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Michelin : A Fond Farewell

The spirit of competition has always been at the heart of Michelin. Racing has been a part of the company history and the company has been a part of racing history. MotoGP now becomes a one-make tyre championship. Michelin is leaving MotoGP because there is no longer competition in the area of tyres.

After 36 years of MotoGP World Championship racing, Michelin would like to thank all the teams and pilots who put their trust in the Group during this period.

Prior to the last MotoGP event in Valencia this coming weekend, 42 pilots won at least one race riding on Michelin tires, giving the brand 360 victories in Premier Class racing.

In 1973, Jack Findlay became the first pilot to lead Michelin to a Premier Class Grand Prix victory during the mythic Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. He was also the first to test Michelin's Slick technology. It was then on Michelin slick tires that Barry Sheene won his first Grand Prix 500 title in 1976.

In 1984, Randy Mamola brought Michelin's radial technology, mounted on both front and rear tires, home to victory. Randy Mamola, still racing in 2008, declares: "I am happy to have contributed to making this new radial technology a reality as all motorbike riders today can benefit from it".

Silica technology was developed and registered its first success with Mick Doohan on a rainy March 29th in 1992 at the Suzuka event in Japan.

Throughout the 1994 season, our dual-rubber technology triumphed thanks to Mick Doohan, Kevin Schwantz, Luca Cadalora and John Kocinski.

Marketed today under the name 2CT or Two-Compound Technology, our complete range of Michelin high performance motorbike tires benefits from it.

Starting in 2002, Michelin's chemists introduced new synthetic rubber compounds, enabling Valentino Rossi to climb to the highest step of the podium. As a matter of fact, all 2002 victories were won on tires incorporating these revolutionary synthetic components.

The first mass produced tyre to benefit from these same synthetic rubber compounds was Michelin Pilot Power launched in 2004, only 2 short years after being introduced in MotoGP!

Over the past 36 years, the Michelin brand was World Champion 26 times.

Michelin wants to express its warmest thanks to all those who contributed to this success.

As Michelin's competitive spirit is ingrained into its DNA and racing is a better way forward in the service of customers, the brand calls its motorbike supporters to forge ahead and meet up once again for new motor sports adventures in 2009 and beyond.

List of the 42 riders who have won premier-class GPs with Michelin tyres

1973         Tourist Trophy                         500                                  Jack Findlay                                                       Suzuki

1975         Hollande                                             500                                   Barry Sheene                                                 Suzuki

1976         Finlande                                             500                                   Pat Hennen                                                        Suzuki

1977         Hollande                                             500                                   Wil Hartog                                                            Suzuki

1977         Finlande                                             500                                   Johnny Cecotto                                          Yamaha

1978         Allemagne                                       500                                   Virginio Ferrari                                            Suzuki

1979         Finlande                                             500                                   Boet Van Dulmen                                    Suzuki

1980         Hollande                                             500                                   Jack Middelburg                                        Yamaha

1980         Allemagne                                       500                                   Marco Lucchinelli                                     Suzuki

1982         Autriche                                             500                                   Franco Uncini                                                  Suzuki

1982         France                                                500                                   Michel Frutschi                                           Sanvenero

1982         Belgique                                             500                                    Freddie Spencer                                        Honda

1982         Hollande                                             500                                   Takazumi Katayama                            Honda

1984         Hollande                                             500                                   Randy Mamola                                               Honda

1985         Afrique du Sud                         500                                   Eddie Lawson                                                Yamaha

1985         Allemagne                                       500                                   Christian Sarron                                         Yamaha

1986         Espagne                                             500                                   Wayne Gardner                                            Honda

1988         Japon                                                     500                                   Kevin Schwantz                                             Suzuki

1990         Japon                                                     500                                   Wayne Rainey                                                   Yamaha

1990         Hongrie                                               500                                   Mick Doohan                                                       Honda

1992         Pays-Bas                                        500                                   Álex Crivillé                                                         Honda

1992         Afrique du Sud                        500                                   John Kocinski                                                Yamaha

1993         Allemagne                                       500                                   Daryl Beattie                                                      Honda

1993         Grand Prix FIM                         500                                   Alex Barros                                                         Suzuki

1995         Espagne                                             500                                   Alberto Puig                                                    Honda

1996         Malaisie                                               500                                   Luca Cadalora                                                Honda

1996         Japon                                                     500                                   Norick Abe                                                          Yamaha

1996         Catalogne                                         500                                   Carlos Checa                                                   Honda

1996         Australie                                             500                                   Loris Capirossi                                            Yamaha

1997         Indonésie                                           500                                   Taddy Okada                                                    Honda

1998         Japon                                                     500                                   Max Biaggi                                                            Honda

1999         Malaisie                                               500                                   Kenny Roberts Jr                                      Suzuki

1999         Valence                                               500                                   Régis Laconi                                                   Yamaha

2000         Afrique du Sud                          500                                   Garry McCoy                                                    Yamaha

2000         Grande Bretagne                    500                                   Valentino Rossi                                          Honda

2001         Valence                                               500                                    Sete Gibernau                                              Suzuki

2002         Afrique du Sud   Moto GP - 990cc                  Torhu Ukawa                                                  Honda

2005         USA                                 Moto GP - 990cc                   Nicky Hayden                                                   Honda

2005         Turquie                         Moto GP - 990cc                   Marco Melandri                                          Honda

2006         Chine                               Moto GP - 990                           Dani Pedrosa                                                 Honda

2006         Portugal                       Moto GP - 990                           Toni Elías                                                               Honda

2008         Portugal                       Moto GP - 800                           Jorge Lorenzo                                            Yamaha

October 2008