Dorna's announcement that they have awarded the control tire contract to Michelin in 2016 has instilled the hope that this is the legendary Michelin we all remember from their glory days, not the one who had lost the plot and left MotoGP essentially hat in hand.
Michelin Motorsport's Director Pascal Couasnon affirmed the French firm's dedication to motorcycle racing in their statement announcing the deal with Dorna.
"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. We take this opportunity to thank the governing bodies for the confidence they have placed in us today. Their confidence recognises Michelin's expertise and the 26 Riders' world titles it has secured."
Michelin and Dorna must now come to terms in regards to the contract.
Michelin was for many years renown as the top MotoGP tire supplier, but at the end of that period they were dismissed by Valentino Rossi and openly joked about after shipping a container of "wrong" tires to the Laguna Seca MotoGP event.
Moreover, when most of the teams and then the entire series sided with Bridgestone as they became the control tire supplier for MotoGP, it was for the most part a seamless transition. Bridgstone had been participating in MotoGP--and racing--for years and had developed a product that had already won the MotoGP title with Casey Stoner and Ducati in 2007. The worrying factor in all of thistodayhas to be that Michelin basically has no experience with modern MotoGP tires. Obviously MotoGP bikes now put out 240-250 horsepower and have very sophisticated electronics.
Hopefully Michelin has re-found their bookmark on where the plotline for their role in MotoGP is ...