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Bridgestone `surprised` by rider feedback.

Bridgestone's Tohru Ubukata admits even he is surprised at the seamless transition the MotoGP field has made to the company's new range of single-brand rubber.

By the end of 2008, Bridgestone already supplied 12 of the 18 full time riders, but the switch to single-brand tyres for 2009 has resulted in a drastic reduction in the number of different rubber options available, with the emphasis switching from performance to endurance, a wide operating range and equality for all riders and machines.

Some feared the new tyre rule would result in rubber built only for the established race winners, with the rest left to struggle, but the universally positive feedback from the post-season test sessions - and particularly those riders new to the Japanese tyres - has proved otherwise.

"The surprising thing from these two tests [at Jerez and Phillip Island last week] has been how positive all the riders have been about our tyres, and how quickly teams and riders have been able to adapt their bikes and riding styles to suit the Bridgestone tyres, even if they were not using them previously," declared Ubukata, Bridgestone Motorsport's manager of Motorcycle Race Tyre Development.

Looking to the future, Ubukata confirmed that the challenge facing Bridgestone is in terms of providing 'good and fair service to all'.

"Compared to a competitive tyre situation, we will not be focusing on tyre development [during the winter test ban]," he said. "However, there are still minor adjustments to be made, based on the data we have accumulated at these tests and also the [previous] Valencia test.

"Although we will not be developing the tyres as we would previously, we will be working hard. Our new challenge is ensuring that we produce sufficient tyres for all competitors next season and we also have to put all the logistics in place to ensure we provide good and fair service to all teams. This will keep us very busy."

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James Kingstone - Unregistered

December 03, 2008 6:46 AM

Brilliant! MotoGP spend millions on the world''s greatest technology and download masses of data on laptops but rider feedback is done with the cheapest ballpoint on a sheet of paper, with masking tape to hold it on a scruffy table. Even grandmothers now do things online. Gotta love it...

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