By Stephen English

With a spate of front-end falls affecting MotoGP riders at Silverstone, Dani Pedrosa continued his criticism of Bridgestone's decision to bring only the new specification front tyre from the British Grand Prix onwards.

It also seems that he believes the tyre was introduced to level the competitive field in the premier-class.

In previous 2012 races the new spec tyre had been available as an alternative to the original tyre construction. Pedrosa and Repsol Honda team-mate Casey Stoner had stayed clear of the new tyre after giving it a negative review in winter testing.

But from Silverstone onwards Bridgestone have made a decision - backed, they say, by the majority of the riders - to bring only the new tyre. All teams and riders are therefore forced to use the new construction from now on.

Pedrosa, like Stoner, has been very critical of the decision to change the tyres and made his feelings perfectly clear after qualifying, believing the new tyre has played a significant role in the accidents throughout the weekend.

"The front tyre for me is completely wrong," said Pedrosa. "I think it is a big issue and you can see today how many front crashes, I think it is the most front crashes from all the race tracks.

"I don't know how many crashes were last year in, more or less, the same conditions. I believe this [new] tyre is so soft that everyone that has to run it with a lot of inner pressure and you start to lose the feeling and over bumps it is not absorbing at all and I believe that it is a big mistake."

Pedrosa then went on to question the motives behind the decision to bring the new tyre in.

"We did this [tyre] swap because some people see an advantage. I think today in qualifying you can see that the gap to the second group is closed up and this means that the performance of the tyre is much worse and you cannot take profit of the riding."

Pedrosa qualified in fifth place, just ahead of the Ducatis of Hector Barbera and Nicky Hayden. And with Barbera equalling his career best MotoGP grid position, Pedrosa's 'closed up' comment could be seen as referring to Ducati.

World champion Stoner is equally critical about the performance of the new tyre, which he agrees is too soft, causing stability problems.

However he isn't sure it is definitely the reason for the Silverstone incidents.

"It's not a good situation at the moment in my opinion and it'll only get worse when we get to hotter tracks and tracks where we are going to need more support from the tyre," he began.

"The only way to actually get the support from the [new] tyre at the moment is to put a higher inner pressure, but with a higher inner pressure you get less contact patch and less feeling.

"In the middle of the corner, yeah, everything can feel great, but when you're braking hard going into the turn you can feel the tyre squishing completely.

"I'm not sure if that is the reason for the crashes this weekend, as we've seen a lot of crashes in Moto2 and Moto3 [on Dunlop tyres] as well. It's difficult to say if [the new tyre] is the reason."

Despite the Repsol criticism, many riders openly prefer the new front slick - including Gresini Honda's Silverstone pole sitter Alvaro Bautista.

The Yamaha riders, as well as Ducati, had also already chosen to race with the new tyre construction prior to Silverstone. Pedrosa and Stoner meanwhile will be making their race debut in Sunday's grand prix.

"We did many laps with the new front tyre, but only short runs, so the performance in the second half of the race is mystery," said Pedrosa.

As had been the case with the original 2012 construction, the new front tyre will be available in two different compounds at each grand prix, with the 'Soft' and 'Medium' on offer at Silverstone.

"The feedback on how our new specification front slick is performing has been very positive," said Bridgestone's Shinji Aoki.


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