This past weekend at the MotoGP race at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, I had the opportunity to tour the Michelin paddock area to learn some fascinating information about what happens to the Michelin MotoGP Tires on every race weekend.
In 2016 Michelin took over as the official MotoGP tire supplier after seven seasons of Bridgestone performing that function. The season was a huge learning curve for both Michelin and the riders. Michelin had to come to grips with how far the motorcycles had advanced in the seven years since it last made tires for GP’s premier class, while riders and teams had to grapple with the best way to set up their machinery to get the most out of the Michelin rubber. This adaptation by the riders and their mechanics is best emphasized by the spate of front-end crashes at the start of the season that largely faded by the end of 2016 as Michelin, the riders, and the mechanics worked together to achieve their mutual goal. In MotoGP, the tire manufacturer has to be almost perfect because the safety of the riders depends on it.