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Michelin's 16.5 inch MotoGP revolution

Michelin's 16.5 inch MotoGP revolution

Michelin's 16.5 inch MotoGP revolution

Over thirty years on from their first ever premier-class Grand Prix victory with Jack Findlay at the Isle of Man TT in 1973, French tyre manufacturers Michelin continued to raise the level of competition at the start of the 2004 MotoGP season with the introduction of a new 16.5 inch front tyre.

Colin Edwards was the first man to use the new tyre and was so convinced by its potential that he eventually talked virtually the whole MotoGP field into making the switch from the traditional 17 inch, with Loris Capirossi the last man to be persuaded.

"All riders are always strange and it's difficult, especially for me, when we have to change something - I don't want to change!" admitted Capirossi.

"But I changed from 17 to 16.5 because I see the potential is better. In the beginning I said no, I don't want to change, but now I see already the potential is really good and I see the profile is better than the 17 and I want to put all my focus on the 16.5. For sure I have a really good feeling with the 16.5, and this is perfect."

Now, all Michelin's riders are using the 16.5 and the proof of its success has been in the lap times, which have dropped dramatically on last season.

To watch our exclusive feature on how Michelin's 16.5 inch tyre has revolutionized MotoGP, including in depth interviews with the company's Motorcycle Competitions Manager Nicolas Goubert, Colin Edwards and Loris Capirossi, click the video link at the top of the page.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004

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