MotoGP: Rossi returns to winning ways at Assen

Sunday’s Motul Assen TT, round eight of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, was won by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Second and third were fellow Italian Danilo Petrucci (Octo Prama Racing) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). 


MotoGP: Assen’s ‘Cathedral of Speed’ for the Dutch GP

Assen is the only circuit to have been visited by the MotoGPTM World Championship every season since 1949. The Motul TT Assen is round eight of the 2017 calendar. 


A winning start for Viñales at Yamaha

Spain’s Maverick Viñales celebrated his debut appearance for Movistar Yamaha MotoGP by claiming the first MotoGPTM pole start of his career. He followed that up by winning the Grand Prix of Qatar in torrential rain, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).

As in 2009, heavy rain at Losail International Circuit forced the organisers to cancel the weekend’s qualifying session, which meant the grid order for the 2017 world championship opener was decided by free practice times. This put Viñales on pole, ahead of Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

The wet weather caused the start of the night-time clash to be delayed by 45 minutes, while the race itself was shortened from 22 to 20 laps.

Iannone got away to a lightning start, but it was Frenchman Johann Zarco who caused the first surprise of the season by emerging in front on his Yamaha equipped with the soft rear Michelin Power Slick. The two-time Moto2 champion held firm for five laps before a fall at Turn 2 handed control to Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) who had made the same choice of rear tyre.

At the halfway point, Dovizioso was tailed by Marquez who had swapped his hard front tyre for the medium compound at the last moment. Iannone had a footing on the podium when he fell (as in 2016), allowing the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pair to home in on the leaders.

On Lap 11, Viñales (medium Michelin Power Slicks front and rear) succeeded in passing Marquez to secure second spot before closing the gap to Dovizioso. Viñales squeezed past into first place on Lap 13 but Dovizioso reversed the situation next time round, and the pair traded the lead seven times in all!

At the age of 22, Viñales went on to secure the second MotoGP victory of his career, chased over the line by Dovizioso who came second in Qatar for the second year running! Rossi ended up third, ahead of Repsol Honda Team’s Marquez and Dani Pedrosa.

The next round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship will take teams to Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina, on April 7-9.

24H du Mans

Le Mans 2017: Michelin’s 20th Le Mans consecutive victory in numbers

Michelin won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the 20th straight year and for the third year in a row in association with Porsche after posting the fastest ever lap of the French circuit with Toyota. 

24H du Mans

Porsche LMP Team hands Michelin its 20th straight Le Mans win!

The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours saw Michelin extend its uninterrupted winning record in La Sarthe to 20 outright victories since 1998. It was assisted in its quest by the dogged determination of the N°2 Porsche crew (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) who fought back from an early technical issue to scoop the coveted trophy with an hour to go. Along with the N°8 Toyota, which finished back in ninth spot, the German machine was one of only two LMP1-H prototypes to reach the flag after disaster struck the class’s other three factory entries. Michelin’s successful weekend was compounded by a one-two-three finish in LM GTE Am in association with Ferrari, plus a double podium in LM GTE Pro.


Le Mans 2017: Toyota/Michelin grabs history-making pole!

The final evening of Le Mans qualifying turned out to be a landmark occasion with drivers setting new qualifying records up and down the classes. Toyota/Michelin’s Kamui Kobayashi (N°7 TS050-Hybrid, Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin) stunned his rivals early on with a 3m14.791. That not only took the wind out of Porsche’s sails but also goes down as the fastest ever lap in Le Mans history. There were record performances, too, in LMP2 (N°26 Oreca), LM GTE Pro (N°97 Aston Martin) and LM GTE Am (N°50 Chevrolet/Michelin).

24H du Mans

The life of a Michelin tyre down racing’s most famous straight

The Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans is one of the longest straights in motorsport. This 5.5km run actually uses a main road that leads out of the French city to Tours and has been split into three parts by two chicanes since 1990. Tyres are subjected to considerable lateral, longitudinal and vertical forces along this celebrated portion of asphalt.

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