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MICHELIN Motorsport's return to MotoGP: one year to get ready

After six years away, Michelin will be returning to MotoGP as exclusive tire supplier in 2016. Between 1973 and 2008, the Group notched up 360 victories and 26 world titles in this highly competitive championship, contested by the world's top riders between March and November each year. How is MICHELIN Motorsport gearing up for this return? Here's a behind-the-scenes look…
Michelin retour moto GP 2015

A very heavy 2015 schedule for MICHELIN Motorsport

Having succeeded in amending the MotoGP rule that allows championship riders to test tires for Michelin on an occasional basis, the Group has introduced a particularly intense work schedule for 2015. The aim of course is to be ready for the first Grand Prix next season.

Constructor test pilots first, followed by competition riders

Early February, test pilots from different constructors were out laying the groundwork. Technicians had provided a selection of seven front and five rear tires with the aim of selecting three of each for the twenty-four GP riders who in turn tried out the Michelin tires three weeks later.

Versatility of MICHELIN tires for all bikes and riders

"We're moving forward in line with the planned schedule", reassures Piero Taramasso, MICHELIN Motorsport motorbike business manager. "From June onwards, will be able to focus on the rubber compounds needed for the various tracks. We intend to offer versatile tires that can be used by all bikes and all riders." That of course is not an easy task. After seven years with the same partner, MotoGP protagonists are set to discover new sensations.

Adjustments still required

"Obviously, riders get a different feeling from MICHELIN tires", explained Nicolas Goubert, Technical Director at Michelin. And the riders fully understand this. Each of the parties involved, riders, mechanics and tire technicians, need to adjust in order to develop a range of tires that meets the requirements of the sport. For the moment, it's up to us to roll up our sleeves. Our schedule allows us to be confident in reaching our objective."

Both riders and engineers will need to adjust to 17 inch rims. We have to work to make the front tires more "obliging". 

Pascal Sasso, technical correspondent for the MotoGP MICHELIN Motorsport team

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