January 16 2012.

Michelin achieved its objective this weekend by notching up its 29th Dakar motorcycle victory thanks to Frenchman Cyril Despres whose KTM was equipped with the latest Michelin Desert Race tyres. The similar Michelin-equipped machine of Spaniard Marc Coma claimed second place to produce a one-two finish for Red Bull/KTM. Third place went to Portugal's Helder Rodrigues whose Yamaha was equipped with Michelin Desert front tyres 'inflated' by Michelin Bib-Mousse inserts.

Winning the world's most exacting cross-country rally is never the result of good luck alone. The necessary ingredients are an experienced rider, a competitive bike and Michelin tyres capable of delivering stage-winning performance over a wide variety of challenging terrains.

The 2012 Dakar, which featured an 8,391km route through Argentina, Chile and Peru in extreme weather conditions, was exceptionally punishing, yet the Michelin Desert Race came through the test with flying colours.

The rally produced a thrilling duel between Spain's Marc Coma, winner of the 2011 Dakar, and Cyril Despres, winner of the event in 2005, 2007 and 2010. The Frenchman went on to claim his fourth Dakar success which enabled Michelin to establish a new record for cross-country rally wins.

The Dakar has long served as a life-size proving ground for Michelin and this year's rally provided the brand with an opportunity to validate the Desert Race, which features the very latest off-road tyre technologies, in extreme conditions.

Indeed, the link between Michelin's competition tyres and road tyres has never been so close, since they are one and the same!