Michelin Desert Race tyre helps teams to top Dakar podium on its debut
Michelin has reported the success of the maiden competitive appearance of the Michelin Desert Race tyre on the 2011 Dakar. Last Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina Spanish rider Marc Coma and his MRW Rally Factory Team-run KTM and Frenchman Cyril Despres with Team Red Bull KTM finished first and second respectively, both having run on the new Michelin tyre. The tough 9,500km event included 5,000km of against-the-clock action over some of Argentina and Chile's most difficult tracks and trails.
From the rocky foothills of the Andes Mountains to the sand of the awesome Atacama Desert, the versatility of the Michelin Desert Race helped Coma to take the inherent difficulties and hazards of the famous rally in his stride to collect the third Dakar win of his career. It was also Michelin’s 28th success in this competition since 1982.
The new Michelin Desert Race is a product of three decades’ cross-country rallying. It was specially designed for the latest-generation 450cc factory prototypes and its development in the hands of engineers working out of the firm’s Technologies Center near Clermont-Ferrand, France, started in March 2010.
The Michelin Desert Race is designed to function with the ‘Bib-mousse’ run-flat safety system introduced by Michelin in the early 1980s and which is readily available across the counter (the tyre itself is not yet on general sale). Michelin’s front-running motorcycle racers praised the enhanced agility and grip, improved lateral road holding and outstanding durability the new tyre brought them during the event.
Michelin says the Dakar is the world’s most gruelling cross-country competition, and as such stands out as a first class, full-scale proving ground for tyres. The extreme conditions delivered by the Dakar allow new technologies to be put through their paces in a uniquely exacting environment and provide a laboratory which directly benefits all users of Michelin products.
The new Desert Race is only available to Michelin’s official partner rally teams and riders.