Ten years on from the decision to switch to a control tyre in MotoGP, three of the championship’s top riders have reflected on one of the most significant changes ever in the premier class.

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi says the move to a single tyre manufacturer has been a positive for the championship, although he stresses the onus is on the tyre supplier – currently Michelin – to ensure enough resources are deployed to ensure tyre quality continues to improve.

“For me, the mono tyre is good, but the tyres are the key, so for us in Aragon we had a lot of problems because we don’t make the tyre work, but here we are strong because the bike is good with the tyre; so the tyre is the key,” said Rossi, speaking after qualifying second fastest for the inaugural Thailand MotoGP round.

“It is a little bit like the standard ECU for everybody in 2016, this idea was for spending less money and putting less effort in the electronic side. But it is completely the opposite, also with the normal ECU because the electronics is so important. But this is normal because this is MotoGP and it is normal it is like this.

“For me, the important thing is that Michelin bring the mono tyre and have a lot of power, so the important thing is they put in for everybody to give a good tyre with good quality, and put the effort for the top championship of motorcycle,” he added.

“Because sometimes, also in the past, when we have the mono tyre, year by year they try to save money and the quality of the tyre becomes worse. So it is all in the hands of Michelin but I think that they do a good job.”


Four-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez did not compete in the premier class when tyres from more than one manufacturer were available, but the Repsol Honda rider is in no doubt the single supplier rule has added to the championship’s appeal.

“I never tried before, but I think it is much better for the show because Michelin give to all the teams and of course the tyre is the most important part of the bike, and you need to adapt the bike to these tyres,” said Marquez.

“Imagine with the different manufacturers there; now we have a really good championship, everything is very equal, one race might be better for one bike, another race for another bike, but I am happy like this.”

Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso echoed Rossi’s thoughts, stating that the emphasis was on the overall quality of the product being provided.

“I have the same opinion – the most important thing is the quality and when the quality is there, the tyre is the same for everybody,” he said.

“It can happen that one year it can better for one bike but when the tyre is the same for everybody, you are able to work to try to adapt. It is very difficult to make a bike work to the tyre, but if you have these rules for a long time then it works because it is clear, and everybody tries to adapt the bike and the rider tries to adapt to the tyre.”

Michelin is suggesting that all riders race with the hard rear tyre in Sunday's inaugural Thai MotoGP.