MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi believes that tyre evolution is the main reason why there has been a lack of close racing in MotoGP for the past two seasons.

There has been a distinct drop in the amount of overtaking and close racing in MotoGP ever since the switch from 990 to 800cc engines in 2007. Whilst most blame the capacity change, Rossi is more specific - stating that the problem is actually tyre technology raising cornering speeds and reducing braking distances.

"In the last few years there have been races, especially since the arrival of the 800cc motorcycle, with a lot less close racing and I think that this is mostly to do with the evolution of the tyres," said the Fiat Yamaha star. "Now in the corners we're very fast and so there is less time to try to overtake."

With a new single tyre rule being introduced for MotoGP in 2009, the opportunity exists for Bridgestone to follow Rossi's advice and help improve the show by building tyres with less cornering performance.

This has already taken place to a certain degree, with Bridgestone reducing the overall grip level of its tyres in order to make them compatible with all machines and riders.

Rossi believes the show will improve in 2009 as a result of the single tyre rule, but isn't sure quite how much difference it will make.

"I think that there will be a better show because everyone will have the same tyre," Rossi declared. "With the monotyre, for better or for worse and considering the show, during the last few laps of the race the bike will move around a bit more and so you will have to go a little bit slower. This will probably produce closer battles. We hope so!"

"The mono tyre rule gave rise to a great deal of discussion, but it came at the right moment [given the global financial crisis]," added Rossi's team manager Davide Brivio. "As a consequence there has been a reduction in testing, which is exactly what was needed. I think it's been a happy coincidence, very welcome.

"Everybody expects there to be more of a show with this rule change, but I don't believe things will change that much, as the strongest riders will keep racing competitively and the others will lag behind.

"With or without single tyre, the list of the candidates for victory won't change, but it is a welcome solution considering the present economic situation. This will end all discussions on tyre differences. All the riders will be on an equal footing and, in this respect, it will be interesting."

After tyres, Rossi believes the rapid rate of progress made by electronics has also harmed the show, by reducing mistakes and numbing rider talent.

"Furthermore however, the huge evolutions in electronics have leveled the performance of the riders and therefore this has also led to a few less battles," said the eight time world champion.

Brivio sympathised with his rider regarding the impact of electronic rider aids, but is also aware of the need to develop such technology for street bikes.

"Valentino has 'suffered' as a result of the changes that have arisen since technology has progressed, more electronics are used and rider aids have been introduced," said Brivio. "On the one hand aids are very useful for safety reasons and research, especially with regards to the production bike. These aids will affect production and therefore our customers, so research in this field is welcomed.

"However, from a sporting and performance point of view, this is an aid to the riders. This means that the difference Valentino can make due to his talent and experience has been reduced. This is why it was important to win in 2008, to show that, despite all, he was still the greatest rider.

"Sometimes Valentino has expressed the desire to reduce the rider aids, in order to allow the rider's talent and ability to be properly appreciated. This is justifiable from the rider's point of view. From a sporting and sentimental point of view I'd also like to see less aids and the riders relying exclusively on their talent.

"Thinking about our customers however, who will ride the bikes on the street, research and aid development are the right things to do. It would be great to be able to find a compromise for the situation, but in any case I believe the races will still be very spectacular, more so than ever next year with many riders fighting for victory. Ultimately it is always the best that are leading."

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