A One-Two Finish for MICHELIN at Albacete

The second round, in Albacete, Spain, saw Michelin Motorcycle tires claim the top two places thanks to its partners BMW Motorrad France and Yamaha GMT 94. The eight-hour marathon enabled MICHELIN to showcase its expertise round this difficult circuit where teams faced a particularly broad range of temperatures.

The second round of the 2011 Endurance World Championship at Albacete, Spain, saw MICHELIN tyres claim the top two places thanks to its partners BMW Motorrad France and Yamaha GMT 94. The eight-hour marathon enabled MICHELIN to showcase its expertise round this difficult circuit where teams faced a particularly broad range of temperatures.

It might not be the championship’s most technically demanding venue, but Albacete is always a big challenge for tyre manufacturers. The chief reasons for this are its high number of turns, the abrasive nature of its surface and the big fluctuations in temperature between the daylight and night-time phases of the race. To be competitive here, tyres must be extremely versatile and MICHELIN’s range rose to the challenge of the Spanish track with flying colours…

Philippe MUSSATI (manager of MICHELIN Competition’s two-wheel racing programmes): “Albacete is reputed for being very hard on tyres and we had to carefully tailor the range we took there for our partner teams. Track temperatures of around 40°C called for competitive, durable and versatile products, which are three essentially opposing qualities. Yet the combination of our engineers’ excellent development work and the first class job the teams did setting up their bikes gave our partners a certain edge throughout the race. The BMW set a new lap record for the track during qualifying before going on to dominate the race, while Yamaha GMT 94 quickly made its mark to secure an unchallenged second place. Indeed, only two bikes succeeded in lapping under the 1m32s mark during the race, and they were the BMW and YART Yamaha, which had the honour of posting the fastest race lap (1m31.609s). It’s such a shame that YART ran out of fuel at one point, because we were heading for a MICHELIN one-two-three at that stage. I would also like to underline DG Sport’s outstanding run in the Superstock class. Had it not been for a fall, they could well have finished on the podium.”

This MICHELIN one-two has boosted the positions of the firm’s partners in the provisional world championship standings. BMW Motorrad France is now just two points short of the current leader, while Yamaha GMT 94 has moved up to third spot.


Motorcycles in the Dakar Rally Ride on Michelin Tires

MICHELIN is taking part in the 2011 Dakar Rally (Moto class event) – December 30th – January 16th, alongside its official partners KTM, BMW, Aprilia and Yamaha – with the MICHELIN Desert
Race tires developed specifically for the new 450cc bikes.

The new tire is the result of MICHELIN’s 30 years of experience in cross-country rallying.  Developed by engineers at the MICHELIN Technology Center in Clermont-Ferrand, the MICHELIN Desert Race has been adapted for the new 450cc prototype factory bikes.  The 450cc bikes developed by manufacturers make different demands on tires than the 690cc bikes of the past,” explains Christopher Chatras, head of off-road motorcycle racing. “The new machines are lighter, their weight is apportioned differently and the engine power is more effectively managed and transferred to the ground. In fact, the 450cc factory bikes deliver very high performance and thus make considerable demands on tires. The new MICHELIN Desert Race was developed for use with these new-generation motorcycles. It’s a versatile product that is suitable for the Dakar Rally’s different kinds of terrain, such as rocky trails and sand.

The B-mousse puncture-resistance system was developed in the early 1980s by MICHELIN, which won the 1983 Dakar Rally with Hubert Auriol. Bib-mousse is a ring of foam that provides constant tire pressure of 1.2 bar. Bib-mousse technology eliminates inner tubes and thus the need for air-inflated tires. It’s lighter than an inner tube and delivers superior performance thanks to end-of-process weight gains. But above all Bib-mousse is reassuring to riders. Because the ring of foam is highly impact-resistant, it prevents the sudden blowouts that bikers fear.

Since last summer, the new MICHELIN Desert Race has undergone some 3,000 kilometers of tests in race conditions, including a number of stages of the Shamrock Rally. The results speak for themselves.”

The MICHELIN Desert Race has a symmetrical tread that is deeply grooved on the shoulders, with more widely spaced tread blocks. The new tread delivers improved handling, grip and responsiveness and makes it easier to maintain a trajectory without sacrificing the longevity and versatility that have built the reputation of MICHELIN’s cross-country tires. The MICHELIN Desert Race was designed for use with the Bib-mousse safety system.