Latest News From Michelin New Zealand
16 February 2016
Having become the official FIM MotoGP™ World Championship tyre supplier in 2016, Michelin extend their involvement in the MotoGP™ category as they become the title sponsor of the Australian GP.
The Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix will take place on the 23rd of October and is always a fan favourite. The Phillip Island circuit was first part of the Grand Prix calendar in 1989 and has produced some of the most incredible races in recent decades. 2015 produced a particularly unforgettable battle as four riders swapped positions for the win.
Bibendum, the Michelin Man, will of course be in attendance at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix with further signage throughout the circuit. This agreement further emphasises the dedication of Michelin to the MotoGP™ championship, the Australian GP one of the most popular races amongst fans and riders.
The Phillip Island circuit will push the new Michelin tyres to their limits as MotoGP™ riders race down the Gardner Straight and into Doohan Corner with speeds reaching almost 350 km/h down the straight. With extensive testing having already been performed there is little doubt the French built tyres will once again help to producing jaw dropping action.
Gary Guthrie, Michelin President 2-wheel tyre division declared: "Michelin is back in MotoGP this year to take up a new technological challenge that will help us to enhance the performance of our road tyres of tomorrow in line with our ‘track to street’ policy. Michelin is currently expanding in all its Asian/Pacific markets where motorcycling is often the most common form of private transport. The opportunity DORNA has given us to associate Michelin with the Australian GP, which is one of the MotoGP rounds that bikers from all over the planet invariably look forward to the most eagerly, is a tremendous lever for us. It will enable us to reinforce the bond and engagement that exists between the Michelin brand and bikers right across this part of the world.
Pau Serracanta, Managing Director, Commercial Area at Dorna Sports, added: “To come as the title sponsor of a Grand Prix as iconic as the Australian GP demonstrates the true dedication that Michelin have to the FIM MotoGP World Championship. We have had great races around Phillip Island for almost three decades and thanks to Michelin tyres this looks set to continue. Tyres are one of the most critical parts of a motorcycle and we are pleased to help Michelin develop their tyres for the road with the research and data they gather via MotoGP.”
BMW M has announced that its M2 MotoGP Safety Car will take to the racetracks of the world in 2016 shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres in 245/35 ZR 19 front and 265/35 ZR 19 rear sizes.
In 2016, Michelin makes a return to MotoGP as the sole tyre supplier and this partnership with BMW means that not only will the race bikes be showcasing Michelin’s technological leadership, but it will also be demonstrated on the Safety Car that makes an appearance at the start of each race.
The Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are constructed using technologies developed in races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and this will ensure that the Safety Car drivers will be able to safely maintain high circuit speeds whenever it takes to the track.
The tyres feature a unique combination of three Michelin technologies: an aramid belt, the Bi-Compound tread band and the Track Variable Contact Patch 3.0.
The aramid belt used in the Pilot Sport Cup 2 is made of a high-density fibre primarily used in aeronautics and protective military gear, whose key feature is its high strength. Strong and light at the same time, aramid is five times more resistant than steel at an equivalent weight. Due to its variable tension, the belt is tighter in the tread area compared to the shoulders, centrifugal force is more effectively controlled and pressure is more evenly distributed ensuring a consistent contact patch shape, even at very high speeds.
Bi-Compound technology uses different rubber compounds on the left and right sides of the tread. On the outer shoulder, an elastomer ensures exceptional endurance during cornering, while on the inside, a different elastomer combines with a special tread design to enable the tyre, on wet surfaces, to break through the water’s surface and adhere to even the slightest irregularities in the road.
The innovative feature of the Track Variable Contact Patch 3.0 is that it changes shape depending on real-time driving conditions, thereby guaranteeing total vehicle control. In this way, even as the patch’s shape changes when cornering, the amount of rubber in contact with the track surface remains the same.
From its market launch in early 2016, the BMW M2 Coupe road cars will be equipped exclusively with specially developed versions of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, in the same 245/35 ZR 19 front and 265/35 ZR 19 rear sizes as used by the Safety Car.
The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 makes a considerable contribution to the dynamic abilities of the BMW M2 Safety Car and, at the same time, ensures impressive ride comfort and tyre life. This performance balance reflects the successful transfer of technology from track to street, as well as close cooperation with the car manufacturer, initiated several years ago for the BMW M5 project and seen on recent BMW M models including the M3, M4, M6, X5 M and X6 M.
The exceptional high speed, long run performance of the Michelin GT tyres was on display at this weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
In one of the toughest races of the year, Michelin tyres have delivered the exceptional performance that they have become known for on this track – long lasting, consistent, and safe – delivering everything the drivers needed to perform on track.
This weekend saw Michelin’s Motorsport Manager Pascal Couasnon make his first trip to Bathurst.
“Congratulations to our partners at the Bathurst 12 Hour! We are proud to have four cars in the top five today – and of course to we are proud to have helped our Porsche partners to finish 1st and 3rd in Class B,” said Mr Couasnon.
“All our partners this weekend ran our commercial GT tyres, or the tyre we run in Carrera Cup racing. These are the same tyres that our partners run around the world in all conditions, and we are pleased to have delivered such a strong performance.”
From Friday, the Michelin technicians were working with their partner teams to determine the best strategy for the race. It became clear that not only would the Michelin tyres be able to easily manage a double stint, but that the performance would be consistent throughout the stint. Indeed the fastest lap of the day was set on tyres that had done over 600km.
