MotoGP's First Winning Bike on Show at Michelin

Honda Racing Corporation today made available to Michelin the motorcycle which made history by winning the very first race in the MotoGP World Championship, ridden by Valentino Rossi. The Honda RC211V was handed over by HRC's Managing Director Satoru Hori ike to Michelin's Managing Partner, Rene Zingraff at a presentation at the Michelin Museum in Clermont Ferrand, France.

The Honda motorcycle took victory in the 2002 Suzuka MotoGP race which opened the new era of top class racing, when 500cc two-stroke machines were replaced by the all-powerful 990cc 4-stroke machines. This new challenge for bike and tyre manufacturers ali ke was dominated by Honda and Michelin, who won fourteen of the 2002 season's 16 races together -- 11 of them with Valentino Rossi -- with Michelin also claiming the other two races for a 100% record.

Honda Racing Corporation's senior management, Managing Director Satoru Horiike, Repsol Honda Team Manager, MakatoTanaka and Kyoichi Yoshii, Large Project Leader of the RC211V project were in Clermont for a series of meetings and a visit to Michelin's Test and Research Centre in Ladoux. The day ended with the presentation, made at the company's Centre d'Information et de Rencontre, which houses Michelin's Museum, with Michelin's senior management present.

Mr Horiike said, "We are very pleased to be able to provide this bike on loan to Michelin for their Museum.  Michelin and Honda have been partners for a long time and have scored many, many race wins together.  We have shared no less than 13 500cc and Moto
GP world rider championship titles.  Their technical input and professionalism is incredibly important to us.  In motorcycle racing, the tyre plays a crucial role and we are very happy to have Michelin as our tyre partner."

In reply, M. Zingraff said "I am delighted to accept this Honda motorcycle on behalf of Michelin. We are very proud of our results in motorsport and in motorcycle racing in particular. We have been involved for over 30 years and have a fantastic record o f wins and championships. Our relationship with Honda in racing has played a significant part in this success and I want to thank Horiike-San for his company's confidence in us. I am also pleased to say that technical partnerships like this help us enorm ously in developing high performance tyres for road-going motorcycles as well, as our latest Michelin Pilot Power range proves."

The Honda RC211V, which is on long-term loan from Honda, will be on display in Michelin's museum in Clermont Ferrand.