MotoGP™ 2018 - Germany - MICHELIN tires worship at ‘the cathedral’ as Marquez is victorious
Michelin saw its range of MotoGP™ tires put through an intensive examination during today’s Motul TT Assen as the top riders in the world served up a masterclass of racing which culminated in victory for Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).
A weekend of near perfect weather led to the riders being able to assess all the different compounds of MICHELIN Power Slick tires that were available at the 4,542m Dutch circuit, which is known as the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ due to its historic significance and the reverence with which it is held in motorcycle racing. As the competitors lined up for the start, a flurry of activity saw many teams change tires to make sure they had the optimum pairing for their bike and rider, as the free practices leading to the race had demonstrated all compounds would be raceable and meant last-minute alterations to their selections were always likely. Pole-setter Marquez got the holeshot, but was passed on lap-one by the winner of the previous two races Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). There then followed one of the most intense and exciting races in recent history, as six different riders on bikes from four manufacturers and using four different configurations of MICHELIN Power Slick tires led at various times throughout the 26-lap race.
Michelin’s tires gave the riders the confidence to push to the limit this afternoon - despite a strong breeze blowing across the track - and the lead swapped numerous time between Marquez, Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). The capacity crowd of 105,000 at trackside were enthralled by the skill of all concerned and with the grip generated by the MICHELIN Power Slicks as the race quickly became a classic, before Marquez eventually made the break with two-laps to go to take victory and consolidate his championship lead. He was followed home by Rins, with Viñales - who also set the fastest lap of the race - in third. Dovizioso took fourth and Rossi was fifth, they were chased home by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) as he took sixth and the position of First Independent Rider. Lorenzo crossed the line in seventh, with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) eighth. Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) raced his Ducati to his third consecutive ninth place, with Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) rounding out the top-ten. The performance of the Michelin tires was further enhanced in their ability to provide fast and close racing throughout the whole field, as the event produced the closest ever top-15 in history, as all the point-scoring riders were only separated by a fraction over 16-seconds - the previous best was a 23-second gap in Qatar this season.
Michelin and the MotoGP field will now make the short journey across the border between The Netherlands and Germany, as the paddock heads to Sachsenring, when the eastern German circuit will stage round nine of this season’s enthralling championship on Sunday 15th July.