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Michelin won't bid to supply 2009 tyres

Michelin MotoGP tyreMichelin has decided not to submit a bid to be the single tyre supplier to MotoGP for the next three seasons - in a move that all but confirms that Bridgestone will be the series' sole tyre from 2009.

The FIM announced last week in Japan that the premier class of bike racing would follow all other major motorsport championships by ending its tyre war next season.

Proposals for the 2009 tyre supply had to be submitted by Friday, but Michelin announced at Phillip Island today that it had not bid for the role.

Michelin has long been critical of control tyres, and is no longer involved in Formula One or the World Rally Championship after both switched to single suppliers.

"The spirit of competition has always been central to Michelin," said a company statement. "Motor sports at the highest level are useful because competition among several tyre manufacturers is a valuable stimulus for developing increasingly high-performance tyres that will one day equip customer vehicles.

"Tyres play a key role in a vehicle's performance and can make a considerable difference. This competition among manufacturers helps to make racing exciting."

The MotoGP authorities said the single tyre rule was being introduced to reduce costs and improve safety, but Michelin hinted that it felt these goals could have been achieved via different methods.

"Michelin regrets not being able to contribute to the organisers' important discussions to improve rider safety and reduce costs," said the statement.

Bridgestone and Michelin have been the only tyre companies in MotoGP this season after Dunlop withdrew following 2007, so Michelin's decision not to bid virtually guarantees that Bridgestone will win the contract for 2009.

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