Michelin bows out of MotoGP

Tire manufacturer rejects bid to be sole provider of tires

By Motorcycle.com Staff, Oct. 06, 2008
The recent decision that MotoGP will move to mono-brand tire supply as of the 2009 World Championship season has prompted strong responses, both positive and negative.

In an attempt to tighten competition and save costs, The Grand Prix Commission has decided unanimously that there will be a single tire supplier for the MotoGP class for 2009. Proposals to supply the tires were to be submitted by Oct. 3, 2008 with the final decision set to be announced by the GP Commission on Oct. 18.

Surprisingly, Michelin has decided not to submit a bid to the governing body of the MotoGP World Championship to be the sole provider of tires. Competition among several tire manufacturers is valuable for the evolution of superior tire innovation. A key moment in this continuing story was when Honda rider Dani Pedrosa requested to switch from Michelin to Bridgestone at the Misano race at the start of September.

Both Jorge Lorenzo and Nicky Hayden raced on Michilen tires in this past weekend's race at Philip Island, Australia.

This competition among manufacturers helps to make racing exciting not only for manufacturers of motorcycles, but also tires. Tires play a key role in a vehicle's performance and can make a considerable difference. The radial tire, which was invented by Michelin, has been improved through racing, and the improvements have since been passed on to consumers. Michelin's dual-compound technology for motorcycle tires was first tested in MotoGP racing and is today integrated into premium products for the brand's customers.

Michelin’s research and development resources once allocated for MotoGP racing will now be redeployed to support product innovation.

Related reading:
Rossi ties Agostini with 68th win