In 2016, Michelin makes a return to MotoGP as the sole tyre supplier and this partnership with BMW means that not only will the race bikes be showcasing Michelin’s technological leadership, but it will also be demonstrated on the Safety Car that makes an appearance at the start of each race. The Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres are constructed using technologies developed in races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and this will ensure that the Safety Car drivers will be able to safely maintain high circuit speeds whenever it takes to the track. The tyres feature a unique combination of three Michelin technologies: an aramid belt, the Bi-Compound tread band and the Track Variable Contact Patch 3.0.
The aramid belt used in the Pilot Sport Cup 2 is made of a high-density fibre primarily used in aeronautics and protective military gear, whose key feature is its high strength. Strong and light at the same time, aramid is five times more resistant than steel at an equivalent weight. Due to its variable tension, the belt is tighter in the tread area compared to the shoulders, centrifugal force is more effectively controlled and pressure is more evenly distributed ensuring a consistent contact patch shape, even at very high speeds.
Bi-Compound technology uses different rubber compounds on the left and right sides of the tread. On the outer shoulder, an elastomer ensures exceptional endurance during cornering, while on the inside, a different elastomer combines with a special tread design to enable the tyre, on wet surfaces, to break through the water’s surface and adhere to even the slightest irregularities in the road. The innovative feature of the Track Variable Contact Patch 3.0 is that it changes shape depending on real-time driving conditions, thereby guaranteeing total vehicle control. In this way, even as the patch’s shape changes when cornering, the amount of rubber in contact with the track surface remains the same.
From its market launch in early 2016, the BMW M2 Coupe road cars will be equipped exclusively with specially developed versions of the Michelin Pilot Super Sport, in the same 245/35 ZR 19 front and 265/35 ZR 19 rear sizes as used by the Safety Car. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 makes a considerable contribution to the dynamic abilities of the BMW M2 Safety Car and, at the same time, ensures impressive ride comfort and tyre life. This performance balance reflects the successful transfer of technology from track to street, as well as close cooperation with the car manufacturer, initiated several years ago for the BMW M5 project and seen on recent BMW M models including the M3, M4, M6, X5 M and X6 M.