KING NICKY WINS ANOTHER WORLD TITLE FOR MICHELIN Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) won Michelin's 26th premier-class World Championship at Valencia today after the most exciting MotoGP season ever. The American's success completed...
KING NICKY WINS ANOTHER WORLD TITLE FOR MICHELIN
Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda Team RC211V-Michelin) won Michelin's 26th premier-class World Championship at Valencia today after the most exciting MotoGP season ever. The American's success completed Michelin's 100 per cent record in the five 990cc MotoGP World Championships and also secured its 15th consecutive premier-class crown.
2006 has been another year of phenomenal success for Michelin. The French tyre brand has won 13 of the year's 17 races, taken 11 pole positions, scored 12 fastest laps, filled 40 of 51 podium places and taken eight of the top nine World Championship positions.
Hayden won his first world title with a perfectly judged ride to third place this afternoon, after sole title rival Valentino Rossi (Gauloises Yamaha YZR-M1-Michelin) spoiled his chances by sliding off on lap five. The Italian, winner of the previous five premier-class titles, remounted to finish 13th and end the season just five points down on Hayden.
"Today was another dramatic day in what has been a dramatic season, our congratulations to Nicky for doing a great job," said Nicolas Goubert, who completed his stint as Michelin's director of motorcycle racing today, passing the baton to his successor Jean-Philippe Weber. "This has been another great season for us. The lap times kept improving during 2006, as they have done throughout the 990cc era, and I'm really happy that we have maintained the advantage in MotoGP that we had in 500 GPs. The world's three major motorcycle tyre manufacturers now compete head to head in MotoGP but we still come out well ahead every year, and that is something of which we are very proud. We had many good performances in 2006 and it was particularly good to win at Sepang, where we got beaten in 2005. Also, we have never been beaten in a wet MotoGP race!"
Hayden, winner of three MotoGP races with Michelin, said: "I'm still looking at the race results to make sure I'm not dreaming, but dreams do come true! Thanks to all the people who've been behind me - my family, my friends, Repsol Honda, Michelin, everyone. Michelin don't win all these races and world titles by being lucky, they put in the work and take the information from the riders. We've seen a lot of improvements since I first came to MotoGP, like the bigger front and the wider profile rears. I was the first guy to race the wider profile front last year, it gives me a lot more confidence and grip, especially into downhill corners. When I started using it last year my results really improved. The 2006 rear made a big difference for me because it gives more and when we started using this year's bike we were looking for more edge grip. I liked it as soon as I got on it."
Michelin has scored more than 350 victories in premier-class motorcycling racing since 1973.