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MotoGP goes single-tyre for 2009.

The MotoGP World Championship will become a single tyre brand series from the 2009 season, it was announced at Motegi on Sunday morning.

The rule - which mirrors that of the World Superbike Championship and Formula One World Championship - came close to being introduced for 2008, after new tyre regulations introduced at the start of last season saw a series of races where Bridgestone (and occasionally Michelin) held a clear performance advantage.

Despite a promising start to this season, Michelin once again struck severe problems due to unsuitable tyres - resulting in cut slicks being seen in dry morning practice at Laguna Seca, whilst world champions Jorge Lorenzo and James Toseland were unable to lap inside the 107% qualifying time next time out at a wet Brno.

Dani Pedrosa, who had led the world championship for Michelin until he fell from the lead of a wet German Grand Prix on July 13, then deflated the once all-conquering French brand further when he made a shock switch to Bridgestones after August's San Marino Grand Prix.

It is for competitive reasons that the majority of MotoGP riders support the introduction of a one-tyre rule - despite Bridgestone and Michelin being strongly opposed to it - but improving competition is not why the new rule has been introduced.

Instead Michelin, Bridgestone - or perhaps even both - will be forced out of the MotoGP paddock 'for safety and cost reasons'.

"For safety and cost reasons, the Grand Prix Commission, composed of Messrs. Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna, Chairman), Claude Danis (FIM), Hervé Poncharal (IRTA) and Takanao Tsubouchi (MSMA), in the presence of Mr. Paul Butler (Secretary of the meeting), in a meeting held today at the circuit of Motegi, unanimously decided to introduce the following change to the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations," read a statement from the FIM.

"The Grand Prix Commission has decided unanimously that there will be a single tyre supplier for the MotoGP class from 2009. Proposals to supply the tyres must be handed to the FIM and Dorna by October 3rd at the latest. The final decision will be announced by the GP Commission by October 18th at the latest."

Whilst it can be reasonably argued that an end to tyre competition will slow down future development, might the winner of the new MotoGP tyre contract be requested to limit the amount of side grip next season to meet such safety obligations?

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Lexington Steel

September 28, 2008 7:31 AM

Here's a way out thought guys.... Who cares about a single tyre rule?? Personally I watch MGP to see who is the BEST RIDER not who has the best tyres. If they all start on a level playing field, all with the same tyres, nobody with an advantage over anyone else IMHO it's a good thing. All I wish for now is a total ban on all electronic aids and a return to 990cc so we can really see who is the BEST RIDER and not who has the best tyres or best electronic package. Am I the only one who is happy at this first step???

JC - Unregistered

September 28, 2008 4:43 AM

Yeah Bob, you are so right. Rossi should have been patient and waited for Mich to catch up and let Stoner win another WC rather than switching and giving himself a chance to compete. That makes perfect sense! Where would Rossi's championship be if he had been 30 seconds behind with the other Michelin runners in Laguna Seca and Brno? Stoner wouldn't have been pressured, could have lapped .7 of a second slower and still won, wouldn't have binned 3 times in a row. How selfish of Rossi to want a chance to compete on equal tyres. I'm sure when he is celebrating regaining the championship (when it comes) in the back of his mind he will be thinking, "if only I had the balls to stick with Michelin".

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