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Michelin, 30 years in MotoGP – Part IV

Michelin, 30 years in MotoGP – Part IV

Michelin, 30 years in MotoGP – Part IV

The first two titles of the 21st century were clinched by the sons of former Grand Prix winners, one from the New World, the other from the Old Continent. Kenny Roberts (Telefonica Movistar Suzuki RGV500) and Valentino Rossi (Nastro Azzurro Honda NSR500) opened the new century winning on Michelin tyres, Rossi making history by taking the last 500cc World Championship in 2001, and the first three MotoGP titles from 2002 to 2004.

The introduction of the big thumpers in 2002 marked the beginning of an era where the various actors of the Championship made tremendous strides on the technological point of view. Michelin used the innovative C3M production process for the first time in motorcycle racing. From the 190 bhp delivered by the 500cc 2-stroke, the first MotoGP 990cc machines reached 230 bhp – and the latest 4-stroke reportedly deliver around 250 bhp ! Thanks to Michelin's work, the riders can make the most of this power without destroying their tyres or compromising their grip or their consistency.

"Back in 2001, when we tested the 4-stroke for the first time, the tyres designed for the 500cc couldn't take more than five laps," explains Rossi. "Michelin made a lot of effort to develop better tyres."

Over 29 years of continued innovation, Michelin took 323 wins and 24 titles. Undefeated over the past decade, Michelin clinched their 13th consecutive title last year. 2005 looks set to continue this tradition of excellence, the French manufacturer having already won the first four Grand Prix of the season.

MotoGP, 2005

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