A move to eliminate the risk of slipping on a banana peel during a fast lap on the track? No, none of this. After a series of positive reviews, we will soon be able to get tires also made from orange and lemon peels: in fact, according to Michelin programmes, as early as 2024 World Championship riders can race with tires containing a large amount of recycled or recovered material, of vegetable waste. Fewer chemicals and less polluting products the tires will be greener. And what better stage of the first class to introduce this innovation to the general public, which can later also be adopted for the standard tires, those fitted to our cars?
As reported by the Spanish newspaper La Razon, Matteo Bonnardel, director of Michelin Motorsport, has announced the use of waste citrus processing to produce racing tyres. Pastazzo is already used to obtain textile fibres, which big fashion houses also embrace for their collections, but here we are talking about the essential elements of motorcycle performance: in a world where difference is made by milliseconds. Tires certainly aren’t a trivial aspect.
Developments in the research and development department of the Clermont Ferrand brand will allow this project to become a reality in two years, reducing the impact of tires. “In 2024, 40% of tires will be made from recycled materials. We are already doing analysis and development work and it will consist of recycled plastic and orange and lemon peels,” Bonnardel highlights.
The French giant has entered into an agreement with Dorna, the company that organizes the world championships, to be the sole supplier in MotoGP: that is until at least 2026. But Michelin is also the supplier of MotoE, competitions that see electric motorcycles move to the track and from this series the research work began.
“Our efforts start from MotoE and the Michelin goal is to speed up the process, without sacrificing performance, which remains our priority,” Bonnardel told Gpone.com. “In terms of MotoGP motorcycles, I can say that in 2024 riders will have tires made from recycled materials. The ratio should be around 40%. Currently I can’t give an accurate quote, as we do the analysis and development work rigorously. It will be chewing gum made from recycled plastic, as well as orange and lemon peels. We want to show that with these materials there will be no impact on performance and that our tires will be safe in any type of condition. But not only that, starting in 2024 we would like to bring fewer tires to the track in the interest of sustainability and the environment.”