MotoGP: Valentino Rossi under pressure to perform on Bridgestone tyres

Published: 17 December 2007

Valentino Rossi will be under extra pressure to deliver a sixth premier class in 2008 after his controversial switch from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres.

Factory Suzuki boss Paul Denning believes the Italian will have to mount a more serious threat to Casey Stoner’s 2007 domination after his move to the Japanese rubber followed a bitter political row.

Paul Denning told MCN: “You have to take you’re hat off to Valentino because he has left himself massively exposed if he doesn’t win next year.

“He has demanded a lot, he has received a lot and now he’s the guy that has got to deliver.”

Paul Denning also believes that given Valentino Rossi’s record of winning 62 MotoGP races for Michelin will make him tough to beat on Bridgestone tyres, which won 12 out of 18 races in 2007.

“I do expect the tyres to be as good as last season and expect him to be as good as he is which means he will be a formidable opponent,” said Denning, who said he hoped attention would now focus primarily on events on the track rather than off it in 2008.

Bridgestone were a little bit shoe-horned into a position where they didn’t really want to be.

“I think there is a general feeling whether it’s from a truck driver upward that the sport has run the risk of being seen too be manipulated rather than actually being manipulated.

“In my opinion overly political situations that have dominated the headlines this year will be gone and we will be concentrating on healthy sport or fighting on the track,” added Denning.