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GP Week : Issue 149
MotoGP riders will get two extra tyres for the next four races, as a special allowance to let in the latest Bridgestone improvement as soon as possible. Front tyre allocation will go up from nine to 11 for Jerez, Estoril, Le Mans and Catalunya. The extra two will be the newest Bridgestones, the so-called “21” , with only a limited supply available. By round six at Silverstone, production and delivery from Japan will be up to full speed and more of the new tyres will be available, whereupon the allocation will drop back to nine per weekend again. Production of the 2012 front tyre, broadly similar to the 2011 tyre (bigger changes were made to the rear for the new-generation “safety” tyres with quicker warm-up) was already under way when this newer tyre was developed and brought to the final tests. It was universally popular. It came in two different types, dubbed “21” and “24” . Most riders preferred the 21, but Stoner and Pedrosa felt that the 24, with a slightly stiffer construction, had better stability for their Hondas. However they were out-voted, and Bridgestone decided to add only the 21 to their range. Race director Mike Webb explained that the new tyre represented “such a step for ward in feel that it was decided they would introduce that as soon as possible. It meant I had to rewrite the rules to allow them to bring a bigger selection of tyres. “It’s a bigger allocation only because we are in a transition between the current standard 2012 front tyre and this new one, which is so much better.” Bridgestone said they could supply only two per rider for the early races. “As a help to the riders, rather than take away from their allocation, we’ve added another two,” said Webb. TYRE REGS TICKLED AS NEW BRIDGESTONE COMES EARLY But Honda riders’ preferred choice is off the menu at BRIEFLY » It always spices the racing up for the fans when it gets personal, and great rivalries echo down the ages, from Hailwood/Agostini and Read/Redman to Roberts/ Spencer and Schwantz/Rainey and Rossi/Biaggi. So some might have been disappointed to see former deadly enemies Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa embracing warmly after the race at Qatar. “We used to never speak, but now we have more respect,” explained Pedrosa. It’s a far cry from the time when the King of Spain forced them to shake hands reluctantly on the rostrum. » Valentino Rossi finished a creditable 18th in the Blancpain Three-Hour endurance race at Monza on Sunday, overcoming dire conditions and the slow pace of his co-driver, best friend “Uccio” Salucci Torrential rain meant the race started behind the Safety Car, which appeared several more times in a crash-strewn race. Rossi had qualified 10th out of 33, and moved up to ninth in his first stint. The Ferrari 458 dropped to 25th when Uccio took over, but Rossi climbed back to 18th at the finish. The race was won by (Moto2- sponsor) Marc VDS, with Marcus Palttala, Bas Leinders and Maxime Martin putting their BMW Z4 ahead of a pair of Audi R8s and a Porsche 997. FOOTNOTE: Bridgestone have enlisted the support of the FIM in a proposal to add a second compound to the limited allocation of wet-weather tyres. Currently only one compound is available. The Japanese company wishes to make room for an alternative compound for safety reason. The FIM will put the proposal to the GP Commission, which if adopted would take effect immediately. 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS