Grand Prix Date: 29 March

QATAR

Circuit Length: 5.380 km (3.343 miles)

The first race of the season at Qatar presents quite a challenge for teams. Being the only race run at night, track temperatures are always quite low which would normally require softer compounds, but often there is desert sand on the track surface which can be quite abrasive thus making durability of tires a priority. This combination of low temperature and high abrasion makes it very tough for the teams to make the correct tire selection tyres, the tires need to be hard on the especially on the right shoulders, yet as they have to be soft enough to provide grip in the low track temperature but hard enough to resist wear. The tyres - particularly the front - also need high levels of stability for the heavy braking points at this circuit, as the riders head down the straight into turn 1, they reach speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour, this combined with the quick track speeds into turns 4, 12 and 16 put the bike, tires and riders under some real stress

Grand Prix Date: 12 April

AMERICAS

Circuit Length: 5.380 km (3.343 miles)

The impressive Circuit of the Americas is a challenging track which is fast and technical. COTA is run in a counter-clockwise direction and the track is designed with a mix of tight, slower corners and faster, more open sections. These features combine to place a great importance on front-end feel, as being able to quickly change direction is important here. Therefore our front tyres need to provide good grip characteristics with plenty of stability. The rear tyres must also provide good drive out of the slower corners. The fast right-hand corners are quite severe on tyres, so at this circuit teams are provided with asymmetric rear slicks with slightly harder rubber on the right shoulder. The home straight into turn 1 and the back straight into turn 12 are really fast with the riders reaching speeds approaching 350klm per hour and massive braking as they enter the tight corners, placing the rider under g forces of around 1.6. It is a thrilling track for spectators and riders alike.

Grand Prix Date: 19 April

ARGENTINA

Circuit Length: 4.423km (2.748 miles)

The Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo was a new addition to MotoGP in 2014 and is one of the harshest circuits on the calendar. This circuit has a high average speed with some sections featuring high-camber angles, while corners like turn six are large radius, high-speed corners that generate very high tyre loads. The circuit is interesting in that although there are nine right-handed corners compared to five left-handed corners, the left shoulder of the tyre experiences higher temperatures than the right shoulder, due to the left-handers generally being faster. The tyre allocation for this race uses harder rubber compounds than other circuits to ensure high levels of durability, stability and heat resistance. Rider's comment that the track surface temperatures can fluctuate making for challenging tire choices. We love the back straight with the hard right hander into turn 5, riders push their machines to the limit achieving very high speeds and pulling up to 1.6G's as they brake hard into the corner.

Grand Prix Date: 3 May

SPAIN

Circuit Length: 4.423km (2.748 miles)

Jerez is the first European race of the season and a favorite amongst the teams and riders.Bing in southern Spain, the tempretures in summer are high and it is not uncommon for ambient tempretures to be in the range of 40 degrees celcius and over 50 degress on the blacktop. Jerez is a technical circuit with a mix of fast and slow corners, making it a favorite track for testing because of the diversity. The mix of corner speeds dictates that the tyres have a very balanced character to provide good handling from low speed to high speed, and for flat corners as well as changes in elevation. Overall the tarmac is smooth which is easier for the tyre's centre section but it is also abrasive so compounds need to withstand abrasion. Although high track temperatures are encountered during the race weekend, cooler conditions aren't unusual, so teams must be monitoring track temperatures to make the best tire choices to last through around 46 minutes of punishing treatment.

Grand Prix Date: 17 May

FRANCE

Circuit Length: 4.185km (2.600 miles)

As the MotoGP trucks make their way north to France and the Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans the teams will be focused on a very different style of racing to Jerez. Le Mans has a stop-and-go layout and overall, the lateral loads placed on the tyres at Le Mans are low compared to other circuits. The tarmac is smooth and low in grip, this combined with often cooler surface temperatures mean that slick tyre allocations for this race are comprised of softer compounds to ensure adequate warm-up performance and grip. Another performance requirement here is to provide tyres with maximum stability under braking, the fast straights into turns 9, 11 and the long right hander into turn 3 test riders mettle under brakes. The circuit has an unbalanced layout that uses the right shoulders more than the left, especially on the exit of turn nine. Asymmetric rear slicks for Le Mans feature harder rubber on the right shoulder to ensure riders can go the distance in this 44+ minute race.

Grand Prix Date: 31 May

ITALY

Circuit Length: 5.245 km (3.259 miles)

Mugello, Italy is one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and is tough on tyres because of this speed, the track temperature that can reach above 50 degrees Celsius, and it's technically demanding nature. Run one month later this year, in the height of European summer, track temperature are always a focus for teams. The track surface is grippy and abrasive and there are significant elevation changes. The numerous heavy braking points, especially those that are downhill, demand a strong front tyre whilst the many high speed corners require good stability and shoulder grip from the rear tyre. Top speed is one of the highest of the season and this puts significant strain on the centre section of the rear tyre as the riders top 240 kmph down the main straight into turn 1.

