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GP Week : Issue 44
Rossi hampered by singe tyre ru VALENTINO Rossi has already complained that a choice of two different tyre types is not enough. At Jerez he added another complaint about the new single tyre rule – that he is hampered because he no longer has access to specially constructed Bridgestones to suit his style. “Last year Casey and me were able to use a different front tyre, with a harder construction,”he said, after qualifying a disappointed fourth. “But now it is cancelled. We need to adapt our styles and settings to the spec front tyre, which is a bit softer. It’s not so easy, and I am worried, because we need to change our settings as soon as possible.” Stoner however would not be drawn on the topic, although he agreed that he was also without the special strong fronts of last year. The rule made it the same for everybody, he said, and teams and riders should just get on with it. Some riders have clearly adapted fast, with Lorenzo saying: “I learn more about the tyres all the time, and the front tyre is especially good.” But Nicky Hayden, already struggling to adapt to the difficult Ducati, admits the tyre change has complicated matters for him; while Toni Elias is another who last year enjoyed specially constructed tyres and is suffering as a result this year. Elias used a softer construction, and has been experimenting with ballast to try and put more heat into the harder spec tyres. Practice sessions to be extended THE radically cut practice sessions are to be restored to a full hour from next weekend’s French GP, after requests from the rider-led GP Safety Commission. Practice and qualifying sessions had been cut to 45 minutes for MotoGP and 250s, and 40 minutes for the smaller classes, and the first Friday session cancelled, as part of a money- and mileage-saving package in response to the credit crunch. This meant just three 45 minute sessions, with the last timed for grid positions. Riders had complained however, that 45 minutes was not long 14 enough to make meaningful changes. The restricted time was especially a problem in the 125 class, where riders have only one bike. Friday morning will remain silent, but for MotoGP and 250 the three sessions will be extended to a full hour. The 125s will get an hour on Friday, but only 40 minutes for each Saturday run. “That’s the best news I’ve heard all day,” said Nicky Hayden. “It’ll help everyone, but maybe me a little bit more.” Not only riders struggling to adjust welcomed the change: “It’s better and it’s safer,” said Rossi.