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GP Week : Issue 31
>>Moto GPnews Bridgestone takes all Bridgestone will be the tyre supplier for next year’s single tyre rule in the MotoGP class, after Michelin declined to put in a tender to supply the class. The French company issued a statement saying it had no interest in the class in such conditions. “The spirit of competition has always been central to Michelin. Motor sports at the highest level are useful because competition among several tyre manufacturers is a valuable stimulus for developing increasingly high- performance tyres.” This was consistent with its frequent repetition that it opposed the one-tyre rule. Bridgestone as frequently land crash-fest wreckage. The engine was still running, and viewers watched as he reached inside to try and find the way to switch it off. Stoner was one of three Ducatis to fall in exactly the same spot, braking for MG Corner. The crashes were identical, but rather than blame the Bridgestone front tyres he thought that he, Melandri and Elias had all hit the same unidentified slippery patch. The fourth Ducati rider, Sylvain Guintoli, had a balletic tumble in the same session. His bike went down and he landed on top of it, sitting there like a demented surfer as it slid across the gravel. In the 250 class, in the wet morning session, Fabrizio Lai had a scary run into the barrier after running off the outside of the very fast final corner. He fought for control across the gravel, leaving it too late to bale out, and slamming into the tyre barrier, lucky to escape serious injury. Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information expressed the same sentiment. However, the Japanese company managed an about- face after a series of meeting in the three days after the Japanese GP at Motegi. According to Motorcycle Racing chief Hiroshi Yamada, they wished to stay in MotoGP “under any conditions.” He would not reveal details of the tender, beyond confirming that tyres will be supplied free of charge. But he revealed that in order to supply the full grid, the quality and performance of tyres would not be as high as at present. The aim of the new rule, according to Dorna, is to reduce costs and improve safety, by cutting corner speeds. While the first was achievable, Yamada did not believe that safety would be improved. “It is easy to make a tyre with less grip and reduce corner speed,” he said. “But on the other hand, it makes the chance of crashing greater “Tyres have been a very big factor in improved lap times, but actual mid-corner speed is maybe one or two kilometres more. “If we talk about safety, look at rain conditions. Corner speed is slower, but there are more crashes.” Both Yamada and Michelin’s Jean-Philippe Weber confirmed that the tyre companies had no mutual discussion, whereby they might have organised a boycott, and nipped the largely unpopular change in regulations in the bud. While teams’ association IRTA and ultimately the GP Commission supported the move, not all riders were in favour, giving the lie to Dorna chief Carmelo Ezpeleta’s assertion that it had been done in response to a riders’ request at a special safety meeting he called at Brno. Rossi said the only thing all riders had agreed on at the meeting, where they discussed ways to reduce corner speed, was “to return to 990cc”. It was not true that all riders had supported the rule, he said. Strong rumours in Australia confirmed that Ducati had been willing to switch to Michelin and save the day, but only if Michelin agreed to supply the Italian bikes exclusively. Michelin declined. Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ... 13