MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Rossi returns to winning ways at Assen

Sunday’s Motul Assen TT, round eight of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship, was won by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Second and third were fellow Italian Danilo Petrucci (Octo Prama Racing) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Assen’s ‘Cathedral of Speed’ for the Dutch GP

Assen is the only circuit to have been visited by the MotoGPTM World Championship every season since 1949. The Motul TT Assen is round eight of the 2017 calendar. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP: Qatar to kick off 2017 world championship

After a memorable 2016 campaign, which saw nine different riders win races as Michelin returned to the series following a seven-year absence, the first fixture of the 2017 MotoGPTM World Championship (March 23-26) will take teams to Losail, near Doha, in the middle of the Qatari desert.

 

One of the favourites to win the season’s opener is rising star Maverick Viñales who has emerged as the dominant force after pre-season testing at Valence, Sepang, Phillip Island and Doha.

2017 00d Test Losail 00023

His Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team-mate and four-time Qatar victor Valentino Rossi (last win in 2015) has had a more difficult build-up to the season, so the Italian star will be hoping for a strong result after posting the sixth-best lap at Losail testing.

2017 00d Test Losail 00088

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati), who has been coming to terms with the new Desmosedici, has been gradually upping his pace and he concluded the last test in Qatar with the fourth-best time. A win on Sunday would see him become only the second rider – after his former team-mate Rossi – to claim back-to-back victories with two different makes.

2017 00d Test Losail 00054

Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez, the outgoing champion, and Dani Pedrosa are buoyed by their positive winter testing programmes. The former has amassed one win and two podium finishes from four starts at Losail, while Pedrosa has scored five podium finishes.

To build on its 2016 effort, which harvested one race win and four podiums, Team Suzuki Ecstar has recruited Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins. Meanwhile, Aleix Espargaró and Sam Lowes will be coming to terms with the Aprilia RS-GP for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, as two-time Moto2™ world champion Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger – two MotoGP rookies – appear for the first time in the colours of Monster Yamaha Tech3.

After a long time preparing for the occasion, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing is poised to make its return to motorcycle racing’s premier class as a permanent entry and will be represented by Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith. The move means it will be the first team to be active in every class, from Moto3™ to MotoGP.

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There is plenty new from Michelin in 2017, too, including the availability of a new front MICHELIN Power Slick (revised profile), plus a new rear tyre for enhanced traction and rideability.

Rule changes mean that Michelin will now propose three different front- and rear-specification tyres for each race compared with two in 2016. This broader range is expected to provide more variety in terms of tyre choice and add to the dynamism of what is in reality a control-tyre series. The use of intermediates has been dropped.

Free Practice is due to start at 7:55pm local time on Thursday (March 23), with the first grand prix of 2017 scheduled to get under way at 9pm on Sunday.

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24H du Mans

Le Mans 2017: Michelin’s 20th Le Mans consecutive victory in numbers

Michelin won the Le Mans 24 Hours for the 20th straight year and for the third year in a row in association with Porsche after posting the fastest ever lap of the French circuit with Toyota. 

24H du Mans

Porsche LMP Team hands Michelin its 20th straight Le Mans win!

The 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours saw Michelin extend its uninterrupted winning record in La Sarthe to 20 outright victories since 1998. It was assisted in its quest by the dogged determination of the N°2 Porsche crew (Bernhard/Bamber/Hartley) who fought back from an early technical issue to scoop the coveted trophy with an hour to go. Along with the N°8 Toyota, which finished back in ninth spot, the German machine was one of only two LMP1-H prototypes to reach the flag after disaster struck the class’s other three factory entries. Michelin’s successful weekend was compounded by a one-two-three finish in LM GTE Am in association with Ferrari, plus a double podium in LM GTE Pro.

FIA WEC

Le Mans 2017: Toyota/Michelin grabs history-making pole!

The final evening of Le Mans qualifying turned out to be a landmark occasion with drivers setting new qualifying records up and down the classes. Toyota/Michelin’s Kamui Kobayashi (N°7 TS050-Hybrid, Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin) stunned his rivals early on with a 3m14.791. That not only took the wind out of Porsche’s sails but also goes down as the fastest ever lap in Le Mans history. There were record performances, too, in LMP2 (N°26 Oreca), LM GTE Pro (N°97 Aston Martin) and LM GTE Am (N°50 Chevrolet/Michelin).

24H du Mans

The life of a Michelin tyre down racing’s most famous straight

The Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans is one of the longest straights in motorsport. This 5.5km run actually uses a main road that leads out of the French city to Tours and has been split into three parts by two chicanes since 1990. Tyres are subjected to considerable lateral, longitudinal and vertical forces along this celebrated portion of asphalt.

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