Magny Cours: Michelin season finale preview

Celebrating 16 years of Michelin victories. Since the start of the world Superbike championship in 1988, Michelin riders have won 267 races out of 385 (a 69.3% win record). Michelin won 25 out of 26 races in 2002 and 18 out of 22 this ...

Celebrating 16 years of Michelin victories.

Since the start of the world Superbike championship in 1988, Michelin riders have won 267 races out of 385 (a 69.3% win record). Michelin won 25 out of 26 races in 2002 and 18 out of 22 this year.

Michelin has taken 12 World Superbike titles out of 16.
1988: Fred Merkel (Honda)
1990: Raymond Roche (Ducati)
1994: Carl Fogarty (Ducati)
1995: Carl Fogarty (Ducati)
1996: Troy Corser (Ducati)
1997: John Kocinski (Honda)
1998: Carl Fogarty (Ducati)
1999: Carl Fogarty (Ducati)
2000: Colin Edwards (Honda)
2001: Troy Bayliss (Ducati)
2002: Colin Edwards (Honda)
2003: Neil Hodgson (Ducati)

Michelin would like to thank all the riders and teams they have worked with in World Superbike and World Supersport. Michelin and its partners have obtained some exceptional results over the years and the tyre specialist was already committed to reaching new heights in 2004. The French tyre giant's R&D teams never stop searching for even greater tyre performance and the company's 2004 development programme had already started. It is therefore with regret that Michelin learned of the new rules for 2004, when only one tyre manufacturer will be allowed to compete in the World Superbike championship.

Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin Motorsport Director sums up Michelin's position: "Michelin's racing philosophy is different. When the most successful tyre manufacturer in the history of the World Superbike championship goes racing, it is to show the quality of its products by pitting them against other brands. Michelin therefore deeply regrets that the authorities have decided to make this a single-tyre championship, depriving this series of all notion of a real championship."

Since 1988, Michelin's racing development has yielded major technological advances that have quickly been passed on to the firm's acclaimed production tyres. At the last round in Imola, on September 28, Ruben Xaus (Ducati Fila-Michelin) and Neil Hodgson (D ucati Fila-Michelin) showed just how impressive Michelin's road tyre technology is by dominating the slick-mounted opposition with treaded tyres on a dry track. The tread pattern was taken from Michelin's Pilot Race high performance road tyre range. "We wanted to show that well designed treaded Michelin tyres are competitive at the highest levels," explained Nicolas Goubert, Michelin's chief of motorcycling competitions. "Grand Prix motorcycles are prototypes and should continue using slicks. But today, with Ducati's much-appreciated help, I think we've shown that treaded tyres are perfectly well suited to production-based Superbikes."

Michelin used the treaded tyres in the second race, won by Ruben Xaus. "The tyres were fine," he smiled after the race. "Michelin wanted to show to everyone that they can win with a street tyre design and they did today. We did even better lap times than the slick tyres in race one." 2003 World Superbike champion Neil Hodgson was also happy with the tyres. "They gave a lot of feeling and grip in that second race, " he said.

First tests at Magny-Cours.

On October 2, Neil Hodgson set a time of 1'41.5 around the recently modified 4.411 km Magny-Cours circuit, in difficult, damp and windy conditions. The following day, Ruben Xaus lapped in 1'41.9.

On September 30, Troy Corser (Foggy Petronas Racing-Michelin) set an impressive 1'41.84 on race tyres at the French circuit. "We used our time here to complete more throttle connection mapping work," explained team manager Nigel Bosworth. "We also made good progress in the development of the oil and lubricant programme that we are undertaking alongside Petronas."

Michelin and Magny-Cours.

Michelin brings a total of 600 tyres (400 rears and 200 fronts), wet and dry, for this race. Sizes are 19 / 67-420 (16,5 inch) for rear slicks, rain tyres and intermediates. Front tyre sizes are 12/60-420 (16.5 inch) tyres.

Michelin's on-site personnel includes one team manager and two tyre fitters.

-michelin-

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Troy Bayliss , Colin Edwards , Neil Hodgson , Ruben Xaus , Troy Corser , Carl Fogarty , Fred Merkel