Sunday, October 26, 2008

Michelin: Goodbye, MotoGP!

It's time to say goodbye. Next year, Michelin will not be in MotoGP. We don't know if Honda will miss Hayden, but we'll certainly miss the tubby old Michelin Man...

Today’s race in Valencia, the last round of the 2008 MotoGP world championship, was also the last time we’ll be seeing Michelin in action in MotoGP. With the single-tyre-supplier rule coming into effect from 2009, Michelin chose not to try and stay on in MotoGP, and next year, all riders will be racing on Bridgestone rubber.

Michelin has been an iconic brand in the world of motorcycle racing, and to mark its departure from MotoGP, the French company released the following statement: ‘The spirit of competition has always been at the heart of Michelin. Racing has been a part of the company history, and the company has been a part of racing history. MotoGP now becomes a one-make tyre championship, and Michelin is leaving MotoGP because there is no longer competition in the area of tyres.’

‘After 36 years of MotoGP World Championship racing, Michelin would like to thank all the teams and pilots who put their trust in the Group during this period. Prior to the last MotoGP event in Valencia this coming weekend, 42 pilots won at least one race riding on Michelin tyres, giving the brand 360 victories in premier class racing.’

‘In 1973, Jack Findlay became the first pilot to lead Michelin to a premier class Grand Prix victory during the Isle of Man TT races. He was also the first to test Michelin's slick technology. It was then on Michelin slick tires that Barry Sheene won his first Grand Prix 500 title in 1976.’

‘In 1984, Randy Mamola brought Michelin's radial technology, mounted on both front and rear tyres, home to victory. “I am happy to have contributed to making this new radial technology a reality as all motorbike riders today can benefit from it,’ says Mamola.”’

‘Michelin’s silica technology was developed and registered its first success with Mick Doohan on a rainy March 29th in 1992 at the Suzuka event in Japan. Throughout the 1994 season, our dual-rubber technology triumphed thanks to Mick Doohan, Kevin Schwantz, Luca Cadalora and John Kocinski.’

‘Starting in 2002, Michelin's chemists introduced new synthetic rubber compounds, enabling Valentino Rossi to climb to the highest step of the podium. As a matter of fact, all 2002 victories were won on tyres incorporating these revolutionary synthetic components.’

‘Over the past 36 years, the Michelin brand was World Champion 26 times. Michelin wants to express its warmest thanks to all those who contributed to this success.’

‘As Michelin's competitive spirit is ingrained into its DNA and racing is a better way forward in the service of customers, the brand calls its motorbike supporters to forge ahead and meet up once again for new motor sports adventures in 2009 and beyond…’

Hmmm… Michelin having to leave MotoGP is indeed a sad thing. And yes, they might have a point there about the competition bit. We’re sure that competition between Bridgestone, Michelin and Dunlop, on the racing circuit, would have ultimately resulted in better tyres for streetbikes. Well, all we can do is hope someday Michelin can make a comeback to MotoGP. In the meanwhile, here’s wishing Michelin all the best for everything…

The Michelin man rides with Rossi...

Also see:
2009 Kawasaki ZX-6R: Specs, pics and video...
2009 Aprilia RSV4: Specs, pics and video...
Riding impression: 2009 Triumph Street Triple R
Face-off: Honda vs Zonda!
Brudeli 654L Leanster: Lean on this!
Diesel power: Clatter and roll...
2009 BMW K1300R: Specs, pics and video...
Brad Pitt wants to be like Valentino Rossi!
Face-off: Ducati 1098R vs Bimota DB7 vs MV Agusta F4 1078RR 312


Anonymous said...

jesus christ! bring out the wipes already.. why get so emotional about a tyre company leaving motogp? as long as the racing is good who cares what tyres are used. in fact i think the one tyre rule will racing more fair :-)

Chris Mason said...

I don't know who makes rules for MotoGP, but whoever they are, they don't know their (pampered) arse from their elbow. MotoGP is prototype racing. P R O T O T Y P E. See, anyone can spell that. And it means you need to be on the cutting edge of research and development in ALL areas, including engine, chassis, suspension, braking and yes, rubber/tyres.

The one tyre supplier rule will slow down tyre development. Ultimately, Rossi & Co. will still get whatever they want. It's the average rider, the person who rides on the STREET day in and day out, who will suffer.

What a pity.

Mark said...

typically soppy, sentimental stuff. but as a racer, you got to understand that Michelin's past glories mean nothing. they may have won races with all those racers of the 1980s and 90s, but for the last 2 years, they've not delivered any results.

competitive spirit? yes, of course. that's why motogp racers want to win. and if they can't win on michelin tyres, they will not use those tyres. winning is everything, you see. it's the spirit of competition which michelin talks about, but which bridgestone probably understands better, so there!

X-fighter-001 said...

Mark, that was brutal...! Come on, cut 'em some slack. Michie did so well in MotoGP for so many years. Them being hounded out of the sport wasn't a very nice thing to happen... :-(

Random Ramblings