FIA WRC

1-2 glory for Hyundai/Michelin in Sardinia

Spain’s Dani Sordo collected his second straight Rally Italia Sardegna victory, heading home fellow Hyundai i20 WRC/Michelin runner Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier (Toyota/Michelin).

FIA WRC

Evans (Toyota/Michelin) triumphs in Turkey

Just hours before celebrating their victory together at the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours, Toyota and Michelin took the top prize in Round 5 of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship. The laurels went to Welshman Elfyn Evans and his Michelin LTX Force-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC which scored the Franco/Japanese association’s 120th world-class rallying podium.

FIA WRC

Sébastien Ogier secures his 7th WRC crown with Michelin

Sébastien Ogier won the 2020 Rally Monza to notch up his 47th world-class victory and the seventh FIA World Rally Championship crown of his career on Michelin tyres. The Italian event was the final outing of the French firm’s current spell in the FIA WRC which has seen it harvest no fewer than 347 victories, 1,037 podium placings and 58 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ world titles since the competition’s creation in 1973, aided by a long list of technological innovations and close working relationships with its driver and carmaker partners.

Rally Monza was added to the 2020 WRC calendar following the cancellation of many of the championship’s originally-scheduled rounds due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The visit to northern Italy and the mountains north of Milan coincided, however, with a period of wintry weather which threw a challenging combination of snow, ice, heavy rain and mud at competitors. The cocktail inevitably conjured up images of the Rallye Monte-Carlo and tyre choices proved just as delicate and decisive as they tend to be at season’s traditional opener.

Having foreseen the possibility of snow, Michelin planned ahead by adding the availability of a number of Pilot Sport Alpin snow tyres to the drivers’ allocations which initially comprised just the Pilot Sport H5 (hard compound), Pilot Sport S6 (soft) and Pilot Sport FW3 (rain). Similarly, the Pilot Sport NA00 snow tyre was added to the options open to Michelin’s WRC2 and WRC3 runners.

The rally’s outcome – and indeed, that of the scrap for both the 2020 Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles – was essentially settled on Saturday morning’s SS11 when the provisional championship pacesetter Elfyn Evans crashed out on snow. Despite the incident stemming the Toyota/Michelin driver’s hopes of clinching his first crown, the Welshman sportingly signalled to title-rival Ogier to slow down to avoid going off at the same treacherously slippery spot.

From that point on, the Frenchman – who had just taken the lead in his Michelin FW3-equipped Toyota Yaris WRC – only had to tread carefully for the rest of the weekend to make sure of his first world title with the Japanese firm, in addition to those secured previously with Volkswagen and Ford.

Evans’ misfortune also played into the hands of Hyundai by allowing i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin drivers Ott Tanäk and Dani Sordo to eventually claim second and third spots, sufficient for the South Korean make to claim its second Manufacturers’ crown in a row and Michelin’s 30th since the WRC’s creation.

Mads Ostberg and Torstein Eriksen WRC2

Michelin also left Italy with the year’s WRC2 and WRC3 titles in its pocket thanks to the performances of Mads Ostberg (Citroën) and Jari Huttunen (Hyundai) in these two classes which have been the scene of fierce competition between tyre brands all season.

As it bows out of the World Rally Championship, Michelin’s statistics in the series include a score of 347 individual rally wins secured by 58 different drivers and 63 different co-drivers in 29 different countries. The French firm also totals 30 Manufacturers’ titles with 11 different carmakers and 28 Drivers’ crowns with 12 different champions, plus 1,037 podium placings and almost 8,000 stage wins since 1973.

This unique record has been achieved across an exceptional spectrum of conditions (extreme heat, bitter cold, torrential rain, etc, etc.), on all types of terrain (sand, rocks, snow, mud, ice, wet and dry asphalt, etc.) and on five continents (America, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia) where Michelin has repeatedly delivered on its Performance Made to Last promise.

In parallel, the exceptional laboratory and incubator of ideas the World Rally Championship has become have seen Michelin introduce numerous technological solutions that today benefit both its customer rally range and road tyres.

Bye Bibendum

Despite its withdrawal from the WRC, Michelin’s long history in rallying is not coming to an abrupt end, since it will continue to address the needs of profesionnal and amateur competitors across the world in regional, international and national championships and build on its eloquent record at all these levels in 2021.

2020 Rally Monza – Final positions:

  1. Ogier/Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin), 2h15m51.0s
  2. Tänak/Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin), +13.9s
  3. Sordo/Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC/Michelin), +15.3s
  4. Lappi/Ferm (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin), +45.7s
  5. Rovanperä/Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin), 1m11.1s
  6. Mikkelsen/Jaeger (Hyundai i20 R5), +3m56.2s (1st WRC3)
  7. Solberg/Johnston (VW Polo GTi R5),+4m12.1s
  8. Huttunen/Lukka (Hyundai i20 R5/Michelin), +5m15.4s
  9. Ostberg/Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5/Michelin), +5m27.4s (1st WRC2)
  10. Tidemand/Barth (Skoda Fabia R5), +5m53.0s

Etc.

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Márquez takes assertive Austin win

Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) was in unbeatable form at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas – Round 15 of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship – at the notoriously bumpy Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The Spaniard was followed over the line by Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) who made it three different bikemakers on the podium in another display of the MICHELIN Power tire range’s exceptional versatility.  

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Bagnaia wins on home soil as Michelin helps more records tumble

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) scored his second victory in as many weekends by winning the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Round 14 of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship. The Italian was joined on the podium by Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and rookie Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama), while the MICHELIN Power Slick range contributed to new track-lap, race-lap and shortest race-duration records for Misano. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Maiden MotoGPTM win for Bagnaia and Michelin’s 460th!

The Gran Premio TISSOT de Aragón (Round 13 of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship) saw Lenovo Ducati Team’s Francesco Bagnaia collect the first win of his career at this level. Second and third at Aragon were Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team) and defending champ Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), while four different Michelin-equipped bikemakers filled the top four places as more records tumbled at the exacting Spanish circuit. 

MOTOGP™

MotoGP™: Quartararo uncatchable at Silverstone

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) dominated Round 12 of the 2021 MotoGPTM World Championship at Silverstone, Great Britain, to notch up his fifth victory of the campaign. He led comfortably for most of the Monster Energy British Grand Prix to beat Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR), while Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) harvested Aprilia’s maiden MotoGPTM podium finish. The top six places featured six different bikemakers – a first in MotoGPTM history and further evidence of the MICHELIN Power range’s outstanding versatility.  

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