When Bridgestone reported it would withdraw its role as the official tire supplier for MotoGP at the end of the 2015 season, Dorna Sports, the governing body of MotoGP, began taking applications.After it has “clearly proven its technical abilities to respond to the needs of a demanding Grand Prix racing schedule,” Michelin was signed as the official tire supplier from 2016-2018.
This week, Dorna Sports announced this official MotoGP tire supplier agreement has been extended through 2023.Michelin, based in Clermont-Ferrand in France, joined MotoGP as sole supplier in 2016. Since then, the premier class has enjoyed two of the most spectacular seasons in the 69-year history of motorcycle Grand Prix racing – something both parties are delighted to extend for a further five years.As part of the agreement, the Michelin brand will also continue to be featured trackside at each event – and will be the title sponsor of a Grand Prix. The Micheli® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in 2017 makes the perfect stage from which to announce this contract as MotoGP™ prepares to take on the fabled Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in another classic encounter.Pascal Couasnon, Director of Michelin Motorsport, says “After two seasons that have seen tyre performance and strategy make a real contribution to the show delivered by motorcycle racing’s premier series, DORNA Sports has decided to extend its collaboration with Michelin as technical partner and exclusive tyre supplier to MotoGP™ for five more years.“We are naturally delighted to have earned the confidence of Carmelo Ezpeleta and his team. Michelin intends to use its continuing association with DORNA Sports to continue developing ever-safer and more competitive racing tires, as well as innovations that will go on to benefit our road tires. Michelin is also delighted to continue working with the teams and riders who gave us such a warm welcome back after our absence from the championship and also to be able to build on the sense of pride felt by our staff following our successful return to MotoGP.”Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports, says “I am delighted that MotoGP and Michelin will continue their collaboration for a further five years. MotoGP has only continued to grow, excite and thrill fans since Michelin came on board as sole tire supplier in 2016, and we are proud that our partnership will once again form the foundations of a further five years of stunning racing. This is fantastic news for the Championship, teams and riders as we look to the future.”
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!