MotoGP: Chris Vermeulen believes MotoGP tyre war should stay

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Aussie Chris Vermeulen believes it would be a mistake for the MotoGP world championship to switch to a one-make tyre rule in the future.

The issue has cropped up recently with concerns that the current varying performance of Michelin and Bridgestone tyres is having a negative impact on the entertainment served up in the 800cc premier class era.

At some tracks Bridgestone have a clear upper hand while on other tracks the advantage has been held by Michelin, with the last three races won by huge margins.

Factory Suzuki rider Chris Vermeulen has previous experience of a one-make tyre rule having ridden for two years in 2004 and 2005 in World Superbikes.

A controlled tyre supplied by Pirelli was introduced in 2004 to much derision, though most now agree that the change has had a positive effect on racing in World Superbikes.

But Chris Vermeulen believes MotoGP shouldn’t hurry to go down the same route.
He told MCN: “It works well in World Superbikes. Everyone has the same tyre but this is MotoGP and it’s a war between tyre manufacturers and there is a hell of lot in that.

“I think it should stay open but I’m not biased either way. If the tyre rule is even for everyone then Bridgestone and Michelin are fighting, plus Dunlop trying to get back in.”

Vermeulen said the current tyre rule wasn’t having an impact on the outcome of races, and it was the new 800cc bikes that were the reason for recent races being so stretched out.

“I don’t think it’s to do with the tyres. I think it is more to do with that we are riding 800s now. A lot of riders can do a lap time very close to each when the tyres are new.

“Then the bike performance seems to come in with the electronics. When the tyres went off last year when it was 990s you could change your style when the tyre went away and be quick in a different way so more riders were closer. Engine size is doing it and not the tyre rule.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt