Michelin has decided not to tender to supply the MotoGP paddock with tyres for next season, leaving the way clear for Bridgestone to be the sole supplier.
In a statement issued this morning, the firm states it doesn’t want to be involoved in a sport that doesn’t promote competition as racing allows development to trickle down to road-going consumers.
Bridgestone, on the other hand, has sent a proposal to FIM and Dorna to be the single tyre supplier in MotoGP for 2009. This proposal will be studied and an announcement will be made on 18th of October 2009 in Sepang, Malaysia.
Michelin’s statement reads:
Michelin has decided not to submit a bid to the governing body of the MotoGP World Championship. At the same time, Michelin regrets not being able to contribute to the organizers’ important discussions to improve rider safety and reduce costs.
The spirit of competition has always been central to Michelin. Motor sports at the highest level are useful because competition among several tire manufacturers is a valuable stimulus for developing increasingly high-performance tires that will one day equip customer vehicles. Tires play a key role in a vehicle’s performance and can make a considerable difference. This competition among manufacturers helps to make racing exciting.
The radial tire, which was invented by Michelin, has been improved through racing, and the improvements have since been passed on to consumers. Michelin’s dual compound technology for motorcycle tires was first tested in MotoGP racing and is today integrated into premium products for the brand’s customers. The MotoGP Championship organizers have decided to use a single tire supplier for the coming seasons, which effectively eliminates the competitive environment that has led to so much progress.
The R&D resources allocated for MotoGP racing will be redeployed to support innovation, which is at the heart of Michelin’s customer-focused strategy.