MotoGP: Casey Stoner against modifying MotoGP tyre rule

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Runaway MotoGP world championship leader Casey Stoner reckons the current tyre restrictions in premier class racing should not be changed for the 2008 season.

Michelin and Bridgestone have been asked to discuss modifying the current rule with Dorna concerned that the current limit of 31 tyres is too restrictive and having a negative impact on MotoGP as a spectacle.

One of Michelin’s proposals is to extend the tyre limit to 40, with riders able to choose from an extra four front and five rear tyres next year.

But Ducati’s Casey Stoner, who has won seven races to open up a commanding 60-point series lead over Valentino Rossi going into the last third of the season in Misano this weekend, said: “Then you are back to square one by bringing a lot of tyres.

“I never went through my allocation last year even though we had as many tyres as we wanted. For me it’s fairer to have it like this and people have to make the bike work for the tyres instead of the other way.

“There have been more front rows and races where there have been five different bikes in the top five. Everybody is saying the racing is worse but who can say this when there are so many different companies running at the front?”

Casey Stoner has been a staunch supporter of the new tyre rule, which saw Michelin surrender its big advantage of being able to fly in special overnight races for the European races.

And he remains adamant that the current rule is fair for both Michelin and Bridgestone.

“I think it’s better for the tyre companies and not only for the riders. Michelin had a big advantage in the past to bring tyres overnight and Bridgestone don’t do this. I think now its fair.

“Everybody has to do the work away from the races and when they come to the track they have to try and do the best job they can.

“At the moment Bridgestone is doing a great job and for me the tyre rule is good. Last year I don’t think I had the same quality of tyres at some tracks compared to the other riders and now because of the limit there’s no point for the other riders to have better quality tyres.

“And also if you speak with (Jerry) Burgess, he says there is no problem with the rule,” said Stoner.

The 21-year-old Australian believes that a one-make tyre wouldn’t be the solution to concerns that racing is suffering in MotoGP.

In the last three races, the winning margins have been huge compared to the last couple of seasons, but on the issue of a controlled tyre, Casey Stoner added: “I don’t mind because now I feel I’m equal to the other Bridgestone riders, so I’m not getting the lower end of the stick.

It doesn’t really matter what happens in that way and its fair now. Now the tyre manufacturers fight harder and the riders fight harder too. I can’t say much about a controlled tyre.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt