Michelin’s decade of innovation and success in motorsport

In the course of the past 10 years, Michelin’s increasingly sophisticated, energy-efficient, consistent and, now, connected tyres collected more than 300 world-class victories in disciplines as varied as MotoGP, endurance racing, rallying and Formula E. 

Michelin’s first Formula 1 world titles

In 1979, Michelin demonstrated the superiority of its radial tyre technology by claiming the first of its titles in the Formula 1 World Championship. Forty years on, the French firm continues to see motorsport as a means to innovate and take its technologies forward, especially in competitions that place the accent on sustainable mobility and lasting performance. 

Bol d’Or: Kawasaki SRC salvages victory at Magny-Cours!

The last Bol d’Or to be held at Nevers Magny-Cours will be remembered as one of most entertaining in recent years. Difficult conditions led to a record number of falls up and down the leaderboard, but that didn’t prevent Kawasaki SRC from collecting its third straight Bol d’Or victory. Second place ended up in the hands of GMT 94 (Michelin), while Junior Team Suzuki added a top-three finish to its triumph in the Superstock class.

The 46 starters faced wet conditions for the start of the race which saw Vincent Philippe (SERT) leap from third on the grid to emerge in front out of the first turn, as the pole-winning N°111 Honda tucked in behind in second place. Grégory Leblanc, who started from 16th on the grid, fell on Lap 6, dropping the N°11 Kawasaki to 29th position overall.

The first hour of the race was marked by numerous other falls, while choosing the ideal rubber for the consistently changing weather proved a complex exercise from start to finish.

As GMT 94 settled into third place at nightfall Saturday, SERT and Honda Racing spent a long time trading first place as a function of their respective pit stop strategies. Honda Racing then appeared to gain a slight edge over SERT but the balance tipped the other way when rain resumed during the seventh hour. The N°1 Suzuki pitted at once to switch to rain tyres before rapidly pulling out a big enough cushion to be able to re-join in the lead after its following refuelling stop. Shortly before midnight, SERT’s lead was further extended when the N°111 Honda suffered a costly fall, allowing GMT 94 through into second place.

SERT’s hopes of adding a 16th Bol d’Or win to its record were annihilated, however, when Erwan Nigon, then Vincent Philippe fell just shortly after the halfway point. Confirmation of the team’s retirement came soon afterwards. Suddenly, GMT 94 was in front for the very first time but Honda Racing succeeded in wrestling back top spot at daybreak. The situation was not to last, though, since the N°111 Honda was cruelly eliminated by a transmission problem with three hours remaining.

Just before that, the N°94 Yamaha had suffered significant damage in a fall when Freddy Foray was caught out by an unexpected change in grip. That allowed Grégory Leblanc and Nicolas Salchaud (who had spent the night battling to bring the N°11 Kawasaki back onto the provisional podium; team-mate Lagrive only completed two stints after sustaining a back injury on in free practice on Thursday) to appear at the top of the timing screens at 11:47am (Lap 643).

The green team then held firm to collect victory after completing 743 laps, five more than the second-placed Yamaha of GMT 94’s Checa/Foray/Gines.

The early Superstock leader Junior Team Suzuki suffered a similar fate to Kawasaki SRC when it, too, lost ground following a fall during the opening hour. The N°72 Suzuki then took advantage of its rivals’ problems to claw its way back to the class win and third overall. Team Viltaïs Expérience (Michelin) and BMRT 3D Endurance were second and third in the production class respectively. Third in EWC was the N°50 Suzuki (Motors Events).

Next round: 8 Hours of Suzuka, Japan (July 27).


Michelin on the virtual racing front

The coronavirus pandemic has obviously brought real motorsport to a halt, but many of Michelin’s driver partners have been keeping their eye in thanks to virtual races like Sebring SuperSaturday, e-Sport MotoGP and Porsche Supercup Virtual Edition.

24H du Mans

Le Mans 2020 put back 98 days

Initially scheduled for the weekend of June 13-14, this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours has been postponed until mid-September due to the coronavirus outbreak. The 1968 race was also held in September and saw Michelin provide new radial tyres for its partner Alpine.


Rally Mexico Win #6 for Ogier

Sébastien Ogier steered his Michelin LTX Force-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC to victory this weekend to earn his sixth success in Mexico. However, Round 3 of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship was brought to an early close due to the coronavirus outbreak.


FIA WRC - 2020 Rally Guanajuato Mexico - Racecard

The Rally Mexico is the season’s opening gravel round and a big challenge for the Michelin tyres! Get our racecard to find out more about the 3rd round of the 2020

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