MotoGP: Michelin extend one-make tyre deal until 2023

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French firm Michelin have confirmed that they will extend their deal as MotoGP’s sole tyre manufacturer until at least 2023, adding five more years to the contract that saw them take over as sole supplier from Bridgestone at the start of the 2016 championship.

The deal, announced today at the Michelin-sponsored Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, is a significant extension to the deal – but Director of Michelin Motorsport Pascal Couasnon says that after the successes of the past two years, it was a no-brainer for them to extend.

“After two seasons that have seen tyre performance and strategy make a real contribution to the show delivered by motorcycle racing’s premier series, Dorna Sports has decided to extend its collaboration with Michelin as technical partner and exclusive tyre supplier to MotoGP for the next five years. We are naturally delighted to have earned the confidence of Carmelo Ezpeleta and his team.

“Michelin intends to use its continuing association with Dorna Sports to continue developing ever-safer and more competitive racing tyres, as well as innovations that will go on to benefit our road tyres. Michelin is also delighted to continue working with the teams and riders who gave us such a warm welcome back after our absence from the championship and also to be able to build on the sense of pride felt by our staff following our successful return to MotoGP.”

The return of Michelin to the premier class has seen a major change in the championship from the Bridgestone days, with tyres now playing a key part in race weekend strategy – something that championship contender Andrea Dovizioso said last week has been a key part in his renaissance this season.

“With Bridgestone, there wasn’t a strategy. Everyone was fast or everyone was slow. But now, it’s better because with Michelin you have to have a strategy every time, you have to manage the tyres and understand when to push, and you have to ride in a way to save the tyres as well as to be fast. I like it like this, but I am a thinking rider and I can have a plan!”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer