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Michelin Rider Richard Charlton takes on the Manx Grand Prix

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Michelin’s Richard Charlton will once again compete in this year’s Manx Grand Prix in both the Junior and Senior races hoping to make 2014 his year for victory.

The 36-year-old coal merchant from County Durham has spent a lifetime riding bikes, starting at the tender of age of three on motocross machines and moving onto road bikes and eventually racing in 2008. Following his dream to compete in the TT, Richard first raced on the famous Isle of Man course in the 2011 Manx Grand Prix.

Richard says: “There is nothing like racing on a 37-mile circuit of public roads and with no warm-up laps you have to be completely focussed. Compared to track racing, you have to use your head a lot more to prepare for what’s ahead and that also means you’re always learning. It took me at least three years racing in the Manx before I felt like I really knew the circuit.”

Richard ensures he keeps bike fit by racing his Yamaha R6 in the Motogrande Powersport Tour run by Hottrax Racing. Although the track racing doesn’t compare to what the Manx will throw at riders, it does ensure Richard is in tune with his bike and tyres – so he doesn’t have to worry about them when on the Isle of Man.

Having used Michelin Power Cup tyres since 2009, Richard is always confident in his tyre choice when it comes
to the start line. Recently setting blisteringly fast lap times in the Hottrax series, the Michelins have consistently proved Richard right in his choice of tyre.

When asked what goes through his mind when he races in the Manx GP, Richard admits “There is a certain amount of fear, just the sheer speed you’re riding at. There’s one point where you have the throttle open and you’re giving it everything for nearly two miles – it’s moments like that when you have to have confidence in your bike and your tyres.

The Power Cup tyres I use have proven to be stable in fast corners and over the bumpier sections of the route – to get the best grip out of them I always make sure they’re warm before setting off. They’ve never let me down and I wouldn’t consider racing on anything else.”

This year the Manx Grand Prix takes place from 16 – 29 August. Follow Richard’s progress at www.manxgrandprix.org

Find out more about motorcycling with Michelin at moto.michelin.co.uk

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