Moto GP 2018 - Czech republic - Michelin battles the heat as Dovizioso wins a thriller
Michelin faced excessive track temperatures all weekend at Brno during round 10 of the MotoGP™ World Championship before a cooling of the surface today saw the Monster Energy Grand Prix České Republiky produce another exciting race with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) taking a stunning victory.
This weekend saw asphalt temperatures rise to above 50°C - which is the highest it has been for MotoGP at the 5,403m Brno circuit this century - and the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres had to contend with this as well as the complexities of this technically demanding circuit. With its heavybraking downhill sections and hard acceleration zones, all of which were magnified with the extreme heat, the riders and teams worked unstintingly with their respective Michelin Technicians to get the optimum performance for their respective machines in preparation for the race.
Today saw a drop in temperature as the clouds cooled things down and the track thermometer read just 38°C and this change caused many teams to rethink their plans and alter the choice of tyres as the race approached. When the lights went out to signal the start of today’s main event, the front medium and hard compounds and the rear soft and hard versions were all that were favoured by the 25 riders that lined up on the grid for the 21-lap race.
Dovizioso was on pole, but he was beaten to the first corner by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), before the Ducati man regained the lead to head the field at the end of lap-one. The initial stages of the race were a guarded affair as no rider wanted to show their hand and chose to preserve their Michelin tyres for the long race ahead. As the laps ticked by lap-times improved and a battle started to form at the front. Dovizioso and Rossi were joined by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). These five swapped places numerous times as the race drew to a close, with some impressive overtaking as the top riders in the world put their faith in the performance of the rubber and pushed their Michelin tyres to the limit. The latter part of the race gave the 84,678 fans at trackside, and the millions more watching on TV around the globe, huge excitement as Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Marquez fought for the podium positions. As the flag dropped Dovizioso took victory on his Ducati, Lorenzo followed him home with Marquez third, as this trio also set the three fastest laps of the race on the last circulation, demonstrating the durability of the MICHELIN Power Slicks over such a demanding race. Rossi finished in fourth, with Crutchlow taking fifth and the position of First Independent Rider. Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) was sixth, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) securing seventh place. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) was eighth, Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) on his 150th MotoGP start taking ninth and Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) rounding out the top-ten.
Michelin will now remain at Brno for a one-day official test, before traveling straight to the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg in Austria for round 11 of the championship, which will be held next Sunday.