Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed the compound choices for the first eight 2020 grands prix. Pirelli has made two interesting decisions in this list. First, the softest C5 compound will not feature, a fact most probably informed by the lack of a street circuit in the current calendar. Secondly, the Silverstone double-header on 2 and 9 August will get two different sets of compounds, with C1-3 at the first grand prix, and C2-4 at the second. This will provide an interesting comparison for fans, and gives the tyre manufacturer another chance to discuss the effects different tyre compounds can have on F1 racing.
Following months of testing, Michelin has introduced a new construction rear tyre for the upcoming MotoGP season. This latest evolution of the Michelin Power Slick rear tyre features a construction aimed at improving lap times through an increase in performance and stability. Following in-house testing, MotoGP riders were given their first taste of the tyre at the Catalunya test at Barcelona in June.
Sales of Michelin motorcycle tyres have doubled within the past five years. The tyre maker also aims to double sales again in the coming five, and will be aided here by a comprehensive renewal within its two-wheeler tyre portfolio in 2020. No less than nine new products will be introduced next year, a line-up expected to represent a quarter of Michelin’s sales within this segment. The new additions are currently on display at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, Italy
Piaggio Group’s technical flagship, Aprilia Racing, has joined forces with global lubricant brand Gulf in a multi-year partnership deal for the world’s top motorbike racing championship. After two years working together in global motorcycle racing’s upper echelons – in the World Superbike Championship – Gulf and Aprilia Racing are making the step up into the pinnacle of motorbike racing, MotoGP, thanks to a new multi-year partnership. Gulf offers both fuel retail and in lubricants, boasting a wide product portfolio in all sectors from automotive to industrial.
Liqui Moly has added Superbike World Championship (World SBK) support for the Italian GRT Yamaha team to its MotoGP involvement. The team sponsorship will mean the company’s logo will be displayed on the motorcycles, racing overalls, team truck, and at the official Yamaha hospitality, while the team will have access to Liqui Moly motorcycle products, including more than its core oil and additive products.
Michelin has produced a second video covering its engagement as MotoGP tyre supplier. The English-subtitled video follows on from the short film released at the end of the 2016 season, Michelin’s first as exclusive supplier following an eight-year hiatus, and takes a behind-the-scenes look at the French tyre firm’s latest achievements in the sport.
Exide Technologies has announced a sponsorship deal with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in this season’s MotoGP championship. The company says it views this new arrangement, which will expose Exide to a potential audience of millions around the world, as an “attractive marketing proposition.” As part of the sponsorship deal, the Exide logo will appear on Franco Morbidelli’s bike, team livery and in team promotional material.
Dunlop will supply tyres to the 2018 ADAC Northern Europe Cup, one of Europe’s premium lightweight motorcycle racing championships. For its third season the series will comprise seven races, with all competitors running on the brand’s rubber. This brings its tyre supply into line with the Dorna Sports SL European Talent Cup, launched in 2017, in which the two world championship classes, Moto3 and Moto2, race exclusively on tyres from Dunlop.
Having drawn upon experience in World Endurance and national championships when developing tyres for its return to MotoGP after an absence of seven years, in 2016 Michelin experienced an inaugural season in which it claimed to have engineered more developments than during its seven years working in other motorcycle racing disciplines. When the fun began again in Qatar in March, Michelin already had a season as tyre supplier under its belt, and accordingly the focus had shifted to building upon this flurry of engineering work.
Since the Moto2 category of the F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship was launched in 2010, it has known only one tyre supplier. The same applies to the Moto3 class, which began in 2012 – both have run solely on Dunlop tyres since their inauguration. This status as official tyre supplier for both classes – which form an integral part of MotoGP race weekends – has now been extended to cover the 2018 to 2020 seasons. In addition to remaining as tyre supplier, Dunlop will also continue to promote its #ForeverForward Award.
Nicolas Goubert, currently deputy director, technical director of the Michelin Racing Group and supervisor of Michelin’s MotoGP programme, will take up a new position at Dorna Sports next February. He has been appointed executive director of upcoming electric motorcycle championship, the FIM Moto-e World Cup.
Last year, Michelin made its MotoGP ‘comeback’ after an absence of eight years. Based on the experiences of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, series organiser Dorna Sports has now confirmed the tyre maker’s status as official supplier of tyres to the MotoGP World Championship for five additional seasons over and above the existing arrangement. The contract’s extension until 2023 was announced on Saturday at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in the presence of Pascal Couasnon, Michelin motorsport director, and Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive officer of Dorna Sports.
After an absence of eight years from MotoGP – a period of time described by Michelin as “an eternity at this level of competition” – the manufacturer returned as tyre supplier to the series this year. Michelin was faced with the task of providing the highest performance from the very first day and winning the trust of riders. The tyre maker has now released a video it says tells the “inside story” of its return to MotoGP.
This weekend’s MotoGP round at Phillip Island is officially titled the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, and the tyre maker’s engagement in the event isn’t limited to name sponsorship and tyre supply. The Australian MotoGP round will also be the launch venue for a tyre that Michelin believes will become the “sport motorcycle road market’s new benchmark.”
To mark its return to MotoGP, Michelin chose the 2016 Grand Prix de France to take the wraps off the new Pilot Power 3 MotoGP Ltd Edition tyre, a range whose production is limited to 5,000 pairs. The Michelin Pilot Power 3 MotoGP Ltd Edition will go on sale in Europe on 1 June and be available in the front wheel size 120/70 ZR 17 (58W) and rear wheel 180/55 ZR 17 (73W), sizes Michelin says fit a large selection of sports bikes. Each and every tyre will feature the official MotoGP logo on the sidewall.