Michelin Preparing for 24 Hours of Le Mans
The pre-race trials held on March 31 and April 1 for the 24 Hours of Le Mans will enable the Michelin Power Research Team to continue preparing for the celebrated motorcycle race and choose the correct tyres for its race entry. The Michelin Power Research Team’s blue No. 63 Honda CBR 1000, ridden by William Costes, Hugo Marchand and Josep Monge, is intended to serve as a research laboratory that allows Michelin to pursue its tyre development in real racing conditions.
For Michelin, the most important purpose of the trials is to gather as much data as possible, which will be analysed directly on the track to enable adjustments in the motorcycle and help in the selection of tyres. The tyres to be used for daytime riding, at temperatures ranging from 15° to 40° C, were selected during the first test sessions, which were held at the Le Mans track on March 17 and 18. The upcoming session will be used to help choose low-temperature tyres for the night riding portion of the race and, weather permitting, to validate rain tires that have already been track-tested in Valencia, Spain, notably with the Yamaha Austria Racing Team. At the same time, the Honda CBR 1000 RR is still being adapted to Endurance World Championship standards.
According to Jean-Philippe Weber, Michelin Two-Wheel competitions manager, the team’s main objective is to “acquire as much technical data as possible which will then be integrated into the design and development of street tyres.” That’s because Michelin’s involvement in racing only makes sense if it enables all motorcyclists to benefit from technological breakthroughs developed in high-level competition, where tyres are subject to the most extreme conditions of use.
The trials thus, says Michelin, provide it with an opportunity to continue developing its all-new racing tyre, the Michelin Power One, in true-to-life race conditions. The 24-hour races scheduled for Le Mans’ Bugatti circuit take place on April 18 and 19, and three motorcycles will fitted with the Michelin Power One will participate.