Grand Prix Date: 14 June

CATALUNYA

Circuit Length: 4.727 km (2.937 miles)

Circuit De Catalunya is a fast circuit that generates higher temperature in the right shoulder of the tyres than the left because of its greater number of right-handed turns. The track surface itself isnít the grippiest on the calendar, but the many high-speed corners mean the riders spend a lot of times at high lean angles and the aggressive overtakes which are a characteristic of MotoGP are on full display here. There are eight right-hand corners, most of which are long and fast, and only five left-handers, most of which are much slower so there is a significant imbalance between tyre temperatures in the right and left shoulders, necessitating asymmetric tyres. High track temperatures are often encountered here and overall, the Catalan Grand Prix is one of the toughest events of the season for the rear tyres and placing huge stresses on the brakes and riders.

Grand Prix Date: 27 June

NETHERLANDS

Circuit Length: 4.542 km (2.822 miles)

Assen is the oldest race circuit on the calendar and nowhere else is the heritage of MotoGP better felt than at this track. It iis a fast and technical circuit that requires asymmetric tyres because of the high loads placed on the right shoulder of the rear tyres. The riders at this circuit have to cope with a wide range of corners from very slow, to high speed sections like Ramshoek, so the layout requires tyres that give high levels of edge grip. The first few corners all flow into each other while gradually tightening, and this requires good stability and heat resistance from the right shoulder of the tyre. The exit of the hairpin at turn 5 places massive torque loads on the bike and rear tire as the riders build speed fast into the long run into turn 8. The quick switches of turns 16, 17 and 18 see riders scrub massive amounts of speed as they flick the bike from side to side before entering the home straight.

Grand Prix Date: 12 July

GERMANY

Circuit Length: 3.671 km (2.281miles)

The German Grand Prix held at the Sachsenring starts with two slow right-hand corners but then opens into a series of very high speed long lefts that sweep onto the back straight and to the finish, placing a lot of stress on the left side of the tire generating a lot of temperature in the left shoulders. Owing to the circuit's anti-clockwise layout, much harder compounds are required in the left shoulder of the rear tyres whereas the right shoulder must offer good warm-up performance. It is a short circuit, but the demands placed on the riders and bikes the level of abrasion and the track temperature make tire selection critical and riders must be thoughtful of their use especially towards the final laps.

Grand Prix Date: 9 August

UNITED STATES

Circuit Length: 4.216 km (2.620 miles)

The second Grand Prix held in the USA marks the end of the first half of the season. Indianapolis circuit was resurfaced and had its layout changed slightly in 2014 which improved lap times while also making an already demanding circuit even more severe on tyres. The layout of the circuit puts greater stress on the left shoulder of the tyres and in particular the section from turns twelve to fourteen generates very high temperatures on the left shoulder of the rear tyre. The high speeds of the home straight and back straight and heavy braking into turn 1 and 10 are especially punishing on the rubber. For this reason teams are provided with asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the left shoulder to manage the character of this circuit. The weather at Indianapolis is also unpredictable making tire selection a challenge.

Grand Prix Date: 16 August

CZECH REPUBLIC

Circuit Length: 5.403km (3.357 miles)

Brno will be on the card for the next five years following the announcement that the MotoGP Czech Grand Prix will continue, It is fast, flowing and has big elevation changes so tyres that offer good braking and cornering stability are crucial. The track surface is also quite abrasive on tyres, which poses a challenge for durability so teams can choose harder rubber compounds, particularly for the front tyre. The faster sections impose high lateral loads on the tyres - particularly on the right shoulders - and the elevation changes also present a challenge for the front tyre, especially into the downhill corners where the weight transfer under braking is extreme. The medium speed corners require good shoulder stability from the rear tyres and good traction on corner exit. Finding a good setup at Brno is important, as excessive sliding from the rear at this circuit can hurt lap times and also rapidly accelerates tyre wear given the abrasiveness of the tarmac.

Grand Prix Date: 30 August

GREAT BRITAIN

Circuit Length: 5.902km (3.667 miles)

The British Grand Prix is often the wettest with English weather living up to its reputation as unpredictable at best. The longest circuit on the calendar, Silverstone features ten right-hand and eight left-hand corners, so asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulders are developed for this circuit. The circuit has a high average speed, while also being prone to cool weather, so the tyres at Silverstone have to strike the best balance between warm-up performance and outright grip, while also delivering good braking and concerning stability. These factors make Silverstone one of the more demanding circuits and the numerous overtaking opportunities afforded by the quick speed changes push the riders and their machines to the limits.

