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With Michelin now the only brand actively registered for supplying tyres for World Rally Cars, the pressure to develop the tyres has eased off completely. Although some changes continue with gravel tyres, development of the little used asphalt tyres, usually used only four times a year, has slowed down dramatically. Once again cars went to Germany with the same three different options – the hard (H5), the soft (S6) compounds and the different FW3 tyres for full wet conditions, used only when there is standing water on the stages or there is excessive amount of mud expected on a second pass through stages. Pirelli are also a registered tyre supplier, but they only supply tyres for R5 cars. The tarmac stages currently used in the WRC have different characteristics. The increasingly smoother roads in Corsica are becoming increasingly similar to the tarmac roads in Catalunya, a far cry from the rough and puncture prone roads in Germany and the weather sensitive roads in Monte Carlo. The unknown factor is the demands expected for the tarmac roads found in the Rally Japan, expected to be included in future WRC calendars. The main focus in tyre work concerns punctures, caused increasingly when drivers cut corners, either through impacting rocks embedded off the road or when cars regain the tarmac surfaces which are above the level of the surrounding ground, and wheels get broken.  
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