Bridgestone and Dorna Sports have signed a new three-year deal that will see the Japanese manufacturer continue as the Official Tyre Supplier to the MotoGP World Championship from 2012-2014.
The new contract means that Bridgestone will continue to provide tyres and technical support to every team and rider on the premier-class grid as the championship enters the new era of increased engine capacity, up from 800cc to 1000cc.
Since entering the championship's top category, then 500cc, in 2002, it took just two years for the first race win on Bridgestone tyres. Then, in 2009, Bridgestone was named the championship's first Official Tyre Supplier.
“Firstly I'd like to send our deepest condolences to the people suffering from last week's terrible Pacific Coast of Tohoku Earthquake Disaster,” said Mikio Masunaga, Vice President and Senior Officer Member of the Board Responsible for Motorsport, Bridgestone Corporation.
“We sincerely hope that quality of life and a sense of normality can be restored for all those affected by this tragedy and Bridgestone group promise to help with the relief and recovery effort.
“Turning our attention for a moment towards out motorsport activities though, I am proud that we are able to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to MotoGP by extending our participation as Official Tyre Supplier to the premier class with a new three-year deal. Bridgestone has a very rich heritage in the leading motorsport categories across the world, and MotoGP represents a significant part of this heritage.
“I am encouraged that we can continue what has been a very successful relationship with the premier class of motorcycle road racing over the past nine years. I would like to thank the riders, the FIM, Dorna, the MSMA and IRTA for their support of us, in particular over the last two years as Official Tyre Supplier.”
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta added that the early timing of the contract extension - Bridgestone's original MotoGP contract doesn't expire until the end of 2011 - allows teams to continue preparations for the new 1000cc engine rules.
“I am very pleased that we can continue to work closely with Bridgestone for another three years after this season,” he said.
“Their ongoing commitment at this early point is important in allowing us all to plan for the future, especially for the teams as they are already underway with their development plans for next year and the new 1000cc era, and I believe it also demonstrates the value of MotoGP as a business platform.”
The only criticism Bridgestone has received from riders is that the two compounds on offer each weekend are sometimes too conservative and can take too long to warm-up. The later issue has been addressed by increased use of multi-compound tyres.