Michelin planning MotoGP return in 2012?

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Michelin is plotting a shock return to the MotoGP world championship, MCN has learned.

The French factory hasn’t raced in MotoGP since the end of 2008 when the premier class switched to a controversial single tyre format.

Bridgestone was the only company to bid for the contract but rumours recently emerged that Michelin is contemplating a return, but only if competition is restored in MotoGP. 

The current single tyre contract with Bridgestone expires at the end of 2011 and Michelin is understood to be willing to return in 2012 for the start of the new 1000cc era, as long as the Japanese factory remains. MCN understands former race boss Nicolas Goubert is back in the competition department at Michelin after a spell in America and is certain to spearhead a potential return.

A source told MCN: “There is a big interest from Michelin to be back, but they would only do so if there was competition. But the concern is that with competition it is going to cost a lot with one trying to outdo the other.”

A decision would have to be taken soon with several factories beginning testing of their 2012 prototypes in the coming months. None will want to test and develop on tyres they may not race.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt