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Michelin celebrate thirteenth straight title

Michelin celebrate thirteenth straight title

Michelin celebrate thirteenth straight title

Valentino Rossi's victory at the Cinzano Australian Grand Prix on Sunday gave French tyre manufacturer Michelin its thirteenth consecutive world crown in the MotoGP class and its 24th premier-class success since the company entered Grand Prix racing in the early seventies.

Rossi's success also represented Michelin's 322nd premier-class victory, giving them an astonishing win rate of 96.7 per cent over the past ten seasons, and the Italian was quick to give thanks for their contribution.

"I have a very special relationship with Michelin," said Rossi. "This has been an incredible season, with lap times getting faster and faster, and very much of this improvement comes from the tyres.

"I use Michelin because if you have 10kmh less than the other guys, or five less horsepower, you can still win, but if you have worse tyres you have no chance. The competition between Michelin and the other companies makes racing more interesting and for sure this battle also helps the lap times go down more quickly."

Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin's competitions chief and the man who first brought the company into Grand Prix, was quick to return the compliments. "We already knew that Valentino is a remarkable talent, but to win the title at the first attempt with a new team and a new bike is quite amazing," said Dupasquier, who also referred to the rising challenge of tyre rivals Bridgestone, who have themselves celebrated two victories this season.

"We have enjoyed this season because the extra competition from our rivals gives us a clear idea of what aspects of performance need to be improved. Tyre performance is increasingly the limiting factor in bike racing because we cannot easily increase the amount of rubber on the ground, whereas it seems that the manufacturers can increase horsepower whenever they want.

"This means we carry a lot on our shoulders, but we are up to it. We have been working hard to allow the riders to use more power more easily, and we think that our results this year show that we have been successful in that aim."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CINZANO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

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