While the one-make tyre rule is now highly unlikely to be implemented in MotoGP (and rightly so…), Valentino Rossi, who had earlier made it clear that he wasn’t happy with Michelin tyres, now looks all set to race on Bridgestone rubber in 2008. Rossi and his Michelin-shod Yamaha have taken a proper beating from the Stoner/Ducati/Bridgestone combo, and The Doctor is in no mood to relent and give Michelin a chance to make a comeback next year.
Although Rossi’s new teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, and Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and James Toseland will continue to use Michelin tyres, Rossi himself will be the only Yamaha rider to use Bridgestone tyres in 2008. While Michelin did try to convince Rossi to stay with them, the five-time MotoGP world champ remains unconvinced, hence the move.
Bridgestone boss, Hiroshi Yamada has not confirmed anything about having received a formal request from Yamaha about supplying tyres to Rossi, but he has otherwise said that it would indeed be possible for Bridgestone to supply tyres to ‘one more rider, especially given that the rider is Valentino Rossi.’
Moving to Bridgestones for 2008 could be the biggest gamble ever, for Rossi
More hi-res MotoGP wallpaper here!
Ducati, in the meanwhile, aren’t bothered with what tyres Rossi will or won’t use in 2008. Flush with Casey Stoner’s massive success this year, Ducati boss Livio Suppo says the Aussie ‘has nothing to fear from Rossi,’ regardless of what tyres the Italian uses. Stoner himself says that it would 'at least take away the excuses' if he continued to dominate again, despite Rossi being on similar tyres.
Speaking to MCN, Suppo said, ‘I believe if you look at this world championship with a realistic view, there was not Bridgestone domination, but a Casey, Ducati and Bridgestone domination. I understand Casey from a rider point of view because everybody said that he was winning because he had the speed at the start of the season. After that he was only winning because of the tyres and it looks like nobody wants to admit that the best rider at the moment is Casey!’
Well, whether or not Mr Stoner is ‘the best rider in MotoGP,’ we’ll certainly find out next year. If Rossi does indeed move to Bridgestone and still ends up being beaten in the world championship by Stoner, Suppo would’ve been proved right. But if The Doctor, who we still think is the most talented rider in MotoGP, makes a comeback, Ducati and Suppo might just end up eating a big, thick slice of some good old humble pie...
Raging Buell: The supercharged Lazareth XB12S!
Chris Vermeulen pays homage to Barry Sheene...
MotoGP mess: Who's to blame?
Carl Fogarty not coming back to WSBK after all...
TWO magazine: In conversation with Jeremy Burgess
The fearsome 1975 Yamaha TZ750 dirt-tracker!
Awesome: The 2009 Suzuki Stratosphere 1100...
Who's the fastest motorcycle racer in the world?
Who's the HOTTEST motorcyclist in the world?!