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Dec 3, 2002

Michelin Plans Test Program With Three 2003 Teams

<BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Michelin North America plans to supply No Limits Motorsports Honda and Annandale Honda as well as Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki with not only tires but also an extensive testing program in 2003, with even bigger plans for 2004.<BR><BR>"We're coming back to take control, I guess you might say. We're going to make our presence known," Michelin North America Motorcycle Road Racing Manager Ron Wood told Roadracingworld.com. Wood also confirmed the company's plan to return to the AMA Superbike class in 2004, saying, "We plan to participate in all classes in 2004."<BR><BR>After confirming new tire supply deals with No Limits Honda and Annandale Honda and Michelin's ongoing relationship with Valvoline EMGO Suzuki, Wood said, "We're going to have tire testing set up all through the year at a lot of different tracks. We'll participate in, I guess, the majority of all the Honda test days also. We'll have some of our own so that we can get Valvoline and everybody else there. We've got some tentative plans, but I can't say anything until we've got them totally ironed out. We are planning up to four tests ourself, in addition to all of the others (multi-team tests). Probably one, if not two, before the season starts, then at least two afterward, if not more."<BR><BR>Wood is also trying to organize a Michelin tire test at Daytona. "We're still trying to do that," said Wood. "If worst case scenario, we have other alternatives where we can go do simulated testing, like at Texas World or something like that." <BR><BR>Located in College Station, Texas, Texas World Speedway is a 2.0-mile, D-shaped superspeedway oval with 22-degree banking, less than Daytona International Speedway's 31-degree banking.<BR><BR>Wood said he expected to finalize some of the Michelin testing plans before the holidays.<BR>