Michelin's Edouard Michelin speaks out

Free Choice Should Reign in MotoGP Michelin Group Chairman and CEO Edouard Michelin today underlined the company's opposition to the introduction of so-called control tyres to MotoGP. Although no official proposal has been made in favour of ...

Free Choice Should Reign in MotoGP

Michelin Group Chairman and CEO Edouard Michelin today underlined the company's opposition to the introduction of so-called control tyres to MotoGP. Although no official proposal has been made in favour of control tyres, a small number of individuals within the MotoGP paddock have suggested confining the World Championship to a single brand of tyre. Michelin, however, is strongly in favour of free competition continuing to reign in motorcycling's premier race series.

"Racing is all about competition, that's fairly obvious," said Monsieur Michelin, visiting the Sachsenring along with Michelin's motorcycle and car competitions chief Pierre Dupasquier. "It's about the competition between riders' talent and thecompetition between the technical companies involved.

"I think that maybe tyres are more crucial in MotoGP than in any other motorsport, so being able to choose your own tyres is, in our view, absolutely fundamental to the spirit of the racing and to racing competition. I think it would a disastrous,catastrophic decision to shift from free choice to control tyres, because that would be the first step to one-make racing, where everyone has the same tyres and the same bikes. That kind of racing may be good in some classes, but it would be a shame in any premier class. It wouldn't so much be a shame for the tyre companies but a shame for the fans, who want to see everyone always pushing towards maximum performance."

World Superbike adopted a control tyre system for this year's series. At last weekend's Laguna Seca round the top riders in the national championship support race, who can use whatever tyres they choose, were around one second a lap faster than thequickest men in the World Superbike races, who are restricted to a single tyre of brand.

While affirming his commitment to unbridled competition in MotoGP, Monsieur Michelin also described his delight at the increasing level of competition between tyre brands. "When I last came to a motorcycle GP at Valencia three years ago, before thefour-stroke era, I complained about one thing -- that we lacked competition," he added. "I said this situation isn't normal for us and it's also boring for us. Our MotoGP team works very hard to continually improve the performance of our product, race after race, year after year, and now we are entering a more normal situation thanks to increased commitment from some of our competitors in MotoGP. We are very excited to be working in a more competitive landscape, because it makes the racing more exciting for us and for everyone. Competition is part of Michelin's philosophy -- we want to earn our reputation through the excellence of our product. That is what stimulates us."

Although Michelin believes that free choice is vital in premier-class racing, the company also believes that well thought-out technical regulations must always ensure that safety is maintained, that the quality of the show for the fans isguaranteed and that costs are kept under control.

-michelin-

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Series MotoGP