Bridgestone Motorsport chief engineer Masao Azuma does not believe that the difference in wet tyre choice between the factory Honda and Yamaha riders was a 'major influence' on the outcome of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
Yamaha's world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo
said his soft rear tyre had become worn by the halfway stage, causing him to struggle when the rain intensified and he was seen gesturing that conditions were becoming too dangerous.
By contrast, Honda riders Pedrosa and Stoner seemed to have fewer issues on the harder tyre.
Pedrosa overtook Lorenzo on lap 10 of the planned 20-lap distance, then pulled away, with Stoner reaching Lorenzo after a scare for the Spaniard just moments before the red flags were raised.
While some feel that Lorenzo and Yamaha simply made an incorrect tyre choice, Azuma insists that the difference in performance between the two specifications would only have been a factor later in the race.
All riders selected the hard front wet tyre for the race as this option gives better cornering and braking stability, while rear tyre choice was split the soft and hard compound,” confirmed Azuma.
“The soft rear wet tyre gives better edge grip at a slight expense to durability but as the race was red-flagged after 13 laps, the difference in performance between these two options didn't have a major influence on the result.”
Stoner and Pedrosa agreed that the race could only have gone on for a further one or two laps at the very most.