Monza glory for Toyota/Michelin

The 6 Hours of Monza – Round 3 of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship – was won by the MICHELIN Pilot Sport-equipped N°7 Toyota GR010 Hybrid of Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez. The Italian fixture was the last race before this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours on August 21-22.


Toyota/Michelin scores a 1-2 finish in Portimao

Following on from its victory at the 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship’s opener at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Toyota Gazoo Racing succeeded in monopolizing the top two places at the end of the 8 Hours of Portimao with its brace of MICHELIN Pilot Sport-equipped GR010 Hybrids. The Japanese Hypercars were joined on the Portuguese podium by the sole Alpine A480/Michelin. Ferrari/Michelin topped the order in both LM GTE classes.


From virtual to reality

Michelin Motorsport, Clermont-Ferrand, France – February, 2020: On completion of the design phase, a digital version of the MICHELIN Pilot Sport for endurance racing’s new Hypercar class was produced for the purpose of simulator testing, ahead of the real thing’s manufacture and eventual sign-off a few months later.

The sizes and materials for the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport were selected during the tire’s design on the computer as a function of endurance racing’s technical regulations and the data provided by Michelin’s Hypercar partners.

“The next step was to evaluate the forces and moments the tire would be subjected to using a mathematical model” says Jérémie Ricquier, Performance Analyst at Michelin Motorsport. “Within weeks, we had succeeded in producing a digital version of the tire which we then converted into a computer file that the simulator could read. The task of evaluating the digital tire on the simulator was entrusted to an actual driver.”

Developing the tire in virtual form not only saves time and money, but also minimizes its environmental impact ahead of the real thing’s production.

“Some 200 different ingredients go into the 20 or so semi-finished products that make up every MICHELIN Pilot Sport endurance racing tire,” explains Aurélien Fabre, Tire Design ‘Team Manager’, Michelin Motorsport “These semi-finished products range from the plies and strengthening to the rubber compounds. They are designed in different locations and assembled by hand at Michelin’s Cataroux plant in Clermont-Ferrand. Tires are then cured for around 25 minutes at a temperature of 180°C. It takes an average of 45 minutes to make an endurance racing slick.”

The quality of every cover is meticulously inspected to detect the slightest defect before MICHELIN Pilot Sport branding is applied to the sidewalls. Tires are subsequently submitted to a range of static and dynamic tests at Michelin’s Technology Center in Ladoux before they get their first real track run. These tests include the Record Machine, a tool developed initially for racing tires but which is now also employed for road products.

“The Record Machine takes the form of a three-meter-diameter cylinder coated on the inside with asphalt. The tire is placed inside the rig which can replicate a variety of slip and camber angles. The rotating cylinder is capable of reproducing speeds of up to 350kph, as well different running conditions – including rain – to make sure the tires are perfectly safe for their track début.”

To be continued…


MotoGP™: Márquez takes assertive Austin win

Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) was in unbeatable form at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas – Round 15 of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship – at the notoriously bumpy Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The Spaniard was followed over the line by Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) who made it three different bikemakers on the podium in another display of the MICHELIN Power tire range’s exceptional versatility.  


MotoGP™: Bagnaia wins on home soil as Michelin helps more records tumble

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) scored his second victory in as many weekends by winning the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Round 14 of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship. The Italian was joined on the podium by Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and rookie Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama), while the MICHELIN Power Slick range contributed to new track-lap, race-lap and shortest race-duration records for Misano. 


MotoGP™: Maiden MotoGPTM win for Bagnaia and Michelin’s 460th!

The Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragón (Round 13 of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship) saw Lenovo Ducati Team’s Francesco Bagnaia collect the first win of his career at this level. Second and third at Aragon were Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) and defending champ Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), while four different Michelin-equipped bikemakers filled the top four places as more records tumbled at the exacting Spanish circuit. 


MotoGP™: Quartararo uncatchable at Silverstone

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) dominated Round 12 of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship at Silverstone, Great Britain, to notch up his fifth victory of the campaign. He led comfortably for most of the Monster Energy British Grand Prix to beat Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), while Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) harvested Aprilia’s maiden MotoGPTM podium finish. The top six places featured six different bikemakers – a first in MotoGPTM history and further evidence of the MICHELIN Power range’s outstanding versatility.  

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