Michelin says adios to MotoGP
Sunday's season-ending grand prix at Valencia will be Michelin's final MotoGP race, with the sport moving to a single tire supplier (Bridgestone) for 2009.
Michelin released the following statement:
"The spirit of competition has always been at the heart of Michelin. Racing has been a part of the company history and the company has been a part of racing history. MotoGP now becomes a one-make tire championship. Michelin is leaving MotoGP because there is no longer competition in the area of tires.
"After 36 years of MotoGP World Championship racing, Michelin would like to thank all the teams and pilots who put their trust in the Group during this period.
"Prior to the last MotoGP event in Valencia this coming weekend, 42 pilots won at least one race riding on Michelin tires, giving the brand 360 victories in Premier Class racing.
"In 1973, Jack Findlay became the first pilot to lead Michelin to a Premier Class Grand Prix victory during the mythic Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. He was also the first to test Michelin's Slick technology. It was then on Michelin slick tires that Barry Sheene won his first Grand Prix 500 title in 1976.
"In 1984, Randy Mamola brought Michelin's radial technology, mounted on both front and rear tires, home to victory. Randy Mamola, still racing in 2008, declares: “I am happy to have contributed to making this new radial technology a reality as all motorbike riders today can benefit from it”.
"Silica technology was developed and registered its first success with Mick Doohan on a rainy March 29th in 1992 at the Suzuka event in Japan.
"Throughout the 1994 season, our dual-rubber technology triumphed thanks to Mick Doohan, Kevin Schwantz, Luca Cadalora and John Kocinski.
"Marketed today under the name 2CT or Two-Compound Technology, our complete range of Michelin high performance motorbike tires benefits from it.
"Starting in 2002, Michelin's chemists introduced new synthetic rubber compounds, enabling Valentino Rossi to climb to the highest step of the podium. As a matter of fact, all 2002 victories were won on tires incorporating these revolutionary synthetic components.
"The first mass produced tire to benefit from these same synthetic rubber compounds was Michelin Pilot Power launched in 2004, only 2 short years after being introduced in MotoGP!
"Over the past 36 years, the Michelin brand was World Champion 26 times. Michelin wants to express its warmest thanks to all those who contributed to this success.
"As Michelin's competitive spirit is ingrained into its DNA and racing is a better way forward in the service of customers, the brand calls its motorbike supporters to forge ahead and meet up once again for new motor sports adventures in 2009 and beyond.
"Michelin, a Better Way Forward"