San Marino GP: Michelin preview

Misano Isn't Massively Demanding On Tyres "Misano isn't massively demanding on tyres, it has similar demands to Catalunya," says Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's chief of motorcycle racing. "It is more asymmetric than Brno, but not as asymmetric...

Misano Isn't Massively Demanding On Tyres

"Misano isn't massively demanding on tyres, it has similar demands to Catalunya," says Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin's chief of motorcycle racing. "It is more asymmetric than Brno, but not as asymmetric as other MotoGP tracks like Valencia and Phillip Island.

"Last year the asphalt was new but it wasn't as aggressive as many other new surfaces we have experienced in MotoGP, though it was quite bumpy. Misano gets quite a lot of use, so the surface will probably be less aggressive than last year. Much also depends on what kind of events have been staged at the track recently.

"The most asymmetric section is from turn ten to turn 14 -- five consecutive right-handers -- with the riders staying on the right side of the tyres and braking into four successively slower right-handers, from turn 11 to turn 14. This section places a lot of stress on the front tyre, with a lot of braking on the side of the tyres, so you can't use soft front tyres. We use medium to medium-hard fronts, similar to what we use at Catalunya. Our challenge is to improve our front tyre, even though Misano is nothing like Brno.

"While managing stress and grip on the right side of both the front and the rear tyres, we need to deliver grip and good warm-up on the left side, especially for turn 15 and turn 16, which follow that run of right-handers.

"There are a lot of slower-speed corner exits at Misano, so you need good rear traction. The track isn't too demanding on the rear tyre, so the range of rears is again similar to that which we use at Catalunya, medium to medium-hard, with different compounds on each side according to Misano's asymmetric layout."

Misano Data

Track length: 4.180km/2.597 miles

Lap record: Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici), 1m 34.649s 158.987km/h-98.790mph (2007)

Pole position 2007: Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici), 1m 33.918s

Recent winners of the San Marino GP 2007 Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro Team Desmosedici), 44m 34.720s

Misano hosted its first MotoGP World Championship event last summer, after 14 years off the GP calendar. The last time the track hosted a GP was in 1993, when the 500 World Championship was ruled by 500 cc two-stroke machines. Much changed during that period, during which the Adriatic seaside venue hosted World Superbike events. Misano underwent a major overhaul before last summer, with the circuit reversed in direction, from anti-clockwise to clockwise.

The track is tight and twisting, with many medium to low speed corners. Previously its most fascinating feature had been a run of successively faster left-handers that led riders onto the back straight, the last corner taken at ultra-high speed. These fast lefts were beloved of the dominant American and Australian 500 cc riders who had learned how to race on left-handed dirt ovals in their home countries. Now this section is a succession of right-handers, with riders braking into successively slower corners, testing their deft control of the front brake and tyre.

Misano is the 13th of 18 races and thus commences the final third of the season. The second MotoGP round to be staged in Italy, following June's Italian GP, it is followed by four flyaway races at Indianapolis (USA), Twin Ring Motegi (Japan), Phillip Island (Australia) and Sepang (Malaysia).

-credit: michelin

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Casey Stoner , Phillip Island