MOTOGP™

Michelin on the virtual racing front

The coronavirus pandemic has obviously brought real motorsport to a halt, but many of Michelin’s driver partners have been keeping their eye in thanks to virtual races like Sebring SuperSaturday, e-Sport MotoGP and Porsche Supercup Virtual Edition.

MOTOGP™

MotoE: Ferrari claims inaugural Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup

Fifth place at the last round of the 2019 Enel FIM MotoE™ World Cup sufficed for Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) to become the new competition’s first champion. The weekend’s two races were won by pole-winner Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Viñales dominates in Malaysia

After qualifying in second place for the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) went on to win the penultimate round of the 2019 MotoGPTM World Championship. He was joined on the Sepang podium by Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). The day’s top three featured three different bikemakers and three different Michelin tyre pairings.

 

Racing onmedium MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear, Viñales completed the first of the Malaysian GP’s 20 laps in front, chased by Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Márquez, Dovizioso, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who was first out of Turn 1 after starting from third on the grid. Márquez, meanwhile, had leapt from 11th at lights-out to third place by the end of Lap 1.

Viñales posted a series of quick, consistent laps to pull gradually clear and ultimately cross the line more than three seconds clear of the 2019 champion. It was the factory Yamaha rider’s second success of the season after Assen (Netherlands) and his seventh at MotoGPTM level.

It was on Lap 3 that Márquez (medium/soft tyres front and rear) eased past Miller to take second spot and he held that position all the way to the flag to become the first rider to secure 17 MotoGPTM podiums in one year. He has also broken the record for the highest number of points chalked up in a single season (395), with one race still to come.

Dovizioso (softs front and rear) shrugged off pressure from Rossi (mediums front and rear) to clinch third place.

Fifth was Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), ahead of Franco Morbidelli and his Petronas Yamaha SRT team-mate Fabio Quartararo who posted a new track lap record to win qualifying after dominating free practice.

Miller, Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) and Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) rounded out the afternoon’s top 10.

Michelin’s tyres contributed to several new records at Sepang. Free Practice 1 saw Quartararo beat Pedrosa’s effort of 2015 (1m59.053s) to establish a new track lap record (1m59.027s) which he bettered in FP2 (1m58.576s) and then again in qualifying (1m58.303s).

Five other riders succeeded in squeezing beneath the previous benchmark in qualifying.

The fastest race lap was the work of Rossi (1m59.661s) who went a second faster than Lorenzo in 2015. Last but not least, Viñales completed the distance in a time of 40m14.634s, an improvement of 18 seconds over the previous record clocked last year by Márquez.

tyre choice

Four of the six Michelin tyre specs available in Malaysia were selected for the race, with only the front and rear hards not making it onto the grid, despite having been tried in practice.

While Márquez and Dovizioso had made sure of the season’s gold and silver medals before the trip to Sepang, the fight for bronze is still on. Viñales (201 points) is now third in the provisional standings, tailed by Rins (194) and Petrucci (176). The 2019 championship’s final podium order will therefore be settled at the last round in Valencia, Spain, in two weeks’ time.

Everyone at Michelin Motorsport would like to share their condolences with the family, friends and fellow team members of Afridza Munandar who died tragically in the opening Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup race on Saturday.

Next round: Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, Valencia, Spain (November 14-17)

24H du Mans

Le Mans 2020 put back 98 days

Initially scheduled for the weekend of June 13-14, this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours has been postponed until mid-September due to the coronavirus outbreak. The 1968 race was also held in September and saw Michelin provide new radial tyres for its partner Alpine.

FIA WRC

Rally Mexico Win #6 for Ogier

Sébastien Ogier steered his Michelin LTX Force-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC to victory this weekend to earn his sixth success in Mexico. However, Round 3 of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship was brought to an early close due to the coronavirus outbreak.

FIA WRC

FIA WRC - 2020 Rally Guanajuato Mexico - Racecard

The Rally Mexico is the season’s opening gravel round and a big challenge for the Michelin tyres! Get our racecard to find out more about the 3rd round of the 2020

24H du Mans

Sixty-two entries for last Le Mans to star hybrid LMP1 prototypes

Le Mans organiser ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest) has listed the 62 entries that have been invited to take part in the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours on June 13-14. More than 50 cars will contest the race on Michelin rubber. The French firm is targeting its 23rd straight win in La Sarthe and its 29th in total. Hybrid LMP1 prototypes will appear for the last time.

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