Bridgestone has been officially confirmed as the exclusive tyre supplier for the MotoGP World Championship for the next three seasons.

The announcement, made by the FIM during this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, comes as no surprise since Bridgestone was the only manufacturer to submit a proposal for the new one-tyre contract - present rival Michelin deciding not to participate.

The most important task facing Bridgestone will now be to satisfy the tyre demands of all riders and machines - something acknowledged by Hiroshi Yasukawa, director of Bridgestone Motorsport.

"Bridgestone is pleased that we have been appointed the sole tyre supplier to the MotoGP World Championship for the next three seasons, starting from 2009," began Yasukawa.

"Although we were sorry to hear that tyre competition would not continue in MotoGP, Bridgestone appreciates the importance of safety and cost in motorsport. We respect the decision taken by FIM and Dorna to impose a one-make tyre rule for next season and acknowledge the safety and cost reasons given for their decision.

"We submitted a proposal to FIM and Dorna in order to continue competing at the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, and to continue to be a part of the MotoGP community, of which we are proud to have been involved since the 2002 season.

"We have developed strong relations with manufacturers, teams, riders and personnel in the MotoGP world and are happy to be able to continue a high level of participation in the sport. Even in a single tyre situation, however, we must also guarantee and increase our return on investment from a business point of view, something that we hope to achieve through a close working relationship with all our teams and with Dorna.

"Alongside safety and cost, fairness is another pillar of Bridgestone's involvement in motorsport and we are committed to servicing our teams fairly at all times. Having worked with all manufacturers in MotoGP this season, we believe that we are well placed to offer the fairest possible treatment across all teams.

"We have relished competing on a global motorcycle racing stage with our rivals over the last seven seasons and will miss the opportunity to showcase our technical capabilities against them. In this period of competition, we have improved our performance level step by step and have been immensely proud to have taken the world title for the last two seasons, firstly with Ducati and Casey Stoner in 2007, and this year with Fiat Yamaha and Valentino Rossi.

"Our technical department has already started looking at how best to approach the 2009 season with the desired push for improved safety in MotoGP at the forefront of our development plans. We must make sure that our tyres work safely and competitively at each event, bearing in mind the complexity of tyre performance at each individual circuit and, most importantly, we must ensure that our tyres offer the same performance potential across all teams.

"We have a busy winter period ahead of us in order to best prepare ourselves for the first race of the 2009 season, but on-track preparations will begin as soon as the chequered flag has fallen on this 2008 season with a post-race test in Valencia, the first opportunity we will have to work with new teams and riders."

Almost all riders have struggled with unsuitable tyres at one time or another over the last two seasons of 'open' tyre competition - often due to much publicised mistakes by Michelin - but for 2009 the priority will shift from competiveness to equality.

In other words, it won't really matter if Bridgestone provides tyres several seconds slower than the 2008 pace, providing any grip or endurance problems affect all riders as equally as possible.

However, as in open tyre competition, not all riders and teams will carry equal weight when it comes to tyre development and the fear for lower-ranked riders is that a limited range of 2009 tyres will be built around championship leaders Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa.

How this issue will be solved by Bridgestone remains to be seen, but the WSBK model, which allows each manufacturer to designate one tyre development team (i.e. their factory team) to take part in tyre test sessions, seems to have struck a sensible balance.

Presently, each MotoGP rider has a maximum of 40 slick tyres available on a grand prix weekend - divided into 18 fronts and 22 rears. Wet tyres are not subject to a supply restriction.

Michelin won 26 premier-class titles between 1976 and 2006, but Bridgestone has won the last two MotoGP World Championships and already supplies 12 of the 18 MotoGP riders.

The single-tyre rule, which brings MotoGP in-line with the Formula One World Championship and World Superbike Championship, has been introduced 'for safety and cost reasons'.

The specific regulations pertaining to the single tyre contract will be confirmed by the FIM in 'due course'.



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