Michelin Contemplates MotoGP Withdrawal
Michelin may bow out of MotoGP racing at the end of the current season if the Honda and Yamaha factory teams switch to Bridgestone for 2008, reports Eurosport.
After ruling the roost for a number of years, the 2007 season has seen Michelin’s fortunes decline, with Bridgestone shod rider Casey Stoner securing eight victories in contrast to Michelin’s four. Both Yamaha and Repsol Honda’s tyre contracts are due for renewal at the end of this year, and to date neither party has offered any firm indication that they intend to re-sign with Michelin.
Should Michelin not retain its factory teams, it may choose to end its relationship with the championship. “If we don’t have any factory teams I don’t think we’ll stay. Or we won’t have a really good reason to continue the development,” Jean Philippe Weber, Michelin’s director of motorcycle racing, told Eurosport. “If our partners don’t trust in our potential then maybe we don’t have to stay.”
World champion Nicky Hayden reportedly commented that Repsol Honda are certainly open to the possibility of continuing with Michelin, but this course of action is by no means set in concrete. “There’s still a lot of racing this year to see what Michelin can come up with,” he said.