Valentino Rossi’s former factory Yamaha team-mate Colin Edwards believes Michelin still has a big enough talent pool to win back the MotoGP world championship crown in 2008, despite the Italian’s defection to rivals Bridgestone.
Valentino Rossi’s switch to Bridgestone next season leaves Colin Edwards and Repsol Honda duo Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa as the three most experienced riders on the French rubber in 2008.
Texan Edwards believes Michelin won’t be seriously harmed by Valentino Rossi’s departure, with the 28-year-old running always running completely different rubber to Michelin’s big three before his move.
The double World Superbike champion, who will ride for the Tech 3 Yamaha squad with James Toseland next season, told MCN: “I couldn’t run Valentino’s tyres.
“Take him off Michelin to where me, Nicky and Dani are left, we can kind of develop what we want because nobody can run Valentino’s tyres.
“He grew up on mini-motos and 125 and 250s with stiff and hard tyres where it’s like riding a piece of concrete. He got so accustomed to that and he’s carried that through.
“I want something with a bit of play. I try and ride his tyre and I’m a second and a half slower than what I normally use. I just can’t get any traction.
“Dani and Nicky can’t use his stuff either. So is it good for us? I think yeah, I think its good he’s going to Bridgestone, simply for the development.
“I don’t think Bridgestone will be overly concerned in developing the number one best Yamaha tyre on the planet. I think it will be ‘here is the Suzuki, Kawasaki and the Ducati tyre, take you’re pick of which one works on the bike.’
“At the end of the day Casey (Stoner) and Ducati are going to lead most of development.”