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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 337 > MICHELINAND MOTOGP

MICHELINAND MOTOGP

A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN?

RACE FEATURE

After seven years away fromMotorcycle Grand Prix paddocks, 2016 saw the return of French tyre manufacturer Michelin as the sole supplier to MotoGP. We crashed Michelin’s end of season party to eat all their frogs’ legs and find out what really goes on behind the scenes.

WORDS: BOOTHY IMAGES: ROB GRAYPOLARITY

MICHELIN MOTOGP

The circle of life (racing life, that is).
Everything needed to be developed from scratch, including wets.

This wasn’t the first time Michelin have had their party ruined – after a brutal tyre war with Bridgestone during the 2008 MotoGP Championship, the FIM (MotoGP’s governing body) and Dorna (MotoGP’s promoter) announced that the Japanese tyre giant would be the sole supplier of rubber to the premier class. Fast-forward five years and after having “achieved everything we set out to do when we entered the championship 10 years ago”, according to Kyota Futami, the then General Manager of Bridgestone’s Global Motorsport Department, they decided enough was enough and announced they would be leaving the paddock at the close of the 2015 season. After a three-week tender process, the Michelin Man came out singing and dancing and signed a three-year contract to supply rubber to all the teams on the MotoGP grid. Now, two years into their term, we take a look at what it takes to follow the GP circus around the world, manufacture a range of tyres to suit all different circuits, bikes and riding styles and to work with the best motorcycle racers in the world.

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In this month's issue of Fast Bikes ... - Free 32 page guide 2018 Fast bikes style - Top 7 used nakeds - V4 Vendetta new Ducati Panigale set to rule - Yamaha MT-09 SP: King of bling Kitted street naked for the amsses - The virtues of V4 electric bikes on track - Michelin talks motogp - Panigale models explored - Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5 buyer's guide & much more