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Oct 19, 2001

Comprehensive Michelin Road Racing Contingency Program Returns For 2002

Michelin will introduce a comprehensive road racing contingency program for 2002, including payouts in 13 National and Regional racing series across the country.<BR><BR>The move is part of a new Michelin push in the U.S. market, along with the introduction of the Pilot Race 2 in three versions, two for the racetrack and one for highway use. The Pilot Race 2 made its AMA Pro Racing debut at Virginia International Raceway last month, where it took pole position in 750cc Supersport.<BR><BR>Michelin North America, Inc. announced the contingency program in a press release dated October 16 but released October 18 in the press room at Daytona International Speedway.<BR><BR>Michelin is testing Pilot Race 2 DOT-labeled tires during CCS and F-USA competition at Daytona this week, with Josh Hayes and Grant Lopez of Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki.<BR><BR>The company held a summit with its racing tire distributors at Daytona, including Sto Smead of Motorace, Walt Schaefer of Walt Schaefer Cycle Supply and Morgan Broadhead of Freddie Spencer's High Performance Product Line.<BR><BR>Ron Wood has been put in charge of Michelin North America's road racing programs; those programs were formerly handled by former off-road racer Randy Richardson, who will now concentrate on Michelin's off-road and motocross programs.<BR><BR>The text of the Michelin North America press release follows:<BR><BR>Michelin Expands Motorcycle Road Racing Contingencies in 2002<BR><BR>Greenville, SC--Coinciding with the introduction of the new Michelin Pilot Race 2 supersport racing tire, Michelin North America has announced that it will expand its contingency programs for U.S. motorcycle road racing, starting in 2002.<BR><BR>"We want to make sure that racers not only have world-class Michelin racing technology available to them, but that they also are rewarded for their loyalty to Michelin," said Ron Wood, manager of motorcycle road racing programs for Michelin North America.<BR><BR>Michelin contingency payouts will be available in the following Regional and National series:<BR><BR>AMA Superbike Series<BR><BR>Clear Channel Formula USA Series<BR><BR>Championship Cup Series (CCS)<BR><BR>American Federation of Motorcyclists Series (AFM)<BR><BR>Central Roadracing Association (CRA)<BR><BR>Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association (OMRRA)<BR><BR>Washington Motorcycle Road Racing Association (WMRRA)<BR><BR>Motorcycle Racing Association (MRA)<BR><BR>Willow Springs Motorcycle Club Series (WSMC)<BR><BR>New Mexico Road Racing Series<BR><BR>WERA National Challenge Series<BR><BR>WERA National Endurance Series<BR><BR>WERA Sportsman Series<BR><BR>Details of the contingency program will be distributed in the next few weeks. For further information, contact these Michelin motorcycle race tire distributors: Motorace (800) 628-4040; Walt Schaefer Cycle Supply, (256) 538-5906; and Freddie Spencer's High Performance Product Line, (888) 672-7219. Contingency information will also be available on the Michelin motorcycle tire website: www. michelin.com/moto.<BR><BR><BR>Another press release issued by Michelin North American at Daytona concerned the Pilot Race 2 itself, and read as follows:<BR><BR>The New Pilot Race 2: A Winner on Both Road and Track<BR><BR>Greenville, SC--With the introduction of the new Pilot Race 2 series of tires, Michelin has once again raised the bar for supersport motorcycle performance. Using exclusive Michelin radial-delta construction and aggressive tread compounds, the Pilot Race 2 is intended primarily for races that require the use of DOT-approved street tires. The Pilot Race 2 range also includes an ultrahigh-performance tire that's suitable for serious on-road sport riding.<BR><BR>When the original Pilot Race was introduced in 1999, its semi-slick tread pattern inspired a slew of imitators, though none could match the performance that won both the AMA 750 Supersport and Formula USA Unlimited Superbike championships in 2002. The Pilot Race 2 is the latest generation of tire technology from the company that has won eight consecutive World Superbike Championships, where Michelin dominates the hardest-fought tire war in motorcycle road racing.<BR><BR>Like its predecessor, the Pilot Race 2 employs Michelin-patented radial delta contruction in the rear tire, but adds advancements in tread design and casing profile that will offer supersport racers that same sort of dominating performance. Radial-delta combines a radial casing with a jointless, zero-degree Kevlar belt and two angled crown plies for outstanding cornering grip, consistent feedback and impressive high-speed stability.<BR><BR>The new Pilot Race 2 will be available in three models:<BR><BR>Pilot Race S2: For smooth circuits, moderate track temperatures, qualifying sessions or short races;<BR><BR>Pilot Race M2: More resistance to treadwear than Pilot Race S2, for higher temperatures or abrasive track surfaces;<BR><BR>Pilot Race H2: Street use, for ultimate backroad performance or the occasional track day.<BR><BR>The Pilot Race H2 was created in response to the demand from owners of supersport bikes who want the performance of a race tire for road riding. Racing-specific tires like the Pilot Race S2 and Pilot Race M2 are impractical for the road because they do not adapt well to the repeated heat cycles that street tires must withstand. The Pilot Race H2 features the same tread as the S2 and M2, but with differences in the structure and compound that promote quick warm-up, consistent performance and enhanced stability.<BR><BR>The Pilot Race S2 and Pilot Race M2 are available exclusively through Michelin motorcycle race tire distributors: Motorace, (800) 628-4040; Walt Schaefer Cycle Supply, (256) 538-5906; and Freddie Spencer's High Peformance Product Line, (888) 672-7219. The Pilot Race H2 will be available through these distributors, as well as normal retail channels.<BR><BR>Perhaps the most significant endorsement for the new Pilot Race 2 is that two former Grand Prix World Champions have chosen it as the official tire for their own riding schools: Freddie Spencer's High Performance Riding School at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and the Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School at the Road Atlanta circuit in Georgia. In addition, the championship-winning Valvoline Suzuki team will use the Michelin Pilot Race 2 in AMA Supersport competition throughout 2002.<BR><BR>Because the Pilot Race 2 will appeal to a relatively narrow market segment, the selection of sizes will initially be limited to those which fit the vast majority of current sportbikes: 120/70 ZR17 front and 180/55 ZR17 rear. Additionally, the Pilot Race M2 will be offered in a 190/50 ZR17 rear size.<BR><BR>Michelin North America is a division of Group Michelin, one of the world's largest tire manufacturers, with worldwide 2000 sales of more than $14 billion. Michelin manufactures and sells tires for virtually every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. Headquartered in Greenville, SC, Michelin North America employs 27,000 and operates 23 plants. Michelin is an equal-opportunity employer.