French tire maker Michelin has been named the new sole tire supplier for the MotoGP World Championship, replacing current supplier Bridgestone in the 2016 season.
MotoGP promoter Dorna selected Michelin after opening a tender for applications from multiple tire manufacturers after Bridgestone announced it would leave the series after the 2015 season. Interested manufacturers were asked to submit technical specifications to Dorna’s Managing Director, Javier Alonso. According to Dorna, three tire producers expressed interest but only Michelin submitted a formal tender by the May 22 deadline.
Dorna and Michelin still have to work out an official contract, though they have plenty of time to do so before the 2016 season. The first year of the new partnership will also be when MotoGP regulations will switch to 17-inch wheels from the 16.5-inch wheels currently in use. The World Superbike Championship made the same change for the 2013 season.
“Our policy of carrying over our technologies from track to street fits perfectly with the new technical regulations which are due to be introduced in 2016 and which will dictate the use of 17-inch wheels. That is why Michelin decided to submit a bid following the tender process instigated by Dorna Sports,” says Pascal Couasnon, Michelin motorsport director. “We take this opportunity to thank the governing bodies for the confidence they have placed in us today. Their confidence recognizes Michelin’s expertise and the 26 Riders’ world titles it has secured.”