MotoGP: Michelin and Bridgestone confident data will remain secret at Yamaha

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Michelin and Bridgestone bosses laid down a series of non-negotiable demands to ensure critical tyre and development information isn’t leaked inside Yamaha’s factory MotoGP team next season.

There will be no dividing wall to separate Valentino Rossi’s and Jorge Lorenzo’s teams as the Fiat Yamaha squad will operate as two completely separate entities in 2008 to protect intellectual property and the swapping of key information.

One request submitted by Bridgestone, who will supply tyres to Valentino Rossi, and Michelin, who will be with double world 250 champion Jorge Lorenzo, was the teams operate out of completely separate pit boxes.

And Yamaha will have two different team managers. Davide Brivio will be solely in charge of Valentino Rossi’s team, while Daniele Romagnoli, Colin Edwards’ 2007 crew chief, will run Jorge Lorenzo’s team.

Masahiko Nakajima, a former YZR-M1 Project Leader, will become new Team Director.

Davide Brivio said: “It is the Fiat Yamaha team so all the operation remains as a team as in the same hospitality and the same organisation.

“But on the weekend operation we need to have a separate operation. This was a clear and a precise request from the tyre manufacturers because they were a little bit concerned about a possible exchange of information.

“So we have to be organised also with computers and with data in order to not exchange information between one rider and the other.”

Michelin boss Jean Philippe Weber told MCN: “Yamaha made a proposal of the organisation. Right now we are quite confident with the proposal they made and that it will work.

“Yamaha is making an effort to be able to satisfy the tyre manufacturers requests. We want to be sure that up to a given level that no information is shared.”

Bridgestone chief Hiroshi Yamada said: “We made a strong request to Yamaha to have the riders in completely separate pit boxes because we are worried about very important information being exchanged.”

Jean Philippe Weber accepted that it was impossible to impose a blanket ban on information being exchanged, with some Japanese engineers inevitably having full access to data from Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo’s bikes next year.

Weber added: You have the Gresini with Bridgestone tyres and Honda’s factory team with Michelin.

“As a factory I think if they want information they can get it. Somebody within Honda or somebody within Yamaha must at the end have all the information.”

Davide Brivio added: “Even now we have the factory team on Michelin’s and Dunlop with the Tech 3 team and we don’t exchange information between them.

“I’m sure the HRC engineers have all the data from Marco Melandri and Dani Pedrosa so it’s the same as us.

“At the factory level there is an exchange of information but that’s quite normal.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt