Already present in MotoGP as the sole supplier of tires from the 2016, Michelin has agreed to be a partner also for the organization of MotoE World Cup. The reasons was declared by Matthieu Bonardel, Director of Michelin Motorsport, at the time of the presentation of the new championship: "Ever since its beginnings, Michelin has chosen projects with meaning to improve mobility and make it safer, more economical and more environmentally friendly. The MotoE™ is one of them. With the creation of this new championship, the International Motorcycling Federation and Dorna Sports are providing a strong and concrete response to mobility issues by presenting us with the first 100% electric motorcycle sport discipline. This will be a valuable development laboratory for innovations that may appear in tomorrow’s standard Michelin tires. We are therefore delighted to participate in the foundation of this new championship as a technological partner."
After that, the development of the project passed to Piero Taramasso, 30 year experience at Michelin, half of them in the Motorsport sector. Today Taramasso is the Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager and is involved in both track and off-road businesses. When we met him at the San Marino GP in Misano, he told us that when Michelin started working on the MotoE project, they focused on three areas: a commercial product, the MotoGP tyre and a tyre developed for the Superbike championships in which Michelin operates. The decision was taken after several tests with Alessandro Brannetti, the official test rider of Energica , and Loris Capirossi. The different driving style of the two riders (i.e. Capirossi has a more aggressive braking) has allowed to carry out a series of tests in very different conditions.
The choice was for a front tyre derived from the MotoGP and a rear tyre developed from the experience in the national Superbike championships (i.e. France and Spain). The French company set a front tire of 3,75 × 17 inches with the same structure as that of the MotoGP with the capability to withstand high loads. The compound, although derived from MotoGP, is specific for the MotoE: it is of medium type to adapt both to high and low temperatures.
The rear is of 6 × 17 inches, it has a very soft structure because it is less stressed than a MotoGP one and the compound is extra-soft to have an instant grip. The exception was the tyre prepared for the Austrian GP: due to the characteristics of the Red Bull Ring, Michelin supplied a tyre with a slightly harder compound, let's call it a "medium-soft" instead of an "extra-soft".
In all the races held so far, the tyre performance was as per the expectations, with comparable performances in the morning sessions with cold track as well as during the warm sessions. The wear was uniform and it allowed for consistent performance over the entire duration of the race. This despite the MotoE is not provided with a traction control system, which would make the job of the rear tyre easier. Taramasso explained that the riding style developed for the MotoE requires a high corner speed, is a style more similar to the Moto3 than to the MotoGP, and in this scenario the tyres have been extremely stable, with lean angle up to 60 ° (data by LCR E-team at Misano).
In the near future no developments are planned for the front tyre while some working are ongoing on the rear one: some riders have reported a sliding mouvement of the rear during the acceleration at the final exit of some corners .
For more details on the Michelin tyres for the MotoE , including wet tyres, consult the section "The MotoE - Tyres".