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.
Valentino Rossi won a sixth premier-class victory on Michelin tyres – his first of 2016 – at Jerez, Spain, having started from pole. The nine-time world champion got the hole-shot on his Yamaha and led into the first corner, increasing his lead over a pack led by current champion Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha and Honda’s championship leader, Marc Marquez. Rossi’s faultless race meant he was never under pressure, winning by more than two seconds.
MotoGP factory riders were given a foretaste of the Michelin tyres they will race next season during a test at Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia on 26 February. The French company proposed a choice of four front tyres with different profiles and construction, and three rears. The day’s overriding objective was to harvest the riders’ first impressions in order to obtain a more precise idea of the best front/rear combination to develop over the coming months.
A condition Michelin says must be fulfilled before it considers a return to Formula 1 tyre supply is the change from the 13-inch tyres now used to an 18-inch size. Therefore, the decision made by the tyre maker and Renault Sport Technologies to evaluate the use of 18-inch tyres in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship – a series it views as a “springboard for drivers looking to reach Formula 1” – could be viewed as Michelin taking a step closer towards picking up where it left off in 2006. The two parties are also looking into using 17-inch tyres in the Formula Renault 2.0 championship.