During the race this performance was particularly evident with the majority of their partners setting their quickest lap times towards the end of double stints. This included the NISMO team, who set the quickest lap time of their race on lap 296, just one lap before they crossed the line to finish second. This time was set when the track was still very hot, and after the tyres had been run for two full stints.
Erebus Motorsport also saw particularly impressive performance of their soft Michelin tyres, running three stints, 551.8km, or 88 laps on one set in the early part of the race. This was achieved by the #36 while running at the front of the field at a high pace.
This weekend also saw Michelin join forces with long-time partner, and reigning Le Mans 24 Hour winner, Earl Bamber in a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car. The combination of Bamber, Porsche and Michelin again proved unbeatable, with the Grove Racing team winning by 15 laps.
The team saw exceptional tyre life from their Michelin tyres, using just four new sets during the race.
“It was awesome to be back here at the Mountain with the Grove Racing team, and especially to win so convincingly,” said Bamber.
“The Michelin tyres; they were amazing! I think it is the first time I have triple stinted a set of standard Michelin GT tyres! I even managed to set our quickest lap of the race after 80 laps - that’s close to 500km. We had no issues at all during the race and I have to thank the Michelin team for their support this weekend.”
For Pascal and the rest of the Michelin team, they are already looking forward to returning to the Mountain next year.
“This was my first visit to Bathurst and I have been very impressed! Mt Panorama is an iconic track and it certainly has not left me disappointed! We look very much to return next year to do battle again,” said Mr Couasnon.
The performance of the Michelin tyres at the Bathurst 12 Hour both in terms of outright speed, and the ability to double, and even triple stint on occasions, has been reflected in the success of their partners.
For the 2016 race, Michelin have their standard GT race tyre that is run all over the world, specifically our S7L and S8L, with the S7L being the softer tyre.
The Michelin ‘L’ tyre offers greater tyre life, higher performance sustainability, and improved warm up. These characteristics combine to deliver better driving comfort, and ultimately a quicker lap time.
Technically speaking, the new Michelin ‘L’ range has been designed to feature a softer carcass, reinforced crown stiffness, along with a new compound.
Through a gradual and limited degradation, the new tyre allows drivers to more easily control the behaviour of their car. Testing has demonstrated that the Michelin Pilot Sport S9L allows for a durability gain of up to 20% compared with the previous generation tyre, while maintaining the same timekeeping performance.
What is MICHELIN Total Performance?
With a racing pedigree built on championship and race wins across the globe, the Michelin name is synonymous with delivering quality products that perform well, are safe and reliable, and are durable.
These critical elements of performance are not only specific to racing, but are also key priorities for all drivers. For this reason, after being tested in the extreme conditions of a race track, innovations that help our race partners are then transferred into Michelin passenger car tyres.
The philosophy of “MICHELIN Total Performance” reconciles qualities that some believe to be conflicting by virtue of technology. It is a principle that is at the heart of Michelin's research and development strategy globally.
14 June 2015
Porsche, which, in addition to the two firms' worldwide association on the race track, is an original equipment partner of Michelin, notched up its 17th win at last weekend's Le Mans 24 Hours thanks to a one-two finish with the N°19 (Hülkenberg/Bamber/Tandy) and N°17 (Bernhard/Hartley/Webber) Porsche 919 Hybrids. The German firm continues to be the most successful carmaker in Le Mans history.
Aided by Michelin's competitive, consistent tyres which are a perfect match for the configuration of the 919 Hybrid, Porsche Team also established a new track lap record for the 13.629km circuit during qualifying on Wednesday, June 10. Neel Jani's time of 3m16.887s (249kph) smashed the previous record which was posted in 2008 by Stéphane Sarrazin (Peugeot 908 HDI), now a member of the Toyota Racing line-up.
The performance of this year's LMP1 prototypes marked a big step forward, and this was further illustrated by the fastest race lap which was clocked by the N°7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro in the hands of Benoît Tréluyer on its 337th lap. His time of 3m17.475s was further evidence of the ferocity of the battle that opposed the two German makes over the weekend.
Said Pascal Couasnon, director of Michelin Motorsport: "Michelin would like to congratulate Porsche Team on its one-two finish and also Audi Sport on its podium. We are also delighted to have taken our score to 24 victories in the world's most prestigious and most exacting endurance race."
Said Jérôme MONDAIN, manager of Michelin Motorsport's FIA WEC programme: "This year's Le Mans 24 Hours saw Michelin provide another eloquent illustration of the performance and grip of its endurance racing tyres which successfully covered distances in excess of 700km. The ability of Michelin's tyres to multi-stint, which used to be an exception not so many years ago, has today become an integral part of our partner teams' strategies. All the LM P1 manufacturer teams used a single type of tyre for the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours: namely the MICHELIN 'soft hot weather' slick, which is designed to give its best at temperatures ranging from 18°C to 40°C. The work carried out by Michelin Motorsport's engineers on the tyres' temperature windows as a function of the track temperature has definitely paid dividends."
Michelin's partners Audi Sport Team Joest, Porsche Team and Toyota Racing all performed quadruple stints on the same tyres in the course of the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours, covering distances of up to 736 kilometres on a single set.
It is important to recall that the current-generation LM P1 prototype tyres are between five and six centimetres narrower and two kilos lighter each compared with 2013. At the same time, the cars' aerodynamic downforce has increased, as has the power of their engines.