Michelin U.S. Motorcycle Championship Posts $87,500 Purse For Pro, Expert And Amateur Racers

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Jan. 09, 2009) - The Michelin U.S. Motorcycle Championship, set for October 3-4, 2009 at Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Ala., will be an exclusive, invitation-only event for sportsman-level racers who compete on MICHELIN(r) racing tires. The event will offer $87,500 in prize money over two days of racing.

The Michelin U.S. Motorcycle Championship will be co-sanctioned by both WERA and CCS/ASRA, and will comprise three classes recognized by both organizations: 600cc Supersport, 1000cc Superstock and Thunderbike/Twins. Within each class, racers will be divided into pro, expert and amateur divisions, with separate purse payouts for each.

"This is the first time that WERA and CCS have come together to sanction a single event," said Bernard Jarrousse, Michelin North America's director for motorcycle road racing. "We want to provide an opportunity for regional racers who compete on MICHELIN(r) racing tires to test themselves against riders from across the country, and to possibly finish the 2009 season with a big payday."

The Michelin U.S. Motorcycle Championship will also feature the U.S. Women's Road Racing Series Championship, presented by Femmoto. This represents the first time that Femmoto has ventured into racing.

Points earned over the Michelin U.S. Motorcycle Championship weekend will be compiled to crown a Grand Champion in each class. Pros, experts and amateurs are all eligible to become Grand Champion. The Grand Championships in 600cc supersport and 1000cc superstock are each worth $5000, while the Thunderbike and women's champions take home $3000. These payouts are in addition to individual race purses.

Racers can earn an invitation to the Michelin U.S. Motorcycle Championship in one of two ways. First, any licensed competitor who commits to using MICHELIN(r) racing tires by signing a national contract with a Michelin racing tire distributor before May 31, 2009, will automatically qualify to race at the Championship.

Racers may also qualify through regional series in which Michelin offers contingency awards. Michelin will designate specific race classes in each series, through which Michelin riders may qualify for the Championship. Any rider who uses MICHELIN(r) race tires and is in the top ten overall in these designated qualifying classes as of July 31, 2009, will earn an invitation to the Championship. Qualifying classes will be announced shortly and posted on www.MichelinMotorcycle.com.

Female racers attempting to qualify under this rule will earn invitations based solely on their results against other women in their class. Regardless of the class in which the rider qualifies, any bikes competing at the Michelin U.S. Motorcycle Championship must comply with applicable WERA or CCS rules.

The Michelin U.S. Motorcycle Championship is scheduled for a week before the WERA Grand National Finals at Road Atlanta, and two weeks before the CCS Race of Champions at Daytona International Speedway. "This offers Michelin racers a unique opportunity to compete in three major championship events on consecutive weekends, all of them in the southeastern U.S.," Jarrousse pointed out.

Dedicated to the improvement of sustainable mobility, Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires for every type of vehicle, including airplanes, automobiles, bicycles, earthmovers, farm equipment, heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles and the space shuttle. The company also publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, S.C., Michelin North America (www.michelin-us.com) employs more than 22,300 and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in 17 locations.

For more information, visit www.michelinmedia.com or contact:

Sherri Martin
Michelin North America
office: 1 864 458 6283
cell: 1 864 354 7175
email: sherri.martin@us.michelin.com

Dan Wildhirt
office: 1 303 684 6866
cell: 1 303 579 0557
email: dan@wildhirt.com