just missing the pole record yesterday, despite the conditions being far from perfect on Saturday. We are very pleased with what we accomplished this weekend and now we look forward to the next challenge at the resurfaced Silverstone.”