Grand Prix Date: 13 September

SAN MARINO

Circuit Length: 4.226 km (2.626 miles)

Close to the eastern coast of Italy ambient conditions for the San Marino Grand Prix are usually hot so harder compounds are selected to provide better durability and heat resistance. The sequence of right-handers, starting with the fast Curvone corner is the section that puts the most strain on the tyres and this is where the rear tyres reach their greatest temperature. Generally the loads imposed on the centre, left and right shoulders are quite similar at this track. The front tyre requires a strong centre section to provide good stability in the frequent braking zones. A smooth riding style reaps benefits at Misano so as to not overwork the tyres as they have little opportunity to cool down during a lap due to the constant corners, a riders controlled performance in the first 30 minutes of the race pays big dividends in the closing laps where riders push their bikes to the limits on tires which can become less grippy.

Grand Prix Date: 27 September

ARAGON

Circuit Length: 5.078km (3.155 miles)

The last race before the MotoGP teams head to the Southern Hemisphere is held at Aragon which has a mixed layout that matches fast, flowing sections with some slower corners and chicanes. Compared to other tracks on the calendar, the tarmac here is relatively smooth and low in grip so the tyres need to provide good traction, while the long, fast corners and downhill braking zones also require high levels of stability. This makes tyre selection for this circuit quite challenging. The weather at Aragon can be quite temperamental and warm or cool conditions are possible, so teams must balance grip on soft tires with endurance to ensure that their riders can push hard into the 44th minute where a winner will be crowned.

Grand Prix Date: 11 October

JAPAN

Circuit Length: 4.801km (2.983 miles)

The Japanese GP is a favorite where the teams come home to the "spiritual homeland" of Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki. The Twin Ring Motegi circuit has a combination of very fast straights with heavy braking. As temperatures are generally cool, and the track surface is high-grip and abrasive, this combined with the circuit's nature, places high loads on the tyres. The cool track temperatures also require softer compounds to provide good warm-up performance. Motegi has a stop-and-go nature featuring some heavy braking and hard acceleration points which traditionally tend to bunch the field and provide close racing and the circuit has an asymmetric layout with few left-hand corners. A strong tyre centre section is required here to provide good stability especially under heavy braking and hard acceleration.

Grand Prix Date: 18 October

AUSTRALIA

Circuit Length: 4.448km (2.764 miles)

The Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island is a favorite amongst the teams and riders and certainly amongst the fans who turn out in droves. The track is a fast and flowing circuit and the recent resurfacing has made the track perhaps the most demanding circuit on the calendar for tyres. The last corner in particular involves high speed and a lot of time at extreme lean angles, resulting in the highest rear tyre temperature of the season. Also, cold wet weather is often experienced here so softer compounds are generally required to generate good grip and warm-up performance, particularly on the right shoulders as there are fewer right-hand turns. Cold winds often blow in over the circuit from the sea, so track temperatures can fluctuate by several degrees making it hard for riders to predict their grip from lap to lap.

Grand Prix Date: 11 October

MALAYSIA

Circuit Length: 4.801km (2.983 miles)

Sepang is one of the most impressive circuits on the MotoGP calendar and is distinctive because of its two long straights which make it one of the longest circuits we visit. Wild weather is often encountered here with track temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius and the potential for heavy rain over a race weekend. Sepang features a mix of high speed corners and tight hairpins with heavy braking, which makes good front tyre stability a priority here. Overall this circuit is quite tough on tyres as temperatures can get to extreme levels due to the layout of the circuit and the hot ambient conditions which give little chance for the tyres to cool down. Riders must be economical in the first 30 minutes of the race, performing as smoothly as possible as the degradation of tires in the final stages can see the bikes losing grip and control.

Grand Prix Date: 8 November

VALENCIA

Circuit Length: 4.005 km (2.489 miles)

The final race of the MotoGP season is held at Valencia. The circuit is a favorite among fans with outstanding viewpoints in a "stadium" atmosphere. To fit such a track into this space requires a technically complex design with slow twisty asymmetrical layout. The frequency of corners at this circuit means the tires spend a lot of time at high lean angles building up heat with little opportunity to cool down over the course of a lap. The high number of corners and moderate grip level means that if bike set up isn't optimized it is easy to generate excess tire temperatures which can result in an uncompetitive ride. Low ambient temperatures are usually encountered which suggests softer tires would be better, however the very high stressed in the left rear tire in turn 1 mean teams lean towards a harder compound.