MotoGP rear tyre choice could be shaken-up from Brno onwards, when Bridgestone will debut its new hard compound.
In the eight dry races so far this season, the softer rear tyre on offer has been chosen by all manufacturer riders - from Honda, Yamaha and Ducati (factory and satellite) - with the exception of Texas.
The Austin round saw two riders race with the harder of the tyre options, which at that event was formed from the hard compound.
One of those riders was race winner Marc Marquez, but Bridgestone's chief engineer Masao Azuma admits the present hard compound 'isn't popular' and hopes that rear tyre variety will return from Brno, in late August.
"Early in the season it was evident that a strong preference among the riders for the soft and medium compound rear slicks was occurring and the hard compound rear slick was not being used often," confirmed Azuma. "For whatever reason; be it an evolution in bike design or electronic controls, our current hard compound rear slick isn't popular with riders this year, so we set about developing a new hard rubber compound.
"Until this change could be properly tested and introduced into the allocation, it was agreed that riders could choose a greater number of softer rear slicks at each race weekend. We are planning to introduce our new hard compound rear slick tyre at the Czech Republic Grand Prix next month and are hopeful that this new tyre will be well received."
However if the new hard is still not to the riders liking, there will continue to be extra softer tyres available anyway.
"Bridgestone, Dorna and IRTA have come to an agreement that riders on MSMA (manufacturer) machines can select up to eight softer rear tyres from the Czech Republic Grand Prix to the last race regardless of the effectiveness of the new hard compound."
Bridgestone selects a softer and harder rear tyre - from a pool of five different compounds; Extra-Soft, Soft, Med-Soft, Medium and Hard - for each event.
The privateer CRT class riders have a softer rear compound available at each race, relative to the manufacturer riders.