MotoGP: teams head east to Japan

MotoGPTM kicks off the Pacific-Asian leg of the 2017 world championship this weekend with the Motul Grand Prix of Japan (Round 14), the first of three back-to-back races along with Australia and Malaysia. Provisional leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) stand out as the big favourites for this year’s title. 


MotoGP: Honda’s Aragon one-two

The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – Round 14 of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship – was won by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team). 


MotoGP: next stop Le Mans, France

Round five of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, and the second to take place on European soil, is this weekend’s HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France at Le Mans-Bugatti.


With top four riders covered by just 10 points in the provisional standings (in order: Valentino Rossi/Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Maverick Viñales/Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Marc Marquez/Repsol Honda Team and Dani Pedrosa/Repsol Honda Team), the French fixture promises to be particularly close.

After winning motorcycle racing’s 3,000th grand prix two weeks ago at Jerez, Spain, Dani Pedrosa will be targeting a second straight victory, just as he did in 2013 when he came first in Andalucía and at Le Mans.

Meanwhile, Marc Marquez will be eager to go one better than his second-place finish at Jerez, with the Repsol Honda Team pair sitting respectively third and fourth in the championship, four and 10 points behind leader Valentino Rossi.

The nine-time world champion is only two points clear of his team-mate Maverick Viñales, however, so he will be keen to add a fourth Le Mans success to his personal record. At the same time, Viñales would love to celebrate the anniversary of his maiden MotoGP podium finish with another strong run in France.

And nobody will be ruling out Jorge Lorenzo who notched up his first top-three result with Ducati at Jerez. The Majorcan tends to be quick at Le Mans where he is the most successful rider with a score of six wins, including the last two visits. Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) is another potential front-runner, especially as the Italian has always gone well around Le Mans’ Bugatti configuration.

All eyes will be on Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3), too. Monster Yamaha Tech3’s young recruit has sprung several surprises since the beginning of the season and, after coming fourth in Spain, would dearly love to go at least one spot better at his home race.

The grid will feature two other Frenchmen, namely Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) and Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki Ecstar) who has been named to stand in for Alex Rins.

The MICHELIN Power Slick range for Le Mans features a choice of soft-, medium- and hard-compound front and rear tyres. The rears and the hard-compound front are asymmetric, with a harder right-hand shoulder. For wet weather, the riders will be able to choose between soft (blue marking) and medium (no marking) versions of the MICHELIN Power Rain.

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Meeke bounces back in Spain for Citroën/Michelin

Citroën Racing’s Kris Meeke stemmed a recent barren spell with an emphatic victory on the 2017 RallyRACC Catalunya-Rally de España in his Michelin-equipped Citroën C3 WRC. The Ulsterman was followed over the line by M-Sport team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tanak (Ford Fiesta WRC/Michelin) whose efforts took the British outfit a step closer to its first Manufacturers’ crown since 2007. 


Porsche and Michelin triumph in Texan heat

Porsche Team collected its third consecutive one-two finish in the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship when Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley took the win at Austin, Texas, USA, in the N°2 919 Hybrid, ahead of the similar car of Jani/Lotterer/Tandy. The N°51 Ferrari 488 GTE/Michelin of Calado/Per Guidi won the LM GTE class.


New look for world class endurance racing

Created in 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is to undergo significant changes from next season when the series will straddle two calendar years (2018/2019) and conclude with the 2019 Le Mans 24 Hours. The LMP1 cars will run to new technical regulations. As a participant in the FIA WEC since the outset, Michelin approves the latest moves.  


Porsche/Michelin enjoys Mexican fiesta

The 6 Hours of Mexico saw Porsche Team claim its second one-two finish in as many rounds of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship, with the N°2 Porsche 919 Hybrid/Michelin (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) securing top spot ahead of the N°1 sister prototype (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy). The N°8 and N°7 Michelin-equipped Toyota TS050 Hybrids were third and fourth at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.